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L&P 3001: Medieval Lady's Wardrobe Sewing Pattern for 16 inch A Girl for All Time dolls | historical doll kirtle gown mantle cloak shift



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Wearing her SHIFT and laced snugly into her fully-lined KIRTLE, with her gore-enhanced skirts swirling romantically about her and her MANTLE hanging elegantly from her shoulders, your doll will be the perfect picture of a Late Medieval maiden.

This pattern is designed to fit slim vinyl 16" A Girl for All Time® dolls, with average chest measurements of 8 3/8", average waist measurements of 7 1/8" and average hip measurements of 9".

This pattern is also available in 18" American Girl® doll size at https://www.etsy.com/listing/210801214/lp-pattern-3001-a-late-medieval-ladys


One of the most important clothing innovations in history appeared in Europe sometime around 1330: the set-in sleeve. This development, which allowed garments to fit the torso like never before, launched an era of glorious, body-conscious fashion. The resulting woman's dress, known as a KIRTLE (and also as a gown or cotehardie — and in today's re-enactment circles as a Gothic Fitted Dress) was graceful and flattering, with a wide neckline, a tight bodice typically laced or buttoned in front, tight sleeves often buttoned from the wrist to above the elbow, and a very wide skirt flaring from the hips with side, front and back gores.

From the kirtle's many appearances in the beautiful illuminated manuscripts of the period — and its continued popularity with 19th century Pre-Raphaelites, early 20th century fairy tale illustrators and 20th and 21st century medieval and fantasy costume designers — this is the garment we recognize today as being THE medieval dress. And it was: the kirtle remained the basic female garment for almost one hundred and fifty years.

The gown we have re-created here for 16" A Girl for All Time dolls follows our best current knowledge of how the medieval kirtle was made. Our pattern was draped on the doll itself and not cut from a sloper, for the closest-possible fit. We worked especially hard to fit the dolls' gracefully curved lower back and long, poseable arms.

This pattern also includes a half-circle, lined MANTLE — a ceremonial cloak seen in many period illustrations and sculptures. The mantle has a wide neck curve that mirrors the neckline curve of the kirtle as it wraps around the shoulders. The square edges of the cloak land in the hollows on either side of the chest, ideally placed to set off dramatic, metal brooch-like bosses that hold the cords: re-created perfectly at doll-scale using easily-available decorative shank buttons.

Finally, this pattern includes a sleeveless medieval SHIFT (undergarment), based on the simple shifts seen in a 14th century Bohemian Bible, as well as suggestions for making medieval GIRDLES (belts), and also ideas for creating your own fantasy kirtles.

Along with the patterns and detailed, photo-illustrated directions, the pattern document features an eleven page historical introduction, with sections on the era, the garments, the construction techniques, the fabrics, the colors, the patterns, the embellishments and the people, all illustrated with beautiful, period images and backed by a complete bibliography, with links to online inspirational sources — and our very own Late Medieval Inspirations Pinterest board at www.pinterest.com/leeandpearl.


We have rated this pattern EASY/INTERMEDIATE. The pattern pieces for all three garments are simple shapes that fit together with straight or mildly curved seams. Though the pattern includes detailed, photo-illustrated directions for historical handwork and couture-style techniques like hand-bound eyelets, hand understitching, spiral lacing and French tacks, the garments can also be made using simpler modern or machine techniques. We have even included a suggestion page of further short-cuts (such as making the garment with knit fabric and eliminating the gores) to make construction as easy as possible.



1/2 yd (60" w/o nap) or 2/3 yd (45" w/o nap) light to medium-weight woven fabric for the dress

1/2 yd (60" w/o nap) or 2/3 yd (45" w/o nap) lightweight woven fabric for the lining

Scrap medium-weight fusible interfacing

3/4" wide hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro™) for the sleeve openings

Beads to use as faux buttons for the sleeve openings

Lightweight cord for lacing

Matching thread, including sturdy thread or embroidery floss if hand-sewing eyelets

OPTIONAL 1/8" eyelets and eyelet setting tool


1/2 yd light to medium weight woven fabric for the mantle (or 1 yd of fabric with a vertical nap or pattern)

1/2 yd lightweight woven fabric for the lining

Scrap medium-weight fusible interfacing

Matching thread, including sturdy thread or embroidery floss for hand-sewing eyelets

2 metal, plastic or tooled leather shank buttons for bosses

30" cord

1 wooden or metal bead slider with a hole wide enough to fit snugly around a doubled width of the cord

OPTIONAL to fasten the mantle with a ribbon bow instead of the bosses and cord: 1 yard 3/8" to a/4" ribbon or tape


1/3 yd lightweight woven fabric

Matching thread

14" of thin cord or 1/8" tape or ribbon


1 yd 3/8" to 5/8" jacquard ribbon (see the pattern for further belt suggestions)


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This pattern will be delivered as an instant download. After purchasing, you will receive a link to a PDF copy of the file, which includes the pattern pieces on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets.

No paper copy will be mailed.

This pattern may be printed solely by the original purchaser. It may not be duplicated, redistributed, posted or resold without prior authorization from Lee & Pearl™. If you use this pattern to make items to sell yourself, we ask that you give Lee & Pearl™ design credit in the description of those items. Thank you!

Lee & Pearl™ is not affiliated with Mattel, American Girl®, A Girl for All Time®, Daughters of History or any other company or organization.

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3,110 reviews

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5 out of 5 stars

I loved this pattern in the 18-inch size and just reading through this one for new tips and information made it worthwhile but I have my first AGAT girl doll on the way (I have the boy) and can't wait to dress her.

plbrandon11 Dec 1, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

I fell in love with this design the first time I saw it but I collect A Girl For All Time 16" dolls and the pattern was only available for American Girl 18" dolls. Finally it's in the slimmer size! Just beautiful! Excellent instructions and a history of the time period and garment. I am so happy to be able to get the pattern!

TheHollows Dec 6, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

I have this pattern in the 18” doll size. I was thrilled to find it now comes in a 16” doll size for AGAT and Sasha.

Judy Noonon Dec 17, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

Love this patterns for a Kirtle and cape for my AGAT doll Thank you!

Cynthia Abel Dec 4, 2021

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