May 2014

Monthly Message from Lee & Pearl

Hello again, friends!

May has been a great month for Lee & Pearl. We started off with a fun new pattern release: Lee & Pearl Pattern #1031: Classic Wrap Dress and Peplum Top for 18" Dolls. This wrap style works equally well for modish modern girls or vintage cuties, and offers tons of flexibility with three hem lengths — including a cute peplum top length — two sleeves and an optional wide collar. We love this pattern and we're thrilled that so many of you love it as well!

Though the iconic 1970s wrap dress on which we modeled our pattern was offered in nothing but stretch jersey, we wanted ours to work in everyday woven fabrics as well. After a few modifications to the armscye and cap sleeve, we came up with a formula that worked! Here's a row of our 18" models wearing cute peplum tops made from our stash of quilting cottons:

Best of all, this pattern requires NO special notions. No buttons, no snaps, no eyelets, no elastic, no Velcro, no zippers, nothing. Just fabric and thread. And no special notions means no tricky fastenings to get caught in dolly hair. Just like the original, our pattern offers wrap-and-go style!

Speaking of the original... we took a day off during the development of this pattern to visit the Diane von Furstenberg "Journey of a Dress" Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Art Museum.


We had no idea how many variations on a simple pattern were possible. We look forward to "tweaking" this pattern in the future! Possibly many times.

The exhibit has now closed, alas. If the DVF company decides to tour it — don't miss it!


May also saw the launch of a new Lee & Pearl product line: fabric kits!

Many of you asked us where we found the fabrics we used in the "Elsa from Frozen" dress that we featured in our April 2014 newsletter. As we found those fabrics at a downtown Los Angeles garment district jobber, we couldn't recommend a reliable online source. So we decided to become an online source. We got that jobber to scour his warehouse for more fabric so we could make kits to sell on Etsy — and then for EVEN MORE fabric when the first set of kits sold out faster than we could have imagined.

Both runs of the kits are currently sold out. But don't worry, we are talking to suppliers about getting those Elsa fabrics — and other hard-to-find fabrics — on a regular basis! We understand that it is hard to find just the right fabric when you are relying on local fabric stores with limited selections, or large online retailers with unreliable photos, yardage requirements and pricy shipping. If there are particular fabric kits, or styles of fabric or supplies that you would like to see us carry, please let us know at We are very excited about this new product line, and we hope you are as well!

All this activity has left us needing a day off. Tomorrow, "Pearl" will be visiting Disneyland for the "Rock Your Disney Side" 24-hour event. We're not sure how long Pearl will last, but it's a costume party, so we couldn't say no!

Speaking of costumes...


If you're new to our mailing list, we'd like to introduce something we call Tweak the Pattern. 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 one of our patterns to create new items and outfits. Some of these Tweak the Pattern features will involve actual new pattern pieces, while others will be suggestions for using unexpected materials or trims. If you have any ideas you'd like to see explored in future newsletters, we'd love to hear about them! Please let us know at

Tweak the Pattern: Fun with Beanies!

This month, we explored using a cut-down version of the baseball cap crown section from Pattern #1008: Classic Ball Cap and Big Fat Trucker Hat for 18" Dolls to make a nifty beanie.

Cut out of felt and lightly interfaced, these beanies are super easy to put together. Try a beanie in one color, or go for a cute vintage look with alternating school colors. Here doll model Jack rocks a geek chic version with a tiny propeller stuck through the top and held in place with a pair of snug-fitting wood beads. (Our propeller is a Fantastic Fingertip Flier Flarble, available online and at select toy stores, but why not try the propeller off an outgrown plastic toy instead?)

The best part about a beanie, though, is that they make the cutest little costume bases! We've started you off with bonus patterns for two Spring favorites: the Beanie Kitty and the Beanie Bunny.

The easy felt construction also means these beanies are easy to decorate. We've used paper flowers and glued-on felt cut-outs and we're looking forward to trying ribbons, bows, iron-ons, glitter and embroidery as well!

And of course, because this is a Lee & Pearl pattern, we've also included photo-illustrated, step-by-step directions to make construction as easy as possible!

Click here to download the FREE Fun with Beanies! Tweak-the-Pattern package.

NOTE: You need to purchase Lee & Pearl Pattern #1008 to get the crown piece for this tweak.

Our download management system may ask for your email address. If you're already on our mailing list, use the same address that you signed up with.

Thank you! See you next month...

back to the Newsletter Archive