Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pattern Review: Heritage Doll Fashions' Samantha's Ice Cream Dress

Next for the Secret Snarker Swap, I wanted to make a dress for Samantha.

Ludodactylus specified that Samantha needed more clothes for winter, so I decided to make Heritage Doll Fashions Samantha's Ice Cream Dress.

Here is a confession for you: this is one of the first two doll clothes patterns that I bought.
(The other was Eden Ava 1930s Vintage Dress)

So I have owned this pattern forever. The first time I made it, I used fabric that I had on hand, and it did not hold a pleat well. Big mistake. I was not happy with the way it looked, and eventually gave it to the daughter of a co-worker.

This was not an easy pattern to make. Even though I have a lot more sewing experience under my belt now, I had to stop and take a break until I felt I could continue without ,my frustration leading to making mistakes.

There were several parts of the pattern that I found difficult. I found it hard to sew on all that ribbon and to keep it straight. In fact, even though I bought a whole spool of ribbon, I had to go out and buy more. There is a lot of ribbon in this pattern.

The yoke strip in particular,with the three rows of black ribbon, first requires a very narrow hem.
Then it is so narrow, that it requires a lot of precision to fit all three rows of ribbon on it.
The first time I sewed this pattern years ago, I gave up and only added two rows of ribbon.

It has since been suggested to me by Sewbig that you could glue the ribbon in place before sewing it down. What a great idea!

Attaching the yoke strip to the collar/upper bodice was also very fiddly and required me to take a break.

And then, of course, you have to take the 44 inch long yoke strip that you so carefully sewed three rows of ribbon on to, pleat it, and attach it to the curved upper bodice, and then attach the lower bodice.

The yoke strip is going to be longer than you need it to be. I would recommend pinning the yoke strip with the pleats in it to the collar and make sure that the length you need is not going to be longer than the length called for by the pattern before snipping it off.

The lower bodice and skirt in contrast are pretty straightforward. It just requires lots of gathers.

I do love this dress, because it comes straight from one of the book illustrations that I loved as a kid, and that was never made into a dress by the American Girl Company. To me, that is just really cool.

That is why I decided to sew the dress in the classic black and white from the illustrations, even though Ludodactylus indicated that her Samantha's favorite colors are blue and pink. I thought it was too neat to have a dress that matched the book illustrations.

The really nice thing about this pattern is that most of the inside seams are finished. It gives the finished dress a very professional feel.

I recommend this pattern, but only for confident sewers.

You can see the dress I made for the Secret Snarker swap last year here.


  1. This is so cute! You are so accomplished at these little seams and details. Are the dark stripes some type of tack?

  2. This was one of the first patterns I picked up also years ago, but have never made. Thank you for the review.


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