Betsey Johnson Dress Refashion For Dolls

Betsey Johnson Dress Refashion For Dolls

My refashion pile is smaller! I deconstructed a beautiful designer dress to make this 18″ doll dress. The original dress was a bit snug.

By “a bit snug”, I mean that when I tried it on, it felt like parts of my body wanted to escape. I could hear my thighs screaming’ “Let us out! We’re trapped! Help!”

And that is not a good look.

Here’s my Betsey Johnson dress refashion!

Betsey Johnson Dress Refashion for 18" Doll

Because the original dress was cut in princess panels, I ended up with 6 long skinny strips that are too small and odd shaped to get any substantial projects. Even a tiny toddler dress would have to be pieced, so I went with doll clothes.

Betsey Johnson Dress refashioned into doll dress

I started with the Faraway Downs pattern. My plan was to use the more fitted sleeve from the Vintage 1930’s Dress by Eden Ava Couture. The Faraway Downs tiered ruffle skirt became a straight skirt. This was going to be my entry for the Monthly Mash Up series at Call Ajaire.

But, alas, I didn’t realize that making the Faraway Downs Dress without the lapel and collar would create all this extra fabric weirdness in front. I ended up having to chop, chop, chop the bodice and make it work. By the time I hacked it into a wearable dress; it had built in capped sleeves. I went with that.

Betsey Johnson Dress Refashion for AG Dolls

I’m not very good at mashing patterns, or at deviating too far from the instructions. I feel most comfortable either drafting completely myself, or sticking to a pattern. That’s why I don’t sew a ton of clothing myself…making adjustments is right next to paying bills on my fun list. And drafting my own garments?! I’m not sure I want to know my body’s actual circumference!

Hobo Bag for 18" Doll (link to free pattern)

Here I used a tiny little iron on heart to embellish a doll sized hobo bag. You can get this  free Hobo Bag pattern by signing up for the newsletter at Doll Clothes Patterns. (Look for the button in their sidebar.)

18" doll hobo bag made with free pattern

I used a fun lining from the stash for my hobo bag. My Sewing Income & Expense report is really helping me stay on track financially. So far I haven’t made a single sewing related purchase In February. And everything I’ve made has been from the refashion pile or scrap bin.

Doll Clothing Refashion | SewsNBows

Of course, we’re only a few days into the month…and I need a new seam ripper & white thread. I don’t feel like I’m ready to step into a craft store yet though. I’m thinking about ordering them just to avoid the potential damage I could do. Especially after being shopping deprived. That’s like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Not a good idea for me!

This dress is featured at BeBetsy!

Until next time,

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Ajaire

    I feel the same what about entering a sewing store. I almost went today and really need a few things, but I also know I’ll buy way too many other things too :)
    I love the fabrics in the dress. The yellow solid with that floral is so pretty.
    Ajaire recently posted…A Giving Christmas – Guest PostMy Profile

  2. Cindy

    It’s a cute dress! Thanks for the tip about the free hobo bag pattern. I’m sure my little girls would love to have one (or two, three, four…) for their dolls.
    Cindy recently posted…Winter GearMy Profile

  3. Mel

    Gorgeous do you have a wardrobe dedicated to the dolls? No craft shopping is killing me at the moment.
    Mel recently posted…One Dollar DIY iPod SkinMy Profile

  4. Jennifer Lachman

    Oh my Gosh! Those buttons are so perfect. I have such a hard time finding buttons small enough for doll clothes.
    Jennifer Lachman recently posted…DisconnectionMy Profile

  5. Rachel

    The dolls in your house are better dressed than me! I like the little bag addition.
    Rachel recently posted…Valentine Anywhere DressMy Profile

  6. Amy of while wearing heels

    Where are the before pictures of this dress? Your description of it made me giggle.

    It certainly turned out to make an adorable dress for a doll.

    And, that bag, you are killing me. That is ADORABLE.
    Amy of while wearing heels recently posted…Goodwill Hunting RoundupMy Profile

  7. Pam @Threading My Way

    I dislike making adjustments, too!!! Making one adjustment always leads to another adjustment and so it goes on. A gorgeous little dress and a really cute little tote!!!
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Cowl Neck Sheer Top…My Profile

  8. Lisa Nelson

    What a beautiful dress Amy! Seriously! I am sure the dress looked great on you, and it looks great on this doll. I love the purse.

    I am putting together a sustainable and upcycle giveaway hop. You should totally participate, and giveaway one of your beautiful doll designs. Seriously!
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…Blogger Opp: The Sustainable and Upcycle Giveaway Hop – Sign-UpMy Profile


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