With this collection of male wardrobe essentials your 18 inch dolls — both custom boys and adventuresome girls — can explore the wonderful world of the 1700s. From the first appearance of Cinderella's pumpkin carriage in the tales of Charles Perrault at the turn of the century, through the explorers, adventurers and pirates of the early eighteenth century, the historical milestones of Colonial and Revolutionary America, the glittering courts of Europe, and even the country squires and eligible bachelors from the earliest works of Jane Austen, a wealth of imaginative exploration will be open to you and your dolls!
Our perfectly-scaled man's SHIRT follows a formula of rectangle-cut and gusseted garments that dates back even before 1700. Modeled after extant garments and featuring a high collar, wide gathered sleeves, a faced front opening with a hook-and-eye or button-and-loop closure and a full-length back opening for easy play access, our shirt is period accurate for the entire 18th century, and on into the first decades of the 19th century. Blackbeard would have worn such a shirt, as would female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. George Washington would have worn such a shirt while surveying the American wilderness in the 1740s — and while leading the Revolutionary forces in the 1770s and 80s. The Kings of France would have worn such shirts, as would the revolutionaries who toppled them. Even Jane Austen's fictional Mr. Darcy would have worn such a shirt. As an added bonus, we've included directions for the perfect 18th century shirt accessory — an easy and historically accurate LACE CRAVAT.
Our BREECHES pattern is based on examples from the first half of the 18th century, a style slimmed down from the flowing pantaloons of the 17th century, but not quite as body-consciously slender as the breeches of the later 18th century. True to this earlier period, our breeches feature a working front fly closure with a single row of decorative buttons. These breeches are especially good for Golden Age of Piracy (1716–1726) impressions, as well as Pre-Revolutionary America, Baroque Europe,1740s Scotland for all your 18-inch Outlander fans — and even our perfect Dread Pirate Roberts cosplay, detailed in our Halloween Newsletter!
This pattern includes period-accurate extra fullness and gathers in the breeches back, as well as the Lee & Pearl™ "No Crack Back" curved waistband for an excellent, active fit. Your doll should have no trouble striding, leaping and galloping in our breeches, while keeping a relatively sleek and elegant profile behind — the better to set off one of our favorite features of this style: a back vent with gusseted insert and waistband lacing. This historical feature allowed 18th century men to wear their pants without belts — and gives modern doll owners wonderful flexibility to fit the same garment on both older and newer American Girl™ dolls, as well as a range of other 18" dolls.
Last but not least, we made our 18th century canvas WORK PANTS using the same front fly closure, relaxed rear fit, curved waistband and laced back vent as our breeches. With a wide, straight leg ending just above the ankle, our version is a perfect match to the pants shown on infamous female pirate Anne Bonny in the pages of Captain Johnson's 1724 epic, A General History of the Pyrates. For anyone interested in 18" doll pirate impressions, these be the pants you are looking for!
This pattern is rated for INTERMEDIATE sewists. Though none of the steps are difficult, the gusset insertions require attention to detail, and some limited hand stitching is recommended. As usual, Lee & Pearl's photo-illustrated directions and computer-drafted, guaranteed-to-fit-together pattern pieces make each step as easy as possible.
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.
In 2014, we added a Fabric & Trim Kit section to our Etsy shop, to share some of the wonderful, hard-to-find fabrics and materials we are lucky to be able to source here in the Los Angeles garment district. Check our selection regularly for new additions before they sell out — or scroll down and subscribe to our mailing list to hear about new kits as soon as they launch!
We LOVE doll craft tutorials. We love to watch them, read them and most of all, we love to make them.
We also link to our own, and other favorite tutorials from crafters around the Internet, on our Pinterest Crafts & Tutorials Board.
One of our most popular tutorial features is the FREE "Tweak the Pattern" we often feature in our monthly newsletters.
We love it when people take our patterns beyond the outfit on the cover. In fact, we often do that ourselves. And when we do, we love to put those ideas into free pattern or tutorial form for our Newsletter subscribers.
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 Pattern #1051: Ballet Basics for 18" Dolls — and here's an easy felt beanie tweak of Pattern #1008: Classic Ball Cap and Big Fat Trucker Hat for 18" Dolls.
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.