Margot Robbie Barbie Trailer-Inspired Babydoll Dress Tutorial

by ModernModiste
9 Materials
6 Hours

I was so inspired by the clothes in the Margot Robbie Barbie trailer that I wanted to make my dream babydoll dress.

I couldn't find a pattern for a babydoll dress that I liked, so I made my own!

I did a trial run of the bodice and then made my pattern from it, so this project is suitable for an intermediate to advanced sewist.

Tools and materials:

  • Lightweight fabric for toile
  • Main fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Paper for pattern
  • 1/2 inch wide elastic
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Dress form (optional)
Bodice toile

1. Bodice toile

Starting at the center front. I pinned my toile on a dress form and trimmed it to the shape I wanted.

I added a side front piece with a dart and cut out the armhole, then shaped the side back.

I pinned the pieces together and tried them against my body. They seemed to line up correctly so I decided not to complete the mock-up but go straight to the main dress.

Pattern for babydoll dress

I traced the pieces on to pattern paper and added the seam allowances.

Pattern for babydoll dress

2. Cut out fabric

Cut out the pieces for the bodice from your pattern.

For the skirt, cut one piece 1.5 - 2 times wider than the bottom edge of the top and another piece 1.5 - 2 times wider than your back. Cut both pieces 19 inches long.

For the sleeves, I used a pattern from a previous project. You can find sleeve patterns easily online, or you can opt to leave them off the project completely!

Cut out the bodice lining. 

Assembling the bodice

3. Assemble the bodice

Sew the front darts and tie the threads together at the point instead of back stitching.

Pin and sew the front side pieces to the center front.

Assembling the bodice

Pin the back pieces to the front sides and try on the bodice. 

Assembling the bodice

I had to make some adjustments as the side seam wasn't aligned correctly.

Sew the side and back pieces together.

Creating ties

4. Ties

Cut a rectangle of fabric 1.5 inches wide and however long you want your tie to be.

Press the long edges towards the center, fold the tie in half and sew it in place.

Sew the tie to the back of the bodice, half an inch from the top edge. 

Repeat for the second tie.

Creating lining

5. Lining

Cut the top pieces from the lining fabric and sew them together as you did for the bodice.

With the right sides together, join the lining to the outer top along both side edges of the back and the top front edge.

Understitch the seams towards the lining.

Adding sleeves

6. Sleeves

Cut a shoulder strap 1.5 times the length you need and 2 inches wide.

Fold it in half lengthways with the wrong sides together and sew just over half an inch from the fold to make the elastic casing.

Cut the elastic to size and feed it through the casing. Sew the ends of the elastic in place.

Adding sleeves

Pin and sew one end of the shoulder strap between the outer and the lining on the back, making sure the raw edge is towards the armhole. 

Sew the other end to the front with wrong sides facing first, then flip it and top stitch it on the right side.

Repeat for the second strap.

Adding sleeves

Sew the sleeve seam and finish the raw edge.

Gather the sleeve head and sew it to the armhole and shoulder strap.

Finish the sleeve with an elasticated hem.

Creating skirt

7. Skirt

Create a casing at the top of the smaller skirt section for the center back and insert the elastic.

Sew the side edges of the center back to the main skirt section.

Creating skirt

Sew two rows of gathering stitches along the top edge of the main skirt piece.

Gather the skirt to fit the bottom edge of the bodice.

Creating skirt

Pin and sew the skirt to the outer layer of the bodice only.

I decided I wanted a second set of ties at the back, so I made those and inserted them into the seam.

Finishing babydoll dress

8. Finishing

Hem the skirt. 

Hand stitch the lining over the raw edges of the gathered skirt.

Margot Robbie Barbie babydoll dress

Margot Robbie Barbie babydoll dress

Margot Robbie Barbie babydoll dress

Margot Robbie Barbie babydoll dress

Now I have my dress, I can’t wait to wear it to the Greta Gerwig Barbie movie!

I really enjoyed making it, even though the babydoll dress pattern was a bit of a challenge. It turned out exactly as I wanted though, so it was totally worth it.

Have you ever drafted a pattern from scratch like this? I’d love to know how you got on, or if there’s a specific project you’d like me to tackle.

Next, check out my post on How to DIY Comfy Gray Cargo Pants.

Suggested materials:
  • Lightweight fabric for toile
  • Main fabric
  • Lining fabric
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Mabel Jacobs Mabel Jacobs on Jun 26, 2023

    this looks to be a comfortable dress of the summer. Great pattern. I like the back out tied with bows. I have drafted patterns for making garments. Great to save pattern and know that it will fit when made again. Thanks for the great work!

  • Jax Jax on Jun 27, 2023

    Looks absolutely lovely on you.Gorgeous dress.