L&P 1943: Molly Waves Goodbye 1940s Suit for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl — Retro Doll Jacket, A-Line Skirt, Slip and Hat / Cap

L&P 1943: Molly Waves Goodbye 1940s Suit for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl — Retro Doll Jacket, A-Line Skirt, Slip and Hat / Cap



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Can it possibly be true — is American Girl™ Molly really coming back out of retirement?

We're so excited! We designed this pattern — inspired by a 1943 vintage doll trousseau pattern — to commemorate Molly's original retirement. We didn't like to think of it as retiring anyway, but rather moving on to bigger and better things, like her first truly stylish, big-girl suit.

Here's an outfit in which Molly can face whatever comes next: our interpretation of that 1943 pattern's post-wedding "waving goodbye" outfit, including a SUIT JACKET with curved front seams, blouson back and lapel facing; an A-LINE SKIRT with waistband, rear closure and inverse front pleat; a FITTED SLIP (or sleeveless DRESS) with French seams and an internal yoke lining; and a close-fitting CAP with tailored bow trim, internal facing and an optional full lining.

What's more, though the pieces in this pattern make a wonderful 1940s ensemble, they can also be split up as vintage-inspired elements in any modern 18 inch girl's wardrobe, as our pictures show.


The skirt and hat are BEGINNER level patterns, while the suit jacket and slip are INTERMEDIATE level. As usual, Lee & Pearl™ have made things as easy as possible. Even a careful beginner should be able to follow our photo-illustrated, step-by-step instructions while using our computer drafted pattern pieces to complete this pattern.

With pattern #1943, you're not just getting four garments, you're getting a sewing class! Key construction techniques taught in this pattern include: curved seams, lapped seams, sleeve cap ease adjustments, continuous placket insertion, internal yoke facing, French seams, darts – and a nifty technique to press and turn perfect square corners every time!

Don't believe it? Here are some comments from our pattern testers:

"This pattern is great! It is a tailoring class in itself. A sewer can improve their skills by doing this pattern. I love that your notches match up! Most patterns don't bother... yours match. The instructions were clear and helpful and I learned a couple of tricks reading them."

"By following the excellent instructions, a beginner could do this one – and the reward for doing this pattern is that the sewist would probably advance to an intermediate sewist. Excellent instructions. In fact, I would market it more as a sewing class than a pattern! And with all of my sewing experience, I learned how to do a couple of new things."



NOTE: Yardages are based on the longest pattern piece for that garment. Though the length is required, you might not need the entire width. If you want to cut more than one garment out of a particular fabric, it is best to lay out all the pattern pieces you need to determine the exact yardage.

1/4 yard light to medium weight woven fabric: cotton twill, calico, velveteen, baby-wale corduroy, linen, wool gabardine or tweed.
OPTIONAL 1/4 yard contrast fabric for facing/lapel revers
2 doll-sized (1/4" to 3/8") buttons
OPTIONAL 2 snaps (if not using buttonholes)
Matching thread

1/3 yard light to medium weight woven fabric (see Suit Jacket)
Hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro™)
Matching thread

1/3 yard very light weight to light weight woven fabric: cotton or silk
6" piece of 1/8" ribbon, or other trim as desired
2 small snaps
Matching thread

1/4 yard light to medium weight woven fabric (see Suit Jacket); also felt or flannel
Scraps lightweight fusible interfacing
OPTIONAL scraps lining
OPTIONAL 1 yard 5/8" ribbon (if NOT making self-fabric tailored bows)


Sign up for our mailing list at www.leeandpearl.com, and you'll receive our newsletter full of free pattern tweaks, tutorials, crafts and printables. PLUS, you'll get the link for our annual members-only FREE PATTERN.

Starting in December 2018, that's Lee & Pearl Pattern 1038: The Gift Bow Front Dress for 18 Inch, 16 Inch and 14 1/2 Inch Dolls.

While scouting the fashion pages and runway reports for inspiration, our pattern designer was struck by one of the prettiest trends we’ve seen in a long time. You’ve probably noticed it too — all those soft ruffles and gathers, interesting pleats and seams, bows and motifs formed out of the fabric of the dress itself. It’s an organic kind of ornamentation, that allows over-the-top frills while still retaining the elegant restraint of a vintage couture gown.

Our Bow Front Dress explores this lovely trend with pleated raglan sleeves, a draped front panel and inverted center front pleats that mimic the look of a tied ribbon bow. Best of all, we designed this dress to be made from a single quarter yard or fat quarter of ordinary woven fabric — a dress designed around the use of pretty fabrics should allow you to use a wide variety of pretty fabrics!

Do not miss out on this pattern — join our mailing list today at www.leeandpearl.com.

Join the Lee & Pearl™ community: like us on Facebook (Lee & Pearl), follow us on Instagram (#leeandpearl), share us on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/leeandpearl) and watch us on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/leeandpearl).

To see our other patterns, visit the PATTERNS section of our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/leeandpearl?section_id=15862176&ref=shopsection_leftnav_1

To see our selection of Fabric & Trim Kits, visit the FABRIC & TRIM KITS section of our Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/leeandpearl?section_id=15860795&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2


This pattern will be delivered as an instant download. After purchasing, you will receive a link to a PDF copy of the file. 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® or any other company.


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2,084 reviews 5 out of 5 stars


chrissiedoll May 2, 2017

5 out of 5 stars

This is another excellent pattern from Lee and Pearl. It looked a little intimidating, but it was not. The jacket came together beautifully. The skirt was simple and the under slip stitched up easily. Best of all - the entire ensemble fits beautifully! This is a wonderful pattern. I'm so happy I made it!

Purchased item:

Wanda Honeywell Nov 10, 2013

5 out of 5 stars

It was so much fun to bring all the pieces together and see the end result of your beautiful design. A good deal of hand stitching was all worth it. Thank you so much as this is a favorite of mine!

Purchased item:

Debra Welch Aug 26, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Love it Well written Thank you

Purchased item:

Barbara Behm Oct 29, 2013

5 out of 5 stars

So cute. You're right. Molly did need a '40's style suit.

Purchased item: