How to Sew the Sequined Holiday Dress for American Girl Dolls

American Girl Doll Holiday Dress Tutorial

This dress was inspired by the 2014 American Girl Happy Holiday Dress which is a deep blue sparkly sequined dress and it comes with the blue shoes & headband. It is worth $36 but you can actually achieve the same look for less than $10. It is so easy to sew and the fun part is, you can choose your favorite color and you can make it as festive as you want with all the pretty special occasion fabric that you can get at Joanns.

I know it’s December already but I believe you still have enough time to make this before Christmas as a holiday present for your daughter or granddaughter. I would love it so much if you can email me pictures of your finished product.

So here it goes, happy sewing!

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The materials needed are sequined fabric (or any fancy or special occasion fabric), plain color fabric for lining, tulle and matching trim/ribbon. I chose red because Isabelle would be my model and she looks great in that color, plus it’s a holiday color.

Please note that all seams are sewn at 1/4 inch allowance.

1) Cut the fabric materials for the skirt.
For the skirt part, cut them according to these measurements:
sequined fabric – 5 1/2 inches tall by 26 inches wide
fabric for lining – 5 1/2 inches tall by 26 inches wide
tulle – 5 1/2 inches tall by 60 inches wide (or 40-44 inches)

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2) Cut the bodice pattern.
For the bodice, I use the free liberty jane tank top pattern which can be downloaded here at pixiefaire.com. I cut the pattern on the waist area. Cut the pattern pieces for both the lining and sequined fabric.

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3)Sew the front and back pieces together of the sequined fabric and lining.
With right sides together, sew the front piece to the back pieces on the shoulder section for both the lining and sequined fabric.

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4)Sew the sequined and lining fabric together.
With right sides together, sew the sequined fabric and lining fabric, stitching around the armhole and neckline area. Clip corners and curves as shown in the photo to reduce bulk. Turn the bodice to the right side.

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5) Sew the materials for the skirt together.
Serge or zigzag the botton edge of the lining fabric and hem. You do not need to hem the sequined fabric yet.
Baste stitch the the sequined, lining and tulle fabric and gather the one by one until they are the same width as the bodice. For guide on how to gather fabric, refer to this link – How to Gather Fabric.

Baste the three pieces together. The lining will be at the bottom, the tulle should be on the middle and the sequined fabric is on the very top.

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6) Sew the bodice and skirt together.

With right sides together, sew the skirt part to the bodice. Serger or zigzag the seam for a clean finish.

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7) Cut the sequined part of the skirt.
As illustrated in the photo, cut the sequined part to the achieve the sort of high low look of the skirt (as inspired by the AG blue happy holiday dress) and to reveal the tulle underneath. I did this with the dress on the doll so I know which part to cut the achieve the look.

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8) Finish all edges to complete the dress.

Hem the sequined part of the skirt by folding over around 1/4 inch making sure it would be slightly higher than the lining. Serge or zigzag the edges of the back pieces. Finish the back seam of the skirt and sew a velcro on the back bodice to finish the dress.

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9) Add a matching ribbon or trim on the waistline for a nice accent.

american girl holiday dress tutorial

23 Responses to How to Sew the Sequined Holiday Dress for American Girl Dolls

  • Camie Johnson says:

    Very pretty dress! Thank you for sharing. I hope I’ll have time to make one for my granddaughter for Christmas.

  • Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. It is fun to create a $36.00 dress for $10.00.

  • Lori Morton says:

    You are soooo creative!! thank you for sharing your amazing Talent with us! My Grangirlie will love this for her doll…for sure!!

    Ohio Hugs! :)

  • Margie says:

    What a pretty dress – just in time for the holidays. Thank you sew very much 😀 <3

  • lyn says:

    so many thanks for the pattern and instructions. will try to make for this year.

  • Candi says:

    My granddaughter is learning to sew-she will love this tutorial. TY

  • Pat says:

    My GD (aka Glitter girl) will absolutely LOVE this; thank you so much!!!!

  • terlyart says:

    The liberty jane pattern calls for knit material. Did you make changes to the pattern so it will fit?

    • admin says:

      I did not change anything and it fits perfectly, at least for the newer AG dolls. It might be too small for the Pleasant Co. dolls or the earlier AG dolls.

  • Motorcycle Oma says:

    I love this and can’t wait to try making it, hopefully this weekend with my granddaughter! She just got a Maplelea doll for St. Nick and she can’t wait to make things for her.

  • Vickie says:

    Love the dress! Could you tell me where you found the fabric? My granddaughter has a skirt out of the same fabric.

  • Nora Dallaire says:

    Oh my gosh. Omigosh. I’ve had an AG doll for twenty years (and one month)- I have Addy, and in high school, I got very into making her historical outfits. I would use any time period I felt like, but modern clothes didn’t interest me.

    To be totally honest, it still doesn’t interest me much (I’m a history nerd, no small part in thanks to Addy and the other girls), but now I have a six year-old daughter. She just got her first AG doll (MyAG#33, now named Charm) and has been playing with my chest of Addy clothes, but oh, how she wishes we had more modern clothes! We now have three t-shirts, a pair of bicycle pants, a pair of overalls and a sweater, but she does wish we had more variety.

    (“Well, how about I get my old patterns out and make you a historically accurate turn of the century-?? No? Oh.”)

    I’m so excited to have found your site! These tutorials and patterns are simple, clearly explained and SUPER cute!!! And so much variety from such simple patterns! I can’t wait to make skirts, dresses and pants! The no-sew tutu and vest are adorable, and this dress! THIS DRESS! Cutting the sequined part to make it uneven just makes it so classy and modern, I just cannot believe it! Absolute stroke of genius!

    I look forward to more of your great tutorials and patterns, and I’ll definitely be checking out your etsy shop!

  • Kacey says:

    I love this dress. I bought the material to make a teal one. Quick question. Is the cut for the skirt perfect rectangle? Usually skirt cuts are slightly half moon shaped.

  • AGSAIGE says:

    Aww… Isabelle is looking beautiful! I am making this from material that I already have. thanks!!!!!!!!

  • Paula says:

    I love this dress. I tried to make my granddaughter a dress and her doll a matching one. I am having trouble with sewing the fabric. My machine skips really bad and I’ve used every kind of needle I can think of. Any suggestions? I really love the dress If I could get my machine to cooperate.

    • mrsben says:

      Try using wrapping (white) tissue paper under or over the fabric which you can just tear away (from the stitching). Its a method often used when sewing very sheer or lacy fabrics. Hope this helps. -Brenda-

  • Mary says:

    I can not download the actual pattern in order to cut it. I am a novice in sewing skills and can not afford to buy the dresses for my nieces dolls. Can you help me with the pattern. Thanks.

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  • Rain says:

    I have spend hours on this top and cannot get the top together. I do not understand the instructions.
    Do I sew both the lining and the bodice together, nothing works.
    I got it by sewing the bodice the sides and all then sewing the lining sides and all, then placing the bodice and lining inside out on top of each other …then sewing….and turning right side out.

    I cannot get it the way showed in the picture. Can u get be better directions, thank you.

  • I love this dress! I am a adult collector, so I have several 18 inch dolls. The American Girl Doll dresses are to big for my Gotz and Kieota dolls. If these dolls have a new holiday dress I have to sew it. Making it myself allows me to slim up the bodice and lengthen both bodice and skirt for my 21 inch girls. I missed the blue holiday dress when it was available. Now I can recreate it in several colors! I wonder, does anyone else have problems with the sequin glue gumming up their sewing needle? I have noticed that in the past when I tried to work with that kind of fabric.

  • Lynn Smith says:

    Thank You so much for your tutorial I recently started making my granddaughter cloths for her American Doll that we bought her for her birthday last year This is the perfect dress for Christmas this year

  • Carmen Inman says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love this dress.

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