Aloha Holoku Dress 18" Doll Clothes Pattern

37 Reviews   |  

A Holoku dress is a traditional Hawaiian dress worn during formal occasions. It originated in the 1820s as an every-day dress when Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii and was adapted from traditional European garments for Hawaiian upper class women. The Holoku gown incorporated small changes over time that reflected elements of current fashion, eventually adding a train to the standardized style in the 1870s. Later it became a garment used for formal Hawaiian cultural events, worn traditionally by Hawaiian-born women.

The Aloha Holoku Dress fits into a fashion time frame from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. I spent many pleasant hours researching vintage Holoku dresses, and my favorite dress from the World War II era became the inspiration for this pattern. The pattern features a sweetheart neckline, puffed sleeves or shoulder ruffles, optional princess seams, and a lushly ruffled train. During the 1970s a revival of 1940s elements cycled back into fashion with a few twists, and I've incorporated those features into the pattern to create an authentic 1970s era dress as an additional option. I hope everyone who sews this pattern enjoys playing with the many possible combinations and dreams of warm beaches and soft tropical breezes (and maybe some disco music, too). Aloha!

This PDF sewing pattern is designed to fit 18" dolls such as American Girl®. 

For more Hawaiian fun check out the Aloha Vintage Swimsuit and Hula Accessories patterns, available individually, as well as a bundled package to save! 

Recommended Fabrics:  Medium-light to medium weight quilter's cotton with a bit of drape and tight weave are ideal. Other natural fabrics such as chambray or even a lightweight bridal satin would also work. Fabrics for the Facing or Lining could be batiste or lawn for cotton fabrics, or a shiny lining fabric if using a dressy fabric such as satin. A heavy-weight fabric is not recommended for Options 1 or 3 because it will be difficult to pull through the shoulders when turning the Lining. Also, fabrics that wrinkle easily will be more difficult because of the turning method.

Supplies Needed:
Option 1: Straight Grain Layout: One yd. of 45" wide fabric
Bias Layout: One yd. of 45" wide fabric

Option 2: Straight Grain Layout: 2/3 yd. of 45" wide fabric
Bias Layout: One yd. of 45" wide fabric

Option 3: Straight Grain Layout: 2/3 yd. of 45" wide fabric
Bias Layout: One yd. of 45" wide fabric

Option 4: Straight Grain Layout: 2/3 yd. 45" wide fabric
Bias Layout: One yd. of 45" wide fabric

All Options: 1/6 yd. (or large scrap ) of fabric for the Lining or Facing

All Options:
1. Matching thread and sewing needle
2. One pair of small, very sharp scissors to trim seam allowances
3. Three medium-sized snaps OR 4-1/2" of Hook-and-Loop tape
4. ¼" Graph Paper OR rotary scissors and a cutting mat to make the Ruffles
5. Optional: A Frixion pen or other tool for marking Dots
6. Optional: Fray Check
7. Optional: A hemostat to help turn the dress through the shoulders
8. Optional: Two small (approximately 3/8") square of double-sided fusing tape or similar product to hold the corners of the Facing down in Options 2 and 4

Skill Level:  Intermediate 

What You Get: One 52 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides full color step-by-step illustrated instructions and full size pattern pieces. A 6 page Summary of Instructions is also included to help save on printer ink.  A PDF reader is required to view and print the files (example: Adobe Reader or Preview for MAC). The download link is received immediately after the transaction is complete. Print copies are NOT available.

Download, Print, Sew!

*Creating a customer account will ensure that you have the ability to access your purchased (and free) files at any time.

For detailed information and answers to the most common questions, be sure to read the Terms of Use and FAQ's related to the doll clothes patterns sold at Pixie Faire.

PixieFaire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®. 


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Mary G.
United States United States


This pattern had great instructions and turned out so so cute! I had Hawaiian fabric from a recent trip ther and “In my opinion” it looks better than the one sold by AG. I also made a lei from crafting flower pieces.

Mary Gatto verified customer review of Aloha Holoku Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern
Carole S.
United States United States

Aloha Holoku 18” Doll Dress Pattern

So far I have made two views and plan to make one other different view. Pattern directions are very complete. I love the style and hoped my granddaughter would choose this pattern. I know she will love the results.

Nancy H.
United States United States

Beautiful Dress

The pattern and finished product for the Holoku dress are beautiful! The directions are *precise and easy to follow. *The doll is my grand daughter’s which, was not in my possession...the dress fit perfectly and my grand daughter is thrilled!

Nancy H. verified customer review of Aloha Holoku Dress 18 Doll Clothes PatternNancy H. verified customer review of Aloha Holoku Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern
Linda C.

Aloha Holoku Dress 18” Doll Pattern

I had bit of problem stitching back and front together at the ruffle but finished dress is beautiful and am making another one. Thank you for all the great patterns.

Sherry C.

Aloha Holohu Dress

This is another fun pattern, that results in a great fit with beautiful style. I made the stylle with ties and no train as I did not have enough fabric, but will try that style next. The pattern has many options - love the detail on the baby doll sleeves.

Sherry Conaway verified customer review of Aloha Holoku Dress 18 Doll Clothes PatternSherry Conaway verified customer review of Aloha Holoku Dress 18 Doll Clothes Pattern