How to Turn an 18-inch Doll Dress Pattern into a Top and Skirt Outfit

Most of the patterns I make for 18 inch dolls are dresses.    However, all of my dress patterns can easily be turn into separates - a skirt and a top outfit.  Check your fabric stash and give your doll a cute and comfy outfit this summer with this simple pattern hack.  Here's how: 


1. To make the top, follow the directions in the pattern for sewing the bodice and then hem it to your desired length.  If you want a crop top style, sew it it to a 4-inch length, measured from shoulder to hem.  If you want a longer length for the top, an ideal length is 4 1/2 inch from shoulder to hem. Sew hook and loop tape on the back for closure.

4 1/4" - 4 1/2" from shoulder to hem for longer top


 4" from shoulder to hem for crop top

2. To make the skirt, cut a strip of fabric 1 1/2 inch wide x 11 1/2 inches long.  This will serve as the waistband for the skirt. 

3. Cut the skirt part of the dress part. Sew it according to directions and gather until it's the same width as the waistband.

4. Pin the right side of the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt. Stitch.

5. Turn the waistband 1/4 inch towards its wrong side and press to create a fold.

6. Turn over that folded part of the waistband towards the right side of the skirt in such a way that it will cover the raw seam.  Pin the waistband in place and stitch.

7. Finish the side edges of the skirt either with a serger or zigzag stitch.

8. With right sides together, sew the back seam, starting at 1 1 1/2 inch below the waistband.

9. Fold the left side of the skirt towards the wrong side and sew the soft side of the hook and loop tape on top.  For the right side of the skirt,  sew the rough side of the hook and look tape on top ( no need to fold). 

10. Hem the skirt and it's done.


 You can apply this into any of my dress patterns.  Here are some more examples, take inspiration from this photos and make it your own.  For this project, I had fun collaborating with agsmiless of Instagram


Above is Marin in an Aster Dress turned into a skirt and top outfit.  I used a plain blue fabric for the skirt with a lace accent (which is part of the pattern) and a coordinating white floral fabric for the top with accent lace on the ruffles.

Marley is modeling a pink floral skirt and top outfit which was made using the Marguerite Dress pattern.

And lastly, we have Maryellen modeling the skirt and top outfit using the Rosa Dress pattern.


 This is a fun pattern hack to try and it gives you more variations for your dress pattern. This applies to all my dress patterns but I am sure it can work with other 18-inch doll dress patterns too.