PIXIE FAIRE STYLE GUIDE: 1920s Fashion For Dolls
We’ve put together the ultimate style to help you make a historically accurate 1920s look for your doll such as Claudie Wells™ the newest historical character from American Girl®! The 1920s were a time of relentless joy in the aftermath of the First World War. Exuberant styles like the flapper dress and bob haircuts were all the rage. To make a great 1920s-inspired outfit for your doll you’ll want to understand these five components to this particular fashion era: new developments for children’s clothing, dresses, embellishments, accessories, and flapper girls.
Please be sure to leave a comment at the bottom telling us which pattern you’re most excited to start working on!
NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR CHILDREN’S CLOTHES
Children’s clothing in the 1920s changed dramatically from the past decades because it shifted focus from ornateness to practicality. The clothes, especially girl’s clothing, began to loosen and feature simple lines that were designed for their needs and comfort. There was also a substantial loss of layers in children’s clothing. Before then there would be several layers of bloomers, stockings, and more, but in the 1920s, and thereafter, there was typically only be one layer of undergarments under children’s clothing. This gave children more freedom to play than ever before.
The new popular style for dresses in the 1920s heavily deviated from anything that was previously in fashion. Dresses were shortened for girls and women of all ages. For young girls, dresses fell to the knee or just above. For older girls, teens, and women, dresses fell somewhere between below the knee and midcalf. Dresses featured dropped waists which accentuated their boxy fit. This eliminated the need for corsets and rebelled against the trends of centuries prior. It is an interesting reversal in trends to note, however. In the past (and future) girls’ clothing always followed the trends for women’s clothing, but in this unique case, women’s clothing was heavily inspired by girls’ fashion trends. This is evident through the short and boxy fit of the fashionable dress styles.
Although children’s clothing was more practical than it had been in the past, girls’ clothing in the 1920s was joyful and full of extravagant embellishments. This is a reflection of the culture during the time period. Some of these embellishments consisted of smocking patterns, embroidery, and bright-patterned fabrics. Girls’ dresses and shirts would often also feature large “Peter Pan”-style collars.
Young girls in the 1920s did not wear many accessories besides hats, shoes, or hair accessories. Hats were popular for all age groups and were most often made of either wool or straw. Straw hats had wide brims and flat tops. They also were accented with ribbons or sashes as trims. The popular wool hat at the time was cloche hats. A cloche hat is shaped like a bell and extends down to the base of the neck and over the ears. The brim is small and frames the face well. Shoes for girls in the 1920s were often made of canvas which was easy to clean and cheap to produce. In the 1920s girls of all age groups wore their hair in short bob haircuts. These hair cuts were often decorated with ribbons or headbands to make them more feminine looking.
One of the most iconic looks of all of fashion history is that of the flapper girl. Although it was not popular with young girls, it was still an influential look during the time period. The name “flapper” doesn’t have a clear root but describes young women in the 1920s who wore short, drop-waist dresses, bobbed hair, and heavy makeup. They valued fun, had very loose morals, and were nothing like their mothers from the generations before them. They dated one man after another, partied nearly every night, spent money endlessly, and danced until dawn. Nearly any girl in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels was considered a flapper girl, as well as his wife Zelda. Zelda heavily influenced the flapper fashion culture.
FABRICS AND PRINTS
Popular fabrics for children’s clothing in the 1920s were fabrics that did not take much maintenance. These would have been things like cotton, wool, or jersey knit. These textiles were easy to wash and did not require much ironing, which made them popular with the children’s mothers as well! Wealthier children would have been able to wear fabrics like velvet, lace, muslin, or silk, but these were also often reserved for special occasions. Bright and optimistic colors as well as bold prints were popular for the era. Take a look below for our suggested fabric choices:
Lace Fabric from Joann Fabrics
Wool Felt Fabric from Joann Fabrics
Black Velvet Ribbon from Mood Fabrics
Black Velvet Fabric from Mood Fabrics
Black Fringe Trim from Mood Fabrics
Pixie Faire offers a wide variety of 1920s era-inspired patterns, but to start check out these patterns below:
Nautical Pleats Outfit for 18in Dolls
The Little Flapper Dress for 18in Dolls
Balmoral Holiday Set for 18in Dolls
Cloche Hat for Hearts for Hearts Dolls
We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, and tell us which pattern you’re most excited to get working on!
--The Pixie Faire Team :^)
I actually really like your web site.. Enjoyable shades & topic. Did you make this Internet site your self? Make sure you reply again as I’m planning to produce my own personalized Site and would love to know where you received this from or just what the theme is named. Thanks!
I was suggested this website by my cousin. I’m not sure irrespective of whether this submit is penned by him as no-one else know these in depth about my hassle. You’re amazing! Many thanks!
I take pleasure in wanting by means of an write-up which can make Adult men and girls Imagine. Also, many thanks for allowing me to remark!
I want to start working on the 1920’s Downtown for 18” dolls
I can’t wait to start on the 1920s Downtown for my AGAT doll. I do so like the look of the Balmoral Holiday set and may have to buy and start that one brfore the 1920s Downtown ourtfit! Hmmm, it would be amazing if I could resize these patterns to fit my grandbaby! Love, love, love!
bunadisisj nsjjsjsisjsmizjzjjzjzz zumzsert
I love these little climpses into history. I would love to see monthly classes developed around these topics.
I’ve previously made KDD’s 1920’s Dress and Hat, and the Balmoral Coat. I’m now working on the Nautical Pleats Dress.
I’m also searching other patterns I can modify to come up with more outfits.
I’ve been waiting for this to be posted on Facebook but still not there. Shari Fuller’s Thimbles & Acorns TA-0000-07, A Piece of History pattern has a 1920s dress included in her 10 dresses. I remembered it after I got my email from American Girl about Claudie Wells and started looking through my doll patterns for 1920s style.
I’ve been drooling over fashion plates and catalog scans since January in anticipation! Some of them really drive home that changes don’t always align with the decade turnover. The styles from 1920-1922 still have a lot in common with 1918-19, and the waistlines fluctuate a bit.
I’m actually considering modifying the Sweet Seventies Dress (another Keepers pattern) for Claudie. It already has the dropped waistband with a slightly boxier bodice I think it could work.
My next project would be the Nautical pleats or the 1920’s downtown which I have made before but I would like to do the next one in short sleeves or in a contrast sleeve. I really love all of these hats.
I’m so excited for this era of fashion to be spotlighted! It’s one of my favorites to sew. Little girls and dolls look so playful and comfortable!
I think I may try the nautical outfit since I have some fabric that could work!
I like the Downtown 1920’s dress.
I’m going to start with the cloche hat. I also like the nautical pleats outfit and the 1927 coat set.
I’m hoping for SWC monthly topic to be sewing by the decades: 1900s, 1910-15, 1915-20, 1920s, 1930s…so many changes and variations! My favorite styles: 1915-1925.
The Balmoral Holiday set really caught my eye. I can just picture all of the little girls, lined up in church, wearing this adorable coat and hat. Of course, they would have their favorite doll with them, wearing a perfectly matched Coat and hat…….
These are adorable and so very stylish. Do people make these and sell them? I would love to create outfits and be able to sell them, but I haven’t a clue where to start.
I’m so thrilled to see the 1920’s era become a focus this year! I have the KDD Downtown 1920s Dress and Hat pattern. I hope to make an outfit soon!
I am anxious to make the gray, scalloped front coat for my new Claudie doll. Love the details!
I remember seeing pictures of my aunts as girls in the 1920’s wearing simple dresses and tam style hats. I would like to try to recreate those outfits. So much fun!
Looking forward to making some dropped waist dresses, but now I need a coat pattern!
Thank you for all the great info! Truly a great insight into the era! Since I just ordered Claudie, guess I will be needing some new patterns!!
Thank you for the list.. now to order them!
Last year, I made the Downtown 1920s dress which came out really cute! I would most like to make the Nautical Pleats dress next along with the Balmoral Holiday coat for outerwear.
Thank you for sharing some appropriate 1920’s style clothes for a young girl in that time period!
To make flapper dress and that cute hat of the roaring ’20 and to buy the cloche hat for the 14 inch doll I have the pattern for 18 inch doll
February 12, 2023
The cloche hat in white cotton also works very well as a sun hat for modern beach and picnic clothes . It’s use is not limited to the 20’s.