Grab your sewing supplies because today we are transforming Barbie dresses to fit our Ever After High dolls!
If you know me, you know I don’t buy doll clothes; I sew them. It’s not because I have a vendetta against Barbie clothes. I do it because I enjoy creating. Plus sewing doll clothes is something I can do in the bed or on the couch when my body feels less than great.
However, a couple of Barbie’s new outfits caught my eye.
What can I say? I’m a cat lover and easily tempted by cute kitty faces!
But these outfits are for Barbies. Won’t they swallow dolls like Ever After High, right?
Well, let’s see! Kitty? Would you mind trying the blue dress on?
Ack! Just as I thought. The dress hangs on Kitty’s slim body like a sack of potatoes, and that headband is way too small!
Let’s start with fixing the dress. We’ll come back to the headband later.
How to alter a Barbie dress to fit an Ever After High doll:
- A Barbie dress.
- A sewing needle and pins.
My theory is that by taking in the sides and adding or fixing any darts we can modify these dresses to fit Ever After High and similar sized dolls.
- First, turn the dress inside out and put it on your doll.
- Pinch the excess fabric under your doll’s arms and pin it near the doll’s body. This will give us an idea of how much width we need to take in. Continue placing pins down the sides of the dress to mark the new side seam.
Don’t pin the fabric too tightly around your doll’s body. We want a soft, breezy sundress, not a close-fitting evening gown.
Here is the dress after pinning the sides. You can see we need to take in at least a quarter of an inch.
We also need to create new darts because the current ones are too low on Kitty and make the dress look awkward.
Darts are pointed folds of fabric sewn into clothing, usually a woman’s dress or blouse. They help shape a garment and give it a tailored appearance. Some doll dresses (like this one) have only two darts, but others (like fancy gowns) can have up to four.
- A simple way to create a dart on an already finished doll garment is to pinch up a bit of the fabric beneath the bust and place a pin. You should have a small fold running at an angle from your doll’s chest to the side seam.
Notice the darts don’t run straight up and down–they taper out towards the seam allowance.
- If you haven’t already snipped the threads holding the old darts, go ahead and do that now.
Now we can take off the dress and start sewing!
- First, we need to sew the darts. Starting at the tip and ending at the side seam, sew the sides of the fold together and remove the pin. You can use a backstitch or a basic running stitch–whichever you prefer.
- Tie off the thread and finger press the dart away from the neckline.
Technically, this isn’t the correct way to sew a dart, but it works fine for making quick alterations on a Barbie dress.
- After sewing the darts, baste the sides of the dress together with a long running stitch.
I’m sure you’re looking at this picture and thinking, “didn’t she say long running stitch?”. Yes, I did.
Basting stitches are long stitches used to tack down and temporarily hold pieces of fabric. You want your basting stitches long so they will be easy to cut and pull out. However, when I was learning to sew, most of the dresses I made were for Tinkerbell. This has given me the bad habit of making all my stitches super tiny?.
The reason we basted this dress before sewing is so we could try it on Kitty and double-check the fit. This also gives us a chance to make any adjustments before sewing up the sides.
It looks pretty good if you ask me! The left sleeve is a little tight. Other than that, though, I’d say this project is coming along nicely.
Now we can take off the dress, correct any mistakes (such as the sleeve), and sew up the sides. But this time we want to make our stitches small. Remember, small stitches are hard to remove. This makes them not ideal for basting but perfect for closing side seams.
- Again, starting under the armhole, sew together the sides of the dress using a back stitch. Try to keep your stitches small and neat.
Don’t forget to remove the basting stitches!
- Trim the excess fabric to about an eighth of an inch from your row of stitches.
- Then finish the raw edges of the seam allowance.
I sewed a blanket stitch around the seam allowance because I like the way it looks, but you can secure the raw edges with something simple like Fray-Check or fabric glue.
- The very last step (and this one is optional) is to press the darts flat using an iron. This is also a great opportunity to press the front of the dress and remove any wrinkles.
The Big Reveal!
Okay, everyone, it’s time for the big reveal! Was our attempt to tailor this dress to fit Kitty Cheshire successful?
We did it! We took this too-cute-for-words Barbie outfit and tweaked it to fit an Ever After High doll!
Taking in the width and repositioning the darts got rid of the sloppy appearance and gave Kitty a lovely, new, summer dress!
Also, (in case you were wondering) the dress fastens just as it did before. Our alterations didn’t disturb the Velcro in the back at all.
Kitty loves her new dress, and I think the bright blue compliments her purple complexion, don’t you?
Besides the dress, the Chococat Fashion Pack came with a pink, “Chococat” tote and, of course, the cat ear headband.
How did I get the headband to fit? Since the headband is plastic, I was able to reshape it using a blow dryer.
The heat from the blow dryer made the plastic pliable allowing me to widen the headband without snapping it. To make sure the headband held its new shape, I tied it around a glitter jar that was the same diameter (possibly wider) as Kitty’s head and left it overnight.
Now the headband slips on Kitty’s head with ease!
This was such a fun, easy project that I’m tempted to do more! I could see Cupid wearing a unicorn printed shirt, and Blondie Locks would love a Super Mario outfit (at least my Blondie would😄).
Oh my! I completely forgot we had another dress. Yes, Kitty, go try it on!
Here is Kitty wearing the red Hello Kitty dress.
Surprisingly, this outfit fits fairly well…except for those petal shaped glasses.
Yeah, I doubt those will stretch wide enough to fit Kitty.
Maybe there’s another doll who wants them? Belle?
Well, that was…interesting! But at least we found someone who likes the glasses.
While the glasses didn’t work out, the rest of the Hello Kitty fashion pack is a hit!
And I’m not kidding when I say this dress didn’t need any altering to fit. Kitty was able to wear it straight out of the box.
So, next time your Ever After High dolls need some new clothes, try playing around with a Barbie Fashion Pack!
The dresses are easy to alter and don’t require a lot of sewing experience. It’s a great way to add a few unique items to your Ever After High wardrobe.
Plus, some outfits (like the red one) don’t need altering at all! Just take them home and enjoy!
Thank you for joining Kitty and me while we showed our method of resizing a Barbie dresses to gave our Ever After High friends something new to wear!