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About the designer

Elizabeth Atwater Menes ("Pearl") is a fiction writer and historian with a background in costume design. Elizabeth has created costumes for theatrical and Hollywood film productions, and she lives on ...

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L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits

from Lee & Pearl
(9) Name: 'Sewing : L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits
L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit
L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit
L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit
L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit
L&P 1058 - 18' Doll Retro Swimsuits Pattern #1058: Retro Ruffled Swimsuit

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • The High Waisted Bikini is rated EASY, especially if you follow our two-step fold over elastic application method.
  • The Retro Ruffled Swimsuit (and ruffled version of the Bikini) are rated INTERMEDIATE for curved seams on slippery fabrics and serger-produced rolled hems.
  • Though you might be able to complete these garments on some standard machines with "stretch stitch" functions, we strongly recommend using a serger for the seams in both garments that will be under tension in the finished product, such as the side, curved back and crotch seams.

Pattern Description:

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 slightly scooped neckline in front and a waist-slimming low neckline in back, complemented by a fetching double ruffle, sewn into a curved seam that echoes the low back curve. We recommend finishing the ruffles with serger-made rolled hems (sometimes called "lettuce hems") for extra fluffy swirl!

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 of two versions: a super-chic plain version that looks great with graphical prints or flowers and a super-sweet ruffled version that, frankly, looks great with everything.

Both swimsuits feature sturdy fold over elastic edges for an added pop of color or graphical interest. 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.


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In 2016, that's Pattern #1035: Ola Brasil! Samba Top, Bahia Dress, Baiana Headwrap and Jewelry Tutorials for 18" Dolls a collection of Brazilian-themed patterns, inspired by American Girl GOTY Lea Clark, and also by past and present Brazilian fashions, Brazilian music, and the Afro-Brazilian traditions of Bahia, Brazil.


This pattern will be delivered as an instant download. After purchasing, you will receive a link to a PDF copy of the file. No paper copy will be mailed.

This pattern may be printed solely by the original purchaser. It may not be duplicated, redistributed, posted or resold without prior authorization from Lee & Pearl. If you use this pattern to make items to sell yourself, we ask that you give Lee & Pearl design credit in the description of those items. Thank you!

Lee & Pearl is not affiliated with Mattel, American Girl or any other company or organization.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • Please be aware that 18 inch dolls can vary significantly in their measurements. These patterns were developed on a Mattel-era American Girl doll, and will fit differently on different dolls.


  • Swimsuit fabric or other 4-way stretch fabric: For the Retro Ruffled Swimsuit or High Waisted Bikini with ruffles you will need 1/4 yard. For the High Waisted Bikini without ruffles you will need 1/8 yard.
  • Fold over elastic (either 5/8" or 3/4" works best): for the Retro Ruffled Swimsuit you will need 1 yard. For the High Waisted Bikini (with or without ruffles) you will need 2 yards.
  • Matching thread
  • In addition to regular thread, we strongly recommend a cone of "woolly nylon" thread in either a matching or contrasting color, to use in your serger as the upper looper thread for the rolled hem on the skirt.
  • NOTE: 4-way stretch fabrics, which typically include Lycra, spandex or elastane, stretch not only from side to side, but also lengthwise. Test any fabric before you buy it by stretching one corner: to be a 4-way stretch, the fabric must stretch both vertically and horizontally.

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