With the release of the 35th anniversary dolls from American Girl®, not only have the BeForever® characters, Kirsten and Addy (and others) found their ways into a whole new generation of homes, but many moms are pulling out their childhood dolls to share as well. Sometimes you can find dolls second hand, on Facebook Marketplace, at garage sales, or in thrift shops. If you find one of these beauties and she’s missing a few of her outfit pieces, you can make your own! (Sometimes with older dolls, you’ll find the elastic has given out over time, even if their meet outfit bloomers are in tact). Click HERE to find my Historical Characters Gallery with links to my growing list of pattern hacks.
Make Meet Bloomers for Kirsten or Addy 18 inch American Girl Dolls
The Boardwalk Boutique pattern was one of the first ones I published, back in 2015. The wide leg loose capri pants are the perfect substitute for crisp, white pantalettes for your 18 inch Kirsten Larson doll, or make a pair of “drawers” for your 18″ Addy Walker doll, two of the BeForever characters from American Girl®. They might have different names for each of the dolls, but it looks like the undergarments in 1854 didn’t seem to change much by 1864- at least not for American Girl®.
You will need the Oh Sew Kat! Boardwalk Boutique pattern, some white cotton fabric (a fat quarter should work!), about 10-11 inches of 1/4th inch width elastic, and about one yard of “flat” eyelet lace. If the only lace you can find has a gathered edge, you can pick out the stitches or even trim off the edge, and iron your lace flat to achieve the same look.
Both Kirsten’s pantalettes and Addy’s drawers have a finished length of 7 inches. I purchased my BeForever Addy from the Madison Museum Sale, and she came dressed in the blue dress, so she is original from the American Girl store. My Kirsten is the 35th Anniversary edition I purchased recently from American Girl®
Make your own meet pantalettes for Kirsten or drawers for Addy Dolls
When I measure the finished Boardwalk Boutique ruffled capris, shown on the pattern cover, they are about 6 3/4 inches. Place your lace along the hem line of the pattern to check the finished leg length. Measure from the waistband stitching line, NOT the top edge of the pattern piece, as that will be folded over as the casing for the waist elastic. Extend the length of the leg until you have a finished length of 7 inches (fabric and lace both), which includes the 1/2 inch seam allowance (1/4th inch of the leg and 1/4th inch of the top of the lace.) If you have narrow lace, it may be a larger extension like 1/2 inch or more. Wider lace may not need an extension at all, or may even need to be a little shorter.
You want the pantalettes/drawers to hit the top of the doll’s boots but not much farther, so the lace will peek out underneath the dresses. Simply follow the pattern directions and apply the lace in place of the ruffle at the pants’ hem. (Note: You can probably also use the Bloomer Buddies pattern to create a similar look. As of this writing, I have not compared the pieces or the lengths but the capri version is probably very close with lace instead of gathers at the hem.)
See more ways to sew for Kirsten here, and also in the Kirsten Gallery.