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 medieval maiden.
With Pattern #3001, Lee & Pearl have taken a long-awaited step into the world of thoroughly researched, historically accurate and also entirely accessible, flexible and customizable costume patterns for 18" dolls. With this pattern, your doll can truly step into the world of the 14th and 15th centuries — a turbulent period of great beauty and great tragedy that spanned the crucial century and a half between the waning of the feudal period and the birth of the Renaissance.
One of the most important clothing innovations in history appeared in Europe sometime around 1330: the set-in sleeve. This development allowed garments to fit the torso like never before. 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.
The gown we have re-created here for 18" 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 armscye perfectly to the doll's arm joint, and the sleeve perfectly into the armscye for a truly historical look.
This pattern also includes a half-circle, lined MANTLE — a ceremonial cloak seen in many period illustrations and sculptures — and a sleeveless medieval SHIFT (undergarment), based on the simple shifts seen in a 14th century Bohemian Bible. We have also included suggestions for making medieval GIRDLES (belts), and ideas for creating your own FANTASY kirtles.
Along with the patterns and detailed, photo-illustrated directions, Lee & Pearl #3001 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.
This pattern has been a labor of love for us, and we hope you enjoy making outfits from it as much as we enjoyed making it!
Since launching our Etsy shop with a single 18" doll pattern in July of 2013, Lee & Pearl have built a reputation for quality patterns that sew easily and fit perfectly. You will never find a mis-matched curve in a Lee & Pearl pattern! But along with those reliable pieces, clear directions and carefully drafted measurements, Lee & Pearl are proud of our reputation for making patterns for doll clothes — clothes that anyone can make — that look just like the real thing.
Whether it's a perfectly-detailed, but still easy to make baseball cap, or a mesh trucker hat, or a skating dress with a skirt carefully drafted to hang just like the real ones, or a slinky wrap dress indistinguishable from a '70s original, or a unisex t-shirt that manages to be both unfitted and fitted enough to slip under jackets, or a replica U.S. Army uniform that has to be seen — and made — to be believed, or... we could go on and on.
And don't get us started on our hat patterns. Lee & Pearl designer, Elizabeth Atwater Menes, studied millinery at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Perfectly made hat patterns will always be a Lee & Pearl specialty.
Please visit our Lee & Pearl Pattern Images Pinterest board to enjoy the full Lee & Pearl experience. And of course, visit our Etsy shop to make your own wonderful outfits using our patterns. Once you've done that, please send us pictures. We would be honored to host them on our Made With Lee & Pearl Patterns Pinterest board.
We love it when people take our patterns beyond the outfit on the cover. In fact, we often do that ourselves. In each of our newsletters, we offer an idea we've had for using bits and pieces of our patterns to create new items and outfits.
Some of these Tweak the Pattern features involve new pattern pieces, while others are suggestions for using unexpected materials or trims.
Here are a few of our recent pattern tweaks:
Use the FREE Tweak the Pattern skirt pieces to turn popular Pattern #1055: Skating Dresses for 18" Dolls into a whole range of red carpet, recital, Ice Princess and bridal gowns.
Here's a swimsuit Tweak of FREE Pattern #1051: Ballet Basics for 18" Dolls (our gift when you join our mailing list) — and here's an easy felt beanie tweak of Pattern #1008: Classic Ball Cap and Big Fat Trucker Hat for 18" Dolls.
And here's one of our favorites: a superhero (or supervillain!) tweak of Pattern #1055 that includes pattern pieces for comic-book style capes and crowns.
Don't worry if you missed any of these tweaks: all newsletter content, including the FREE Tweak the Pattern downloads, are available in our Newsletter Archive.