Josefina’s Fancy Dress

Happy birthday (yesterday) to my little sister! Nothing says “I’m entering my twenties” quite like receiving the gift of an American Girl doll! 🙂 My mom actually won a Josefina lot on eBay a few months ago, and since she already has the doll, she decided to save her for my sister’s birthday and keep the outfits and accessories for her own collection. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out too well, because my sister came home unexpectedly from college and waltzed up to the doll room while my mom was still at work. My mom hadn’t thought to hide the second Josefina, so she discovered her birthday gift early. Since the doll wasn’t a surprise, I decided that my mom and I should collaborate to create a surprise outfit!


I decided to make a dress for Josefina out of turquoise fabric as “glorious blue as the New Mexican sky” (adapted from Josefina Saves the Day). I used the pattern for Josefina’s Christmas Dress, and modified it by shortening the sleeves and removing the neck ruffle. I looked at a number of 1820s fashion images online and fell in love with the detail of this gown:

(Link to original source–check it out, lots of beautiful Regency Era fashion!)

I decided to use the embroidery pattern as inspiration for a simpler design I created, partly to create a simpler, more age appropriate style for Josefina, and partly to avoid over-stretching my very rudimental embroidery skills. I think having some embroidered detail is fitting for Josefina, since embroidery plays a role in her stories, particularly in Josefina’s Surprise.

My mom completed the outfit with some black satin slippers, made from the Plain Jane Shoes pattern from Pixie Faire. She did mention that she was displeased with the instructions for this pattern and would do some things differently (her own way) next time. I haven’t had the chance to talk to her in detail about this, but I can provide an update about that later if anyone is interested.


I think Josefina is such a fun doll and I know my sister is excited to have her. I think Josefina’s new fancy outfit was a big surprise to her and I really hope she enjoys it. Josefina has such beautiful hair, I enjoyed creating a hairstyle to go with her new dress!


I think Caroline also would look great in this dress (this stye is definitely still appropriate for her time period–think Jane Austen) so I might have to make one for my own collection!




8 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh, I love it! It looks really good on Josefina. I love the blue color! 🙂


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! Josefina is just such a beautiful doll, so she looks pretty much good in everything!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley says:

    I think it’s very endearing you and your mom made your sister such a lovely gift!!


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks Shirley! It was a fun surprise!


  3. Flo says:

    That turned out great, I love the color you chose and why. I agree that it would also make a perfect dress for Caroline!


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! Yes, I saw that fabric in my stash and that line from the book suddenly ran through my head. The stars aligned!


  4. Wow that dress is so pretty. We love the blue (great reason too). :0)


    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! It was fun to make! 🙂


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