This hat is a strip of velvet knit, folded in half (right sides together) so that the fabric becomes a thinner strip with the ends cut diagonally. I stitched the fabric together on the long edge, leaving an opening in the center, large enough to turn the strip right-side out. I folded this thick velvet strip into four pleats and tacked the pleats together. I gathered a piece of netting down the middle and tacked it onto the velvet. I added a flower, and voila! I attached the hat to the doll's head with a hat pin.
When I make a new outfit, I try it on all my dolls to see which one looks the best. Any black in the fabric looks best with black hair--or blonde hair. Not brown. I have plenty of beautiful shades of browns and tans for my brown-haired dolls.
Here's a full shot of the dress, Simplicity 4654. This dress was supposed to be a holiday dress. I'd planned to add a beautiful black sash and bow, but the bodice is far too loose at the seam line under the chest.
Setting in a woman's or child's sleeve is easy. You put a row of basting stitch on the stitch line and ease the sleeve fullness into the bodice without making an ugly tuck in the sleeve. With doll sleeves, it's easy to make an unwanted tuck in the under-arm area of the bodice. I notice that most of the sleeves of the eight-inch Madame Alexander costumes are very full and gathered. These full sleeves are probably easier to sew.
Any suggestion for perfecting the setting in of doll clothes sleeves would be appreciated.