American Girl® just celebrated its 35th anniversary, and released their original canon historical characters on a limited basis. (Addy, Kirsten, Felicity, Samantha, Molly, and Josefina.) These characters have been around for years, and each had a pretty extensive wardrobe and accessory collection, but those are all retired now and can be very expensive on the second hand market. The good news is that with a little time, effort and Oh Sew Kat! pdf sewing patterns, you can make your own!
Sewing for American Girl Doll, Kirsten Larson™
Sew for Your 18 inch Kirsten American Girl® Doll
Kirsten Larson™ comes to us from 1854. She’s the “Little house on the prairie” and the “holly hobbie” doll- if you know, you know. Her clothes are simple calicos with growth pleats and high necklines with pinafores and aprons to keep dresses clean during chores. Much of her collection has a red, white and blue color palette- so by sticking with those colors, I can add some mix and match options with her meet outfit pieces. Look for calicos, homespun stripes, and small ginghams. The AD: PRAIRIE DAYS collection by Moda in the Fat Quarter Shop is perfect fabric collection for Kirsten!!
Looking over Kirsten’s wardrobe on google, you notice that most of her dresses are very similar. A basic dress, with short or long puffed sleeves, high neckline, growth pleats and a thin waistband. This blue dress is inspired by Kirsten’s pink spring dress from American Girl®.
Oh Sew Kat! Pattern Hack: Sugar n Spice Dress for Kirsten
Use the Sugar n Spice PDF Sewing Pattern to make Kirsten a new dress for spring!! This basic dress pattern also includes a simple apron tutorial, check THIS POST to see how to make it fit just like Kirsten’s meet apron. Find the Sugar n Spice pattern in four doll sizes HERE. Use the pattern pieces for the basic underdress with a few modifications to make it more historical for Kirsten, although this pattern hack is cute for modern dolls too!
- Cut out your pattern pieces. Add 3/4 inch to the length of the short sleeves. (I added 1/4th inch to my blue sleeves, which have a cute, modern look, but for a more historical dress, the sleeves should be longer.) Cut a waistband 1 inch by 14 inches- just trim the end off if there is any extra. Skirt length is 7.5 inches, or 8 inches if you want to add the growth strip. See the tutorial for the growth strip HERE.
- Finish the raw edges of the sleeve. I used a rolled hem on my serger, but you can press it up and hem it as well.
- Stitch 4 inches of 1/8th inch elastic to the inside of the sleeve hem, approximately 1/4 to 3/8th inches from your hemmed edge. You can use a pencil or marking tool to draw a line to follow if you want. This makes that pretty ruffled sleeve! On the inside of the sleeve, put your elastic on the line to sew, and lower your needle into it. This will hold the elastic tail while you pull the other end “generally” to the end of the fabric (where you want the elastic to end.). Stitch very slowly, pulling the elastic as you go, and keeping it on your marked line.
- Follow the pattern instructions to complete the bodice. With right sides together, add your waistband to the bodice. Top stitch if desired. (Of the three AG branded Kirsten dresses I own, none have topstitched waistbands, but it does create a nice, neat finish.)
- Gather the skirt, attach it to the waistband, and complete the dress according to the pattern.
This dress looks super cute on your modern dolls as well!
Sewing Doll Clothes for your 18 inch Kirsten Larson Doll
Find more ideas to sew for Kirsten in the Kirsten Historical Inspiration Gallery and find a tutorial to make her bloomers in this post and her apron in this one.