I admit it. I have a soft spot in my head for 1950’s Ginny dolls. My friends and I played with them for hours. We didn’t have them have tea parties or go shopping, my Ginnys were always going on adventures. Pearl diving, battling cattle rustlers, or being children lost in the woods were common themes. Of course, these dolls did all these adventures in dresses, just as my friends and I played at having these adventures ourselves at recess in school.
At any rate, this dress pattern fits 1950’s hard plastic Ginny dolls and some of the clones of the time. This dress does not fit the later Ginny dolls or taller Ginny clones of the time like the Virga dolls. Those dolls are a little taller and a little bigger around than a 1950’s Ginny doll.
So, let’s get started.
Click on the area of the site that says, “Free Patterns.” Click on the Ginny pattern and print it.
Next, cut out the pattern.
Pin the pattern to the fabric. Make sure you place the skirt and the bodice on the fold. (The pattern is marked.) You only need to cut one for the bloomers and the neck facing. A quarter of a yard should be enough material for the dress, bloomers and hat. (If you want the skirt a little longer, cut one side of the skirt pattern ¼ to a ½ inch wider.)
you Once have cut out the pattern pieces, use some sort of Fray Stop or Fray Check to prevent the edges of the material form fraying. If you don’t, the edges will start to fray and not look nice in a very short period of time.
Fold the sleeves twice 1/8 in. and then pin and press the folds flat. This doesn’t just make it easier to sew, but it also gives a more finished look to the dress. If you are sewing this dress by hand, use a hem stitch. If you are sewing on a machine, sew a line of stitches down the middle of the folded area. (Today, I’m kind of cheating. I’m going to use a machine.)
In case you are new to sewing and need some direction, here is a left handed hem stitch.
Here is a right handed hem stitch.
Back to the dress.
Pin the neck facing to the bodice pretty side to pretty side. Make sure you have lined up the line up the slits in the back. Sew 1/8th in. seam around the neck hole. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch. (See the picture below.)
If you want, you can mark where you are going to sew If you are going to sew this the seam with a pencil or disappearing fabric ink to help guide your stitches. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch.
Here is an example of a running stitch.
OK, go ahead and laugh. I was in a hurry and that picture is telling on me. It is not of the best seam I’ve ever sewn. Once you have sewn the seam, clip the cloth up close to the seam, but be careful not to clip the stitches.
Turn the facing in and pin it in place. (To put it another way, fold the facing through the neck opening and pin in place.) Then, press the facing down.
For the best finish, take the pins out and press again. You really don’t need to sew the facing down, usually, pressing it down is all it needs.
Fold the bodice good side to good side. Pin the bodice as shown above. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch and sew the arms and bodice together with and 1/8 in. seam. Your stitches should look like an upside down “L”.
Now clip the cloth up to the seam. Put one snip right in the bend of the “L” and make one more snip on each side of the first snip. (If you are going to sew buttons on the front of the dress, now is the time to do it.)
Now, let’s work on the skirt.
Take the skirt material and fold and pin the fabric over about 1/8 of an inch. Press the fold down.
Next, make a second fold about 1/8 inch. Pin and press it into place. You will get a better finish if you take the pins out after pressing it once and press it again. Also, press the original fabric fold out all but the top (rough edge) ½ in. (When you cut out the skirt, it said to place the one side of the pattern on the fold. This is the fold I am referring to.) You can use the ½ in. of fold to center the shirt on the bodice when you pin them together.
Even if you are using a machine, I would encourage you to use a hem stitch to sew the hem. Hand sewing the hem will give it a more finished look.
Once that is done, sew a running stitch 1/8 in. below the top (rough edge) of the skirt. If you are sewing by hand, try to make your stitches as small as ½ of a grain of long rice. If you are sewing with a machine, put the stitch size to the largest one you can. Whichever method you use, leave a long tail of thread on both ends of the stitches.
If you are going to trim the skirt, flip the fabric over and pin on the trim. (Put it at whatever distance from the bottom, you think looks best.) Then, sew on the trim. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch. It will look best if you sew the trim on both the top and the bottom of the trim. Try to hide your stitches as best you can.
Once you have put the trim on the skirt, it is time to gather the skirt. Gather the skirt to the size of the bottom of the bodice. Match up the center of the front bodice with the center of the skirt. (Pretty side to pretty side.) Remember, I told you to leave 1/2 in. of the fold not pressed flat? Match that with the center of the bodice and try to even out the gathering of the skirt with the bottom of the bodice. Match the ends of the skirt with the opening of the back of the bodice. Pin the two together.
Now, sew the two together using a ¼ in. seam. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch and make the stitches as close together as you can.
This is what the dress should look like so far.
The next step is to pin the bottom of the skirt pretty side to pretty side. Then, sew a 1/8 seam about one inch up from the bottom. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch.
We are getting close to being done with the dress! Next, fold the back edges of the bodice and skirt about 1/8 in. Pin in place and use a hem stitch to secure them in place. Finally, put a snap in the back to secure the dress. The bodice of this dress is going to be tight, so put the snap as close to the edge of the back as possible. (I use the smallest snap I can find.)
Now we need to make the matching bloomers.
I like to use ¼ in. elastic for the waist band and 1/8 inch elastic for the legs. Whatever you decide to use, cut each piece 4 inches long.
Once again, take the two long edges and fold over 1/8 inch, pin and press.
Next, fold over what is going to be the waist of the bloomers. I fold the waist ½ in. and the leg side 3/8 to ½ in. Pin and press both folds flat. Make sure that after it is folded and pressed that the bloomers are at least 2 ¼ in. wide.
Also, make sure your folds are big enough to fit the elastic and the safety pin you are going to use.
If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch and sew a 1/8 in. seam on the edge of the folds. (see picture.) Next, on the side that will be the legs, sew a second row of stitches 1/8 in. above the bottom of what is the leg side. This creates a little ruffle on the bottom of the bloomers.
Walk the elastic through the leg fold.
If you have never done this before, here are some pictures that should help.
Just keep walking the pin and the elastic through the material.
When the end of the elastic is even with the opening, sew a few stitches to hold the elastic in place.
Then, finish walking the elastic through the material and sew a few stitches on the other end to hold the elastic in place.
Now, do the same process over again for the waist side of the bloomers.
It should look like this.
If you are sewing this by hand, use a running stitch to sew the bloomers together. This will be the back side of the bloomers.
Turn the bloomers right side out and pin the bloomers so that the back seam is centered with the front side. Then, using a running stitch sew a line of stitches about ½ in. up from the bottom of the bloomers.
The bloomers are done.
YOU DID IT!!!!!
Now, let’s work on the hat!
Pin the hat pieces together (pretty side to pretty side). Leave a gap about 1 inch long on the straightest side. I put a pin there to mark not to sew there. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch.
Once you have sewn a 1/8 in. seam around the hat, you need to clip around the outside of the seam. Be careful not to actually cut the seam.
Once you’ve clipped the material, push the material through the 1 inch hole you have left. You may want to use your scissor’s tip to push the hat out in the corners. Pin the hat into place and press. Once you have the hat pressed with the pins in, take the pins out and press again.
Next, sew a seam on the side where the 1 inch gap is. If you are sewing by hand, you can use a running stitch. Once that is done, cut two 6 inch lengths of 1/9 inch ribbon. Fold over the tips of the ribbon and pin them to the corners of the hat.
The final step is to pin lace on the same side as the ribbon. Sew the lace on. If you are sewing by hand, use a running stitch. And you are done!!!!
I hope you enjoy making more dresses for your Ginny dolls.