Empire Ballgown for the Gene Doll

Sunday’s Someday Projects: Empire Ballgown for the Gene Doll

I recently fell in love with and purchased an evening gown for the 15.5” Gene Marshall doll. It’s a textured copper chiffon with an empire-waist bodice and a princess-seamed skirt with inserted godets that make the skirt very full. The bodice is sequined and beaded and each of the godets has a cluster of sequins and beads at each corner. The outfit came with a matching petticoat, shawl, shoes, and jewelry.


“Dance With Me” Ensemble for Gene Marshall

When I found a lovely copper-colored satin at Fabric.com, I decided to make a similar gown. The fabric is extremely lightweight, perfect for a doll-sized ballgown. I located matching tulle and a tan lining fabric, as well as copper seed beads and that was that. (Note: In the photo below, the satin looks tomato red. In person, it’s a shimmering spice-orange, almost the same color as the tulle. I’ve no idea why the color changed so drastically in the picture.)



I don’t want an exact replica, so my gown will be inspired by the one I purchased, but not identical. It will have an empire-waist and princess-seams, but not the inserted godets. The bodice will be beaded, but not sequined, and the straps will be a different configuration. It will not have a chiffon overlay, but will be plain satin. The shawl will be of tulle edged with copper bugle beads, and I’m considering the idea of making a tiny evening bag to match. Shoes will be tricky. I’m not sure whether I should try and find some that match, or if I’ll simply borrow the shoes from the other outfit.

I love the materials I found for this project. The color is vibrant and lovely, the lining coordinates nicely, and I even have a dark orange ribbon that will look pretty on the petticoat. I’m excited about this one and can’t wait to get it done!

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
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