For my daughter’s dress, I used the reverse side of the same polka dot fabric that I used for my top and skirt. The dress features a standard bodice with a round neckline, an A-line skirt, and is sleeveless. It has reverse pleats along the waistband for some visual interest.
I then used the darker side of the fabric to make her a bow-tie belt, which velcros in the back, with this bow belt tutorial as the base (I sized the bow down to 80% of adult size.)
Her headband, which is reversible, is from this You Can Make This pattern, which also velcros underneath. Neither she nor I were a fan of this style (too hard to fasten) so when I make her headbands in the future, I’m going to make them off the pattern I used for myself, sized down like I did the belt.
However, the best part of this outfit, IMHO, is the jacket. For some reason, a lot of girl’s dressy dresses in the winter are all sleeveless, and (at least in the colder parts of the country like where we live, you have to put a sweater or jacket on, which hide a lot of the cool dress features. (And yes, I know I made this dress and MADE it sleeveless, just perpetuating the problem… LOL. But I thought the light brown could be worn in multiple seasons, so I didn’t want it to be a long-sleeved dress.)
This jacket was my solution to that problem – I put the fun features on the jacket, so she’ll stay warm and look dressed up, too! The jacket is reversible, with the darker polka dot on the other side, and the ruffles on the cuffs call back to the peplum on my dress. After searching everywhere for a pattern I liked for a jacket for my daughter, I drafted this pattern myself! The sleeves are pleated at the top. The ruffles invert the main color of the jacket, so they are light on the other side when the jacket is reversed. The jacket closes with a loop and a little gold button, tying in her sparkly gold shoes.
I also made a matching American girl doll-sized dress, belt and headband. I used the same pattern for the belt, sized down to 50%; the headband also has a velcro closure, which works a lot better for dolls than for people.
The wonderful photo at the top of this post is by the talented Jeff Madison at First Memories Photography.