Confession: I have a certain disdain for flip flops. More often than not, they are considered a faux pas in the fashion world, and sometimes for the right reasons. This being said, I must also confess I own a pair of Havaianas that I bought years ago on my Venezuelan adventure. They are packed snuggly in my tote this week as Maggie and I celebrate spring break with a trip to the Florida Pan-Handle and the beach. Honestly, Maggie saunters in flip flops throughout the Alabama summers. I can hardly get anything else on her feet as the scorching heat necessitates barely-there footwear – if not bare feet. When in Rome…

My flip flop rant aside, our Baby Doll Camisole Dress is also packed neatly in my traveling bag. In fact, a DIY garment often makes its first travels in pieces, taken on long car rides or trans-Atlantic flights to be embellished.

Once complete, squarely folded or rolled up, it easily transports on-the-go. My dress has made multiple trips with me to California, returning to Alabama a little more worn (and loved) each time. The gathered ruffles relax the wrinkles from the trip, and yes, it is possible to tastefully pair our Baby Doll Camisole Dress with flip flops (or your favorite pair of heels) on certain occasions.  Look for me at the Seaside Promanade this week in both and this weekend at the Doo-Nanny).

For this kit, we chose the Camisole Top pattern from Alabama Studio Style rather than our Fitted Top pattern paired with the Baby Doll Dress in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for a more fitted bodice.

DIY Baby Doll Dress-DetailSUPPLIES

Camisole Top pattern from Alabama Studio Style
Instructions for Baby Doll Dress from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
2 yards of 60” wide medium-weight organic cotton jersey
Button Craft thread
Embroidery floss
Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins, needles, ruler, rotary cutter, and Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: this book contains the basic sewing and embroidery techniques we used to make our dress.


Garment – Baby Doll Dress from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design (Camisole Top pattern with a ruffle appliquéd to the hem.)
Fabric weight – Alabama Chanin 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – Dark Grey
Button Craft thread for construction – Coats & Clark Colors #26 Slate
Stencil – Paisley
Embroidery technique –Negative Reverse Appliqué; instructions available in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Embroidery stitches- Cretan for the binding, Zigzag chain stitch for the ruffle –  instructions available in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Seams – Inside Felled

Create yours through our Custom DIY.


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Click to read 8 comments
  1. Grace

    Ahhh, I love the Florida panhandle. As a student at FSU I spent many spring weekends on St George Island and I still get back down there for Girls vacation trips whenever I can make it. The first entry on my blog is from a horseback riding on the beach in Cape San Blas. I confess, I lived in flip flops during college. Havaianas are the best.

  2. Mary

    I wanted to make a basic of the appliqué baby doll dress before committing to an embellished version, and began working on the original pattern. I noticed that the instructions in Alabama Studio + Design call for you to reduce the length of the tunic from the center bottom to 5 and 1/2 inches. I assumed this meant that I also should shorten the front piece from the bottom to 5 and 1/2 inches. Is this correct? I cut out the shortened tunic, but when I was constructing it, I realized the front was longer than the back.

    Thanks – Mary

    1. Alabama

      Hi Mary,
      How much does it vary? Are you pinning the top and bottom first then pin in the middle? The front and back piece to the baby doll dress (top/tunic) should be the same length, so if you shorten both they will be the same length. let us know if you have more questions. Thanks!

      1. Mary

        There is a significant difference (~.5 inches) in length. I did pin the middle first, but even accounting for this, there is a big discrepancy. I did some measuring of uncut patterns (I went and made several copies at one time) and for some reason my copies of the patterns are not the same length. I’m going to need to take them back to the copy shop and make sure they don’t inadvertently shrink or enlarge them and try again.

        Thank you so much for the quick reply!


  3. Mary Martha

    How many yards of fabric would I need to make this dress using the pattern from Alabama Studio Sewing and Design? The top would then be a tank top instead of the camisole top used in this one…. The top alone calls for 1.5 yards, so would 3 yards be ample or way too much? Many thanks for your help!

    1. Alabama

      For a single layer dress, if you fit your pattern pieces together closely and are resourceful with your yardage, you could make it work with two yards. However, we advise three yards to give yourself some room.

    1. Alabama Chanin

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for the question. While we don’t have plans at this time to make a Baby Doll pattern, we always appreciate and consider our guests feedback. What we love about the Baby Doll variation is that by making a simple alteration to either the to the Fitted Top or Tunic Pattern in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design (or the Camisole Top or Tunic Pattern in Alabama Studio Style, as we did here), we are able to create a whole new type of dress and fit. If you decide to work with these patterns and have any questions, please reach out to our team!