L&P 1031: Classic Wrap Dress and Peplum Top Pattern for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl — retro style in three easy-to-make lengths

L&P 1031: Classic Wrap Dress and Peplum Top Pattern for 18 inch dolls such as American Girl — retro style in three easy-to-make lengths



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In 1974, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg debuted a line of simple jersey wrap dresses, and a new fashion star was born. The dresses sold in record numbers, and kept on selling, remaining a staple wardrobe item right through to today. Dressy but comfortable, pretty but casual, fashionable but flattering, the wrap dress proved a perfect fit for the ideal modern woman: a confident person with life and career firmly in her own hands!

Lee & Pearl™'s 18" doll version of the iconic wrap dress offers the same combo of vintage style and modern practicality. Our dress features the same cross-over front construction as the original with two pleats for a flattering fit, a waist seam, front facing, moderately flared skirt, fabric ties, an optional wide, flat collar, and your choice of long sleeves, cap sleeves or no sleeves. Our flared skirt can be cut in one of three hem lengths: traditional knee length, free-flowing "maxi" (ankle) length and our favorite: a coordinates-with-everything peplum top length.

Just like the original, our wraps look great in moderately-stretchy jerseys. Also like the original, the simple, clean lines work well with those slightly larger scale prints that you've loved, but set aside as too big for 18" doll garments. Even better, these cute garments don't require jersey at all and can be made with easy-to-sew non-stretch cotton fabrics, like voiles or even quilting cotton. The peplum top version is particularly adorable in pretty cotton prints — and it's stunningly fashionable made out of SILK ORGANZA from our Lee & Pearl fabric kits.

Best of all, none of the variations call for a single tricky snap, button, piece of elastic or hair-snagging Velcro™. All you need is fabric and thread!

As stretch jersey fabric can require more careful handling and pressing, this garment is rated for INTERMEDIATE sewers if made out of stretch fabric. If made out of woven cotton, it is rated EASY/INTERMEDIATE.



1/3 yard* or a "fat quarter" (for the peplum top) or 1/2 yard (for the knee and ankle length dresses) fabric

Matching thread

This pattern can be made using a wide variety of fabrics, either stretch knit or woven. Stretch knits can be made from polyester, nylon, silk, rayon or other fibers. Try stretching the fabric before you buy it: the ideal fabric should have moderate horizontal stretch (from selvage to selvage) and little or no vertical stretch. Though the pattern can be made with fabrics that include a small amount of Lycra/spandex, try to avoid fabric that has significant vertical stretch as that might cause the neckline to gap or sag.

When choosing a woven fabric, consider lightweight muslins or cotton voile for the dress-length versions, while ordinary quilting cotton is a terrific option for the peplum top version as that version can have a somewhat stiffer skirt. NOTE: The long sleeve option requires fabric with horizontal stretch to fit around the doll's hand. It will not work in a woven fabric.

* 1/3 yard will not provide enough fabric to cut the 16" long ties on the straight grain (parallel to the selvage edge) as marked. You will need to cut the ties on the cross-grain (perpendicular to the selvage edge) instead. When using a non-stretch fabric or a fabric with slight horizontal stretch, this is not a problem. If you are using fabric with moderate to considerable horizontal stretch, though, this will make the ties longer and narrower than they should be. In that case, you might want to get 1/2 yard of the fabric instead of 1/3 and cut the ties as marked.

For a really simple version of this garment, cut two 16" pieces of 3/4" ribbon to use as the ties instead of making your own.


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.

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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®, Diane von Furstenberg Studio, L.P., or any other company or organization.


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2,084 reviews 5 out of 5 stars


jml1234567 Jan 2, 2020

5 out of 5 stars

Great pattern! Easy to use, very clear instructions. I used a heavy cotton/knit with a little stretch for the cap sleeve dress, and love how it sewed up. The 1/4 inch seam allowance fit an American Girl doll perfectly.

Purchased item:

Chris Lucas May 7, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Great pattern! Well written and the pattern pieces line up perfectly. Made the dress the same day I bought the pattern and I'm really pleased with how it came out. Used quilting cotton fabric I had in my stash and made the knee length version with capped sleeves. Highly recommend this pattern :)

Purchased item:

Marilyn Chicoine May 18, 2016

5 out of 5 stars

Great pattern. I remember my wrap dress in 1962! OOOOO I just dated myself. Marilyn

Purchased item:

MyEnchantedBella Dec 14, 2014

5 out of 5 stars

Such a unique pattern for a doll! Love it! The instructions are flawless. Being unfamiliar with sewing for dolls, it was if someone was right there with me holding my hand. The patterns is well drafted, all the pieces fit together nicely. You can tell by looking at the pattern and sewing, that it was well thought out by a professional and not just thrown together. These patterns are much better quality than those I have seen at the local fabric store! I have many in my favorites, and look forward to getting my next one.

Purchased item: