Making a mini version of a Jane Austen ball gown has definitely been a highlight in this whole Jane Austen Playset project. I was so excited to try to recreate something I’ve loved for so long.
These gowns are designed to fit our Free Mini Bunny pattern. I loved the idea, but the process didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have liked. First of all, this thing is tiny! I’m still getting used to the size. I love the finished project, and so it’s definitely worth it. But it does take a bit of trial and error to find out what works best for something this size.
For example, on my first gown I went ahead and hemed the bottom as I would a full size gown. It was so bulky pokey. It stuck out so much, there was no way I’d get the Regency Era drape with that. I researched and found that a lot of people don’t even hem doll gowns at all. (gasp!) My design background kept me from going THAT far. (FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION! It’s a phrase that is drilled into your head as soon as you begin your design education. It doesn’t matter how pretty something is, if it doesn’t work, they it is no good! In my opinion, if a doll dress frays during normal playtime, that is a fail!) I settled for turning the hem up once, and sewing that in place. It gives the dress a finished edge (Even if it’s not quite as finished as a full sized dress) while still giving the dress the ability to drape at the bottom.
I also spent a lot of time figuring out how to simplify the gown enough that it would work this small, but still look like something out of Pride and Prejudice. I think the final gown works quite nicely. It’s simple, but can easily be modified to add a bit of detail when needed.
So… without further ado, lets get going on this dress pattern!
Here’s what you’ll need
- Download the FREE dress pattern here
- 17″ x 7″ piece of Fabric A (for the main gown)
- 6″ x 6″ piece of Fabric B (for neck and sleeve edging. You can use Fabric A if you prefer it to all match)
- 9″ length of ribbon (to tie around the waist. I used 1/4″ wide, but up to 1/2″ wide should work just fine)
- 1 snap for back closure (you can also use velco if you prefer)
- The instructions for the gown can be viewed in the video below