We're off to the beach with this pair of vintage-inspired swimsuits from Lee & Pearl!
Our Retro Ruffled Swimsuit channels the feminine '50s with a scooped neckline in front and a waist-slimming low neckline in back, complemented by a fetching double ruffle.
Or perhaps your dolls want to grab their longboards and join Frankie and Annette in the beach party-mad '60s? Our High Waisted Bikini delivers mod '60s style in either a super-chic plain version or a super-sweet ruffled version.
Both swimsuits feature sturdy fold over elastic edges, and our photo-illustrated directions will guide you through an easy two-step method to apply the elastic. Once you've tried our method, you may never go back to plain old inserted elastic.
The High Waisted Bikini is rated EASY and the Retro Ruffled Swimsuit (and ruffled version of the Bikini) are rated INTERMEDIATE for curved seams on slippery fabrics and serger-produced rolled hems.
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.
In 2014, Lee & Pearl debuted a new product line: Fabric and Trim Kits! We know that many of our customers do not have access to the variety of fabric and trim we are fortunate to have here in the Los Angeles Fashion District. We try to make our sample outfits using materials from the chain stores or up-cycled garments from thrift stores, but with some patterns, that's not an option. We put together our first fabric kit to help our customers make the wildly popular Ice Princess tweak of our Pattern #1055: Skating Dresses for 18" Dolls.
When the first set of Ice Princess fabric kits sold out in an hour, and the second set in less than 24 hours, we knew we had to make more kits! We've put together a more reliable source for the Ice Princess fabrics, and we've combed the garment district for fun, coordinating swimsuit fabric and fold over elastic trim to go with our Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit and High Waisted Bikini for 18" Dolls and our June 2014 Swimsuit tweak.
Our next kit is currently in development and we have plans for many more. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be among the first to hear about new kit launches (before they sell out!)
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.