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L&P 1038: The Gift Bow Front Dress Pattern for 18 Inch American Girl Dolls, 16 Inch A Girl for All Time and 14 1/2 Inch WellieWishers Doll



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  • Digital file type(s): 1 PDF


This pattern is also available as separate listings for the 18 inch doll size, the 16 inch doll size and the 14 1/2 inch doll size:

For the 18 INCH ONLY, CLICK HERE: https://www.etsy.com/listing/978314712/lp-1038-the-gift-bow-front-dress-pattern

For the 16 INCH ONLY, CLICK HERE: https://www.etsy.com/listing/992325319/lp-1038-the-gift-bow-front-dress-pattern

For the 14 1/2 INCH ONLY, CLICK HERE: https://www.etsy.com/listing/992334687/lp-1038-the-gift-bow-front-dress-pattern


While scouting the fashion pages and runway reports for doll dress pattern inspirations, pattern designer "Pearl" was struck by one of the prettiest trends we've seen in a long time — trims that are built into the garment, and often made out of the same fabrics. Think of all those self-fabric ruffles and gathers, pleats and integrated bows — an organic kind of ornamentation, that allows over-the-top frills while still retaining the elegant restraint of a vintage gown.

All those beautiful pleats, ruffles and bows made "Pearl" think of another of her favorite design inspirations: the Japanese craft and design books she has collected for years. Nobody does beautifully cut and structured fabric embellishments like the inventors of origami.

In those design books, there is one dress in particular that Pearl has wanted to re-imagine as doll fashion since she first saw it — an easy-to-sew tunic dress with a draped front panel in the shape of a bow. Pattern 1038: The Gift Bow Front Dress is Pearl's loving interpretation of that cleverly constructed, softly feminine Japanese design.

To further emulate the look of a ribbon bow, Pearl designed nested inverted pleats which hang gracefully from the bow "knot" in front. She also added rows of tailored pleats in back, stitched neatly down from a square neckline to maintain the high-waisted look, while hiding the easy Velcro™ closure.

Best of all, Pearl designed this dress in three perfect sizes, to be made from a single quarter yard or fat quarter of woven fabric.

Make your dress from a single piece of cotton, linen or silk — or mix and match those fun piles of fat quarters to make a two-tone dress with contrasting bow front and sleeves. A dress designed around the use of pretty fabrics should allow you to use a wide variety of pretty fabrics!


The Gift Bow Front Dress is rated EASY/INTERMEDIATE for careful pleating and topstitching, and a few hand basting stitches and tacks.

As always, Lee & Pearl's photo-illustrated directions and computer-drafted, guaranteed-to-fit-together pattern pieces make each step in this pattern as easy as possible.



1/4 yard or one 18" x 21" fat quarter of light- to medium-weight woven fabric such as quilting cotton, cotton shirting, silk or lightweight linen blends

OPTIONAL light- to medium-weight woven fabric for contrasting or coordinating bow front,
sleeves and facings:

for 18" dolls — 1/4 yard or 7" high x 26" long piece
for 16" dolls — 1/4 yard or 6" high x 22" long piece
for 14 1/2" dolls — 1/4 yard or 5" high x 20" long piece

1/4 yard 1/4" elastic

Hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro™)

Matching thread


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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 the PDF file. No paper copies 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® or any other company or organization.

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2,792 shop reviews

5 out of 5 stars

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Multiple people gave 5-star reviews to this shop in the past 7 days.


Stephanie Dec 21, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

I have so many patterns from Lee and Pearl and each one is so well done. This one in particular has multiple sizes of this sweet dress design and I look forward to sewing many soon. Thanks so much again, Lee and Pearl. Love your shop.

Purchased item:

Riley Apr 22, 2022

5 out of 5 stars

These are my favorite masks I've ever bought! A little pricey, but very worth it. First of all, they are incredibly well-made, the quality and craftsmanship is excellent. Secondly, the no-gap strap feature is super clever and works quite well. I will say that it doesn't completely eliminate my glasses fogging up, but it DRASTICALLY reduces it. These masks are also very comfortable, have good coverage and fit well. Plus, they are beautiful! I also appreciate the around-the-head style straps instead of ear loops (masks with ear loops cause my glasses to fall off my face.) Literally the only thing I don't like is that tying the fabric ties every time I put the mask on is a little tedious...but I think that the straps are fabric ties instead of elastic to get the right tension required for the no-gap strap to work, which makes sense

Purchased item:

Diana Apr 2, 2022

5 out of 5 stars

Directions with included photos are easy to follow. Slippers are also easy to slip on and off which is extremely nice for a 7 yr old.

Purchased item:

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