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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 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye

from Lee & Pearl
(9) Name: 'Sewing : L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye
L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye
L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye
L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye
L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye
L&P 1943 - Molly Waves Goodbye

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • The skirt and hat are BEGINNER level patterns, while the suit jacket and slip are INTERMEDIATE level. As usual, Lee & Pearl(tm) have made things as easy as possible. Even a careful beginner should be able to follow our PHOTO ILLUSTRATED, step-by-step instructions while using our COMPUTER DRAFTED pattern pieces to complete this pattern.
  • With pattern #1943, you're not just getting four garments, you're getting a sewing class! Key construction techniques taught in this pattern include: curved seams, lapped seams, sleeve cap ease adjustments, continuous placket insertion, internal yoke facing, French seams, darts - and a nifty technique to press and turn perfect square corners every time!
  • Here are more comments from our pattern testers:
  • "This pattern is great! It is a tailoring class in itself. A sewer can improve their skills by doing this pattern. I love that your notches match up! Most patterns don't bother... yours match. The instructions were clear and helpful and I learned a couple of tricks reading them."
  • "By following the excellent instructions, a beginner could do this one - and the reward for doing this pattern is that the sewist would probably advance to an intermediate sewist. Excellent instructions. In fact, I would market it more as a sewing class than a pattern! And with all of my sewing experience, I learned how to do a couple of new things."

Pattern Description:

"OMG! It's like a sewing lesson ... the construction details in this one are spectacular."

That's what one of our pattern testers had to say about this pattern. And we love it too!

When a member of our design team spotted a 1943 doll trousseau collection in a bin of old patterns, we knew immediately how we were going to commemorate original American Girl Molly's upcoming retirement. We don't like to think of it as retiring anyway, but rather moving on to bigger and better things. 18 inch doll Molly has been stuck wearing 8-11 year old girl outfits since 1986. They're marvelous outfits, sure - but isn't it possible that behind those gray eyes, Miss McIntire has been dreaming of her first truly stylish, big-girl suit?

Here's an outfit in which Molly can face whatever challenge comes next: our interpretation of that 1943 pattern's post-wedding "waving goodbye" outfit, including a suit jacket with curved front seams, blouson back and lapel facing; an A-line skirt with waistband, rear closure and inverse front pleat; a fitted slip with French seams and an internal yoke lining; and a close-fitting hat with tailored bow trim, internal facing and an optional full lining.

What's more, though the four pieces in this pattern make a wonderful 1940s ensemble, they can also be split up as vintage-inspired elements in any modern 18" girl's wardrobe, as our pictures show.


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Sign up for our mailing list at www.leeandpearl.com, and you'll receive our newsletter full of FREE pattern tweaks, tutorials, crafts and printables. PLUS, you'll get the link for our annual FREE MEMBERS ONLY PATTERN.

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.


  • NOTE: Yardages are based on the longest pattern piece for that garment. Though the length is required, you might not need the entire width. If you want to cut more than one garment out of a particular fabric, it is best to lay out all the pattern pieces you need to determine the exact yardage.
  • 1/4 yard light to medium weight woven fabric: cotton twill, calico, velveteen, baby-wale corduroy, linen, wool gabardine or tweed.
  • OPTIONAL 1/4 yard contrast fabric for facing/lapel revers
  • 2 doll-sized (1/4" to 3/8") buttons
  • OPTIONAL 2 snaps (if not using buttonholes)
  • Matching thread
  • 1/3 yard light to medium weight woven fabric (see Suit Jacket)
  • Hook-and-loop fastener (such as Velcro)
  • Matching thread
  • 1/3 yard very light weight to light weight woven fabric: cotton or silk
  • 6" piece of 1/8" ribbon, or other trim as desired
  • 2 small snaps
  • Matching thread
  • 1/4 yard light to medium weight woven fabric (see Suit Jacket); also felt or flannel
  • Scraps lightweight fusible interfacing
  • OPTIONAL scraps lining
  • OPTIONAL 1 yard 5/8" ribbon (if NOT making self-fabric tailored bows)

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