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Erin Hentzel is the creator and designer behind Avery Lane Designs, an indie sewing pattern company. She has authored two sewing books with C&T Publishing. Her first book, Sew in Style, is a book for kids to learn to sew for their dolls. Her new book, Doll Days! Sew an Everyday Wardrobe for 18″ Dolls: Stylish Patterns to Mix, Match & Embellish, teaches you how to go beyond the basics, while creating a modern-vintage wardrobe for 18” dolls.

From the publisher:

    Create fashion-forward outfits for today’s 18″ dolls! Whether you’re sewing for your own dolls or the little doll lover in your life, these mix-and-match styles offer unlimited possibilities! Sew tiny garments inspired by vintage styles, including a buttoned blouse, party dress, and scallop-hem skirt. Sewing enthusiasts who already know the basics can build a complete wardrobe from nine basic patterns. Learn techniques for hemming sleeves, adding ruffles and trims, and modifying patterns for additional looks.

Erin joins us on her Doll Days! book tour with tips for sewing special hems. Add eyelet to your favorite pattern or use the darling designs in her book to make something extra-special!

Would you like a copy of Doll Days!? Just tell us why you need the book and your comment will enter you to win… (U.S. addresses eligible for a hard copy book; international winners will receive an eBook version.)

Hi there! I’m Erin and I’m really excited to be here for my new book Doll Days! blog tour. Doll Days! is a doll clothing pattern book for 18” dolls, such as American Girl Dolls. It’s appropriate for confident beginners and up, and includes many photo tutorials and tips for making super looking doll duds. The designs are vintage inspired with a little modern flair.

The patterns are extremely versatile. I love to change things up and create many different looks using just one pattern. Sometimes it’s all about the details, so I created a little tutorial to show you one way to focus on just that. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to embellish a hem with pretty lace, creating a totally different look.

My tutorial will show you how to create this special hem on the Vintage Party Dress from Doll Days!, using a contrasting fabric and pretty eyelet lace. You’ll love how quick and easy this is to do. This technique can also be used for the Modern-Vintage Sundress pattern in the book, or for any clothing item you sew!


  • I used the Vintage Party Dress pattern + supplies
  • Scrap of contrasting fabric: 2” x 28”
  • Cotton eyelet flat lace: 28” long

Cutting Instructions:
Cut the main skirt piece. If you’re using the Vintage Party Dress pattern cut the main skirt piece at 5 ¼” x 28”.

Sewing Instructions:
Sew the bodice just as instructed on pages 43-45 of your copy of Doll Days! Before you sew the skirt to the bodice, follow these instructions for a special hem. These instructions can be used for any hem!

1. Hem one long edge of the contrasting fabric piece.

2. Baste the lace to the right side of the contrasting fabric strip, keeping the raw edges even.

3. With the right sides together and a ¼” seam allowance, sew the contrasting fabric and lace unit to the lower edge of the main skirt piece. Finish the seam allowances and press them up toward the main skirt piece.

Optional: Top-stitch along the main skirt piece.

Follow the instructions on page 45 of Doll Days! to complete the Vintage Party Dress.

Isn’t that such an easy way to create a unique looking hem? It would be very easy for older kids to sew as well. I hope you’ll give this hemming technique a try.

Thanks for following along with the Doll Days! blog tour! Be sure to check out the other stops; you won’t want to miss any of the bonus patterns and tutorials. Happy Sewing!

Erin’s Doll Days! is full of sweet clothing items for you to sew!

Want to see more? Visit other sites on the Doll Days! tour: