There are of course many ways to finish edges on doll clothes and I have tried them all. I was looking for a way to finish necks and armholes on sleeveless tops and dresses and I normally make a simple facing for the neck, but facings do not work too well on armhole edges.
Many commercial doll clothes patterns tell you to simply clip and turn the edges down and then top stitch them, but what if you do not want topstitching on your garment? Plus it is really tricky to get a neat professional looking edge this way--and then there's fraying.
Full photo tutorial after the jump
Lining the garment is probably the best way to get a neat look, but often lining with the same fabric as the garment will end up too bulky.
Facings are great for neck edges, but when using garment fabric sometimes it will show through the finished project-particularly if you are using light colors or light weight fabric--plus as I mentioned above not ideal for armholes as, in my experience, it has a tendency to poke out the armhole of the finished dress sometimes.
Here is an old photo of a dress I made years ago. You can see the neck facing (same fabric as top) right through the top! Bad choice of fabric, but a good example of what I am talking about--even with a facing this thin, it shows through!
This tutorial combines a sort of lining and facing technique using tulle, which is ideal because it is cheap, does not fray and does not add bulk to tiny doll clothes. In this tutorial instead of cutting out pieces of tulle and sewing a duplicate garment for the lining (and chasing bits of tulle around my sewing table), I just used a single rectangle of tulle and trimmed it afterwards.
For me, coming up with this easier technique this was a hard won "Aha moment" so I wanted to share because this was always the thing--finishing neck and armholes--that doll patterns simply do not address and I could never find information on.
One of these is organza, that works too. Chose a color that matches, use white or neutrals or just pick a signature color for your linings, it will not show to the front.
You are done, simply catch the tulle up in the back closure seams as best you can and trim of any big excesses of tulle.
Close ups, finished dresses
If you have any questions about the tutorial, please feel free to email me or comment here.