Anne of Green Gables – Dress Tutorial


Anne of Green Gables

I thought I’d start my first, official blog post with a classic – Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne is curious, imaginative and possesses a charming outspokenness my introverted self longed for while growing up. You can find Anne in books, movies, and mini-series. There’s even a new Netflix television series in the works that is going to focus on Anne and Diana’s strong friendship with a healthy dose of girl power! I’m so very excited!

So without further ado ‘kindred spirits’, let’s make the dress Anne wore to first meet the Cuthbert’s. It is based on the dress seen on many of the book covers and is taken from the 1985 Tv mini-series staring the adorable Megan Follows.

My goal is to show you how to modify an existing 18 inch doll pattern to recreate Anne’s dress. Today we’ll start with the light brown dress with the floral print. From there we’ll make the pinafore, boots, and hair ties.

To make the dress, I modified three patterns: Simplicity 1179, McCall’s 7031, and Simplicity 4297. On a side note, if you’re relatively new to sewing, please don’t pay the $14.95-18.99 prices listed on the patterns. Watch for periodic sales. JoAnne Fabrics and other stores frequently put patterns on sale for $1-1.75. That’s the time to snatch them up! Especially since sometimes it’s easier to combine a couple of different patterns to get the look you want.

Materials needed for Anne’s brown travel dress:

  • Simplicity pattern 1179
  • Simplicity pattern 4297
  • McCall’s pattern 7031
  • 5/8 yd of 45″ (with nap) light brown cotton fabric with floral print (I used “Premium Cotton Fabric – Tiny Roses Parfait” from Joann Fabric’s quilting section. Item # 8509069)
  • matching thread
  • 1/4 yd of 5/8″ sew-in Velcro fastener tape

dsc_0038 Simplicity 1179 pattern view D is the base of the dress and pinafore. Unfortunately, the cute dress in this picture is just way too fancy for Anne’s orphanage dress. If you round the collar, simplify the sleeves and leave off the lace, you can have a decent little orphan dress. I also made the skirt a bit longer, so add about 3/4 inch to pattern piece #31 before you cut. Then you can hem the length exactly where you want it.




Instead of using the pointed lapels on the collar dsc_0007provided with the pattern, I used a rounded collar from McCall’s 7031 (Collar E #11) (nurse/candy striper dress). I just switched out the collars. The pieces matched up enough to work and get the look that you want.

The sleeves also need to be modified to make them more simple. (Sorry Anne, no ‘puffed sleeves’ for you at this point in your story.) Instead, I used the sweatshirt sleeve and band from Simplicity 4297 (pattern piece 10 and #11). Once again, substitute these pattern pieces into the directions given for S1179, but you’ll need the directions from S4297 for attaching the sweatshirt sleeve band to the sleeve.

Since the dress will be covered by a pinafore, I decided to use velcro instead of buttons down the back of the dress. Switch from S1179 to the directions in M7031 View E when it’s time to add velcro.

I would highly recommend finishing the seams in some way – such as cutting the raw edges with pinking shears or using a zigzag stitch at the edge of the seam. Quilting cotton will fray like crazy and looks messy after being washed if it’s not finished in some way. Since we’re hoping our kids love and play with this dress, having the option to wash it may be helpful.

Once you’re done, you’ll have a plain, simple dress ready for that trip to Prince Edward Island! Check back in tomorrow and we’ll add the pinafore!




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