1918 Bowling Pin Dress 18" Doll Clothes Pattern

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World War I and the Women's Suffrage Movement heavily influenced women's fashions between 1914 and 1920. As men went off to fight, women took on jobs formerly filled by men and a new image of freedom and self respect was embraced by women. By 1914, women's clothing had lost the rigid, tailored lines of the Edwardian period and gave way to softer more comfortable fashions. Skirts became shorter and colors became more somber as they often do during wartime.

The Bowling Pin dress emerged as a way to add subtle feminine curves at the hip line with minimal fabric and without the need of confining corsets. This design by Thimbles and Acorns features a loose fitting bodice with a dropped two layer center inset. A little fullness is gathered into the front waistline of the bodice to add a little shape. The low hanging shawl collar gives it a relaxed appearance with a slight flare at the ends for a bit of panache. Simple ¾ length sleeves give the dress a finished look without detracting from the key design details. The calf-length dress is full at the waistline and tapers down to the hemline to give it the “bowling pin” shape. Banded pockets are optional. The dress fastens in the back with three buttons, but hook and loop tape or snaps can be used if preferred. A simple sash with artsy double-knotted ends defines the waistline and accentuates the collar and pocket details.

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

Recommended Fabrics: Dress and Dress Contrast in light to mid weight cotton, linen, lawn, dotted Swiss, voile, or silk. Not suitable for knits. Sash in lightweight cotton, synthetic lining, silk, crepe, gauze, or chiffon.

Supplies Needed:


  • Dress - 1/2 yard 45” wide Fabric
  • Contrast B and C - 1/4 yard 45” wide Fabric
  • Sash - 1/2 yard 45” wide Fabric


  • Thread
  • Three 3/8” buttons (hook and loop tape or snaps can be used, if preferred)


  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Iron and pressing tools
  • Blunt needle or point turner
  • Tube turner 

Skill Level: Intermediate

What You Get: One 22 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  illustrated step-by-step instructions and full size pattern pieces. 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!

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


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