Clockwise from left: The Baby Doll Corset Bundle in Bloomers Dove from The School of Making; Appliqué Rose Stencil Design and Facets Camisole Dress featured in Textile Futures: Fashion, Design, and Technology, 2010 by Bradley Quinn; Embroidery, Appliqué, and Reverse Appliqué Bloomers Fabric Swatch from The School of Making.

From page 57 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, “By appliquéing one or more borders to a garment’s hem and varying the length of the basic garment and/or the ruffles, you can create a multitude of styles and designs.”

The Ruffled Tops and Dresses project in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design alters the Fitted Tunic pattern—shortening it and appliquéing a ruffle border to the hem to create what we call the Baby Doll Top. Our newest variation of the Baby Doll Top adds a ruffle border to the Corset pattern rather than the Fitted Tunic. The top is fitted in the bust with a deep scoop neckline and has a loose, flowing fit from the empire waist through to the hem and is the newest project bundle offered from The School of Making: The Baby Doll Corset Bundle.


Clockwise from left: Design sketches from Costume and Fashion: A Concise History (Fifth Edition), 1969/2012 by James Laver (pages 210–211); The Corset Bundle in Anna’s Garden Sand/White from The School of Making; Colorblock Organic Cotton Napkins from Alabama Chanin; Embroidered Eyelet Swing Skirt Fabric Detail in Dove The School of Making; A-Line Dress Pattern in Ballet from The School of Making; The Classic Jacket Kit in Bloomers Dove from The School of Making.

Each bundle includes 3 yards of medium-weight organic cotton jersey in your choice of color (this will be enough fabric to make a top in sizes XS through XXL), one spool of Button Craft Thread, and a School of Making label. Add The Corset Pattern, Mylar stencils, Textile Paint, and the Airbrush Tool to ensure that you will have everything you need to craft a stenciled Baby Doll Corset and expand your hand-sewn wardrobe.

Pair the bundle with any of our Studio Series Books for inspiration and instruction on sewing techniques, stenciling, and appliqué.

Share your completed Baby Doll Corset Top with us and The School of Making community using the hashtags #theschoolofmaking and #TSOM20in20.


Corset Pattern
Pattern Paper
Paper Scissors
Corset Bundle or 100% Organic Cotton Jersey in a color of your choice
Garment Scissors
Rotary Cutter and cutting mat
Tailor’s chalk or disappearing-ink fabric pen
Hand-sewing needle


1. Prepare and Cut Corset Pattern Pieces

If your pattern is a digital download or from the CD in Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, you will first need to print the pattern. For printing instructions, see page 86 of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns or visit here.

Choose your size and cut out your Corset pattern with paper scissors, cutting as closely as possible to the black cutting line.

2. Trace Your Corset Pattern Pieces

Trace your Corset pieces onto new pattern paper. Add your grainline and label the pieces. To make the next step easier, draw a stitch line 1/4” away from the edge of the vertical seams in the pattern to denote your stitch line. You will measure along your stitch line in step 3.

3. Shorten Corset Length

When shortening the length of your corset pattern we suggest measuring down the side seam to start the adjustments.  We have shortened the size small Corset pattern to 5 1/2” from the top of the side seam, but recommend adjusting +/- 1/4” for each size up and down.

We also recommend that if you have a large bust measure 1” below your armpit to the bottom of your bra band, as this will be the most flattering place for the baby doll line to hit.

Working on your Side Front piece, take a ruler and lay it perpendicularly across the grain line with one edge lined up along the mark on your side seam. Draw a new bottom line, from edge to edge, on the pattern.

Working on the inside of the Side Front piece, measure the new adjusted length on your sew line. Measure down the outside sew line on your Mid Front piece and mark at the same place as your Side Front.

Repeat this process for the remainder of your Corset’s Center Front and the two back pieces, making sure to keep your ruler perpendicular with the grainline. This will ensure a smooth line around the body once constructed. 

4. Create Baby Doll Ruffle

To create a ruffle border, cut a cotton-jersey rectangle across the grain, making it approximately 3 times the length of the garment’s front edge to which you will attach it. Repeat this process for the garment’s back. Sew the two rectangles together following the seam construction for your garment, creating two side seams. Using all-purpose thread, sew a basting stitch across the rectangle’s long top edge, and pull on the ends of the basting thread to gather up the fabric.

Pin the gathered ruffle to the hem of your finished garment, overlapping the garment’s bottom edge with the ruffle’s top edge by 1/2”, aligning the side seams, and matching the ruffle’s length to the garment’s width. Distribute and pin the gathers around the hem. Once you have pinned your ruffle into place, use a basting stitch to hold the ruffle. Then attach it permanently with the stretch or decorative stitch of your choice (you can pull out the basting stitches if you would like, or leave them hidden in the ruffling).

Refer to page 57 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for additional information and inspiration on creating ruffles.

5. Cut Out and Construct Your Newly Baby Doll Corset

Using instructions from page 145 of Alabama Stitch Book or your Corset Pattern, cut out your pattern pieces and construct the garment body.


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