Simple Shift Doll Dresses

These are on the simple side but I’m trying to make threads for projects as a motivation to actually craft things outside of my usual repeats, so here goes!

A good friend of mine works with special needs students and one of her kiddos likes to dress and undress her dolls, but doesn’t really have the patience or fine motor skills to worry about things like sleeves, skirts, or closures. So we put our heads together and tried to find the simplest outfit possible that could give the student more dress-up options without increasing her frustration levels.

We settled on a reversible, open backed shift dress with the world’s larges piece of velcro as a closure. That way the only thing the student would have to worry about was getting the arms in the holes and the back opening close enough to catch a little bit of the hook & eye (yes, it will probably catch the doll’s hair too, but these toys have already been through the Crazy Barbie school of hair care).

Made using the free shift-dress pattern from Phoebe & Egg, which worked very well. The pattern also includes embellishments like collars and pockets that would be great additions to spice up this absolute basic of a doll dress pattern.


What a nice thing for you to do! I’m sure they will be appreciated.

1 Like

Super cute!

I really love the fabric and I am sure the young fashionista will love dressing her dolls with these.

1 Like

What a delightful project! I love that they are so thoughtfully constructed for their recipient. They’re not only reversible for insideout-edness, but could also be dresses that fasten in front if the child chose. NIFTY!

1 Like

these are fantastic!
and I really like the reversibility –
I may have to dig out my sewing machine to try this (since it’s a freebie) for my granddaughter (soon to be 2 years old)

1 Like

You should definitely give it a shot! The base pattern was super simple and there’s a whole series on the Phoebe and Egg website walking you through various ways to embellish the shift dress or do one of the other patterns that come in the pack (peasant blouse, sleeved dress, etc.)


It is so sweet that you did this for the student. I am sure she is going to be absolutely tickled with these. I love the fun fabric choices.

These are so well made, like everything you do. I’m sure they will get lots of use - they are perfect!

What a lovely gesture! A little love can go far. Beautiful fabric choices as well!