December 2014

Monthly Message from Lee & Pearl

We know everyone is in a mad sewing and crafting dash, getting ready for the holidays — making this both the most crazy time of the year and the BEST — so we'll dive right in without further ado:

First up, we have an important announcement. Starting in 2015, we will be replacing our current FREE pattern for mailing list subscribers, #1051: Ballet Basics for 18" Dolls, with a NEW free pattern, themed to the 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas®. If you are already subscribed to this newsletter and already have Pattern #1051, you do not have to do anything. In 2015, we will send you the NEW pattern with our thanks! But if you know anyone who'd enjoy Ballet Basics, but hasn't signed up yet, please tell them to hurry up and sign up at before the year ends to make sure they receive both patterns!

Both "Lee" and "Pearl" have had a busy month since our last Newsletter. We've released two patterns, each one containing a design we've wanted to re-create at 18" doll scale for a long time, making this a satisfying month as well as a busy one.

Our Pattern #3001: A Late Medieval Lady's Wardrobe for 18" Dolls was a labor of love for the two of us, fans of the medieval era — and especially medieval dress-up — since... well, honestly, since childhood. We hope that you enjoy this pattern as much as we enjoyed designing it, researching the included historical information, and outfitting our dolls in the garb of our childhood fantasies.

Our next pattern, #1022: Cookie Time Apron, Pinafore and Oven Mitt for 18" Dolls was inspired by a pinafore from the movie Jane Eyre that we saw in a 2012 exhibit of Academy-Award nominated costumes. The pinafore featured a graceful slash-and-gather shoulder ruffle instead of the more usual — and stiff — inserted ruffle. Back in 2012, we thought that softer ruffle would look great on a doll. Now in 2014, we know that it does! This pattern also features an easy-to-customize bibbed apron version and the cutest little oven mitt.


This morning brings another big announcement: the debut of lots of new Fabric & Trim Kits!

When we first started making doll gowns and performance dresses that used flesh-toned stretch mesh to create a "strapless" look (like the ones above made from our popular Pattern #1055: Skating Dresses for 18" Dolls, and the equally popular April 2014 Ice Princess gown tweak of that pattern) we had a hard time finding mesh in "skin tones" that truly represented the variety of light, medium and dark vinyl and fabric found in American Girl® dolls.

Luckily, the Lee & Pearl workroom is in Los Angeles — the design and manufacturing home of the American sportswear industry — so we were able to access a wide range of professional quality fabrics and fabric sellers. Armed with swatches (and some actual doll arms) we found high quality stretch mesh in three perfect colors, which we have accessorized with matching skinny elastic and packaged into a wide variety of kits — enough to fulfill EVERY doll's dreams of evening, Red Carpet, prom, bridal or fantasy princess "strapless" gowns or dance/skating costumes.

While we were searching, we came across a selection of glorious jewel-toned performance-quality stretch velvets, perfect for those gowns or costumes, so we loaded up the car, brought them home and packaged them up into kits as well!

To browse all our new kits, visit the Fabric & Trim Kits section of our Etsy store.

Finally, we have one more big announcement, squeaking in right before the holidays: today at 12 PM EST (9 AM PST) we will launch our FIRST ANNUAL SAMPLE SALE in our Etsy store. Click on the 2014 Sample Sale shop section on the left hand side of our store page to see what we have listed.

We will be listing many items over the next few weeks, some early versions of pattern garments and some final versions, including many that you'll recognize from our promotional shots. We'll also be selling a variety of outfits that we made using other people's patterns, because — hey, we're doll fans, too!

We'll debut new items in the Sample Sale section every day at 12 PM EST (9 AM PST) today, tomorrow and Wednesday (December 15th to 17th), then we'll take a short break and begin posting again after Christmas. Visit often as items will be priced to SELL. We have big plans for 2015 and need to clear out the workroom storage bins!

Tweak the Pattern: Holiday Stocking for 18" Dolls

This month, we're doing something a little different. Our Holiday Stocking Tweak was inspired by a technique we used in our new Pattern #1022: Cookie Time Apron, Pinafore and Oven Mitt for 18" Dolls. 'Tis the season for sharing with friends, and we want to share this great technique with you. So we've included the pattern and the complete, photo-illustrated directions to make these adorable stockings in the tweak package, with our best wishes for the season! You do not need to purchase Pattern #1022 to make these stockings — though we think you'll want to when you see how easy the oven mitt technique is!

We are sure your stockings will be absolutely adorable, and we'd love to see pictures of them. We'd especially love to share those pictures on our Pinterest Made With Lee & Pearl Patterns board. If that's something you'd like as well, please send your images or links to Thank you!

Download the FREE Holiday Stocking for 18" Dolls Tweak-the-Pattern package here.


See you next month!

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