The distinct style of ladies’ dress in the 18th century was achieved by a complex succession of layers that began with the underpinnings. Underpinnings were what we might refer to as underwear today, and they provided the basic structure and dimension that made 18th century fashion unique. The name is somewhat deceptive, however, as underpinnings weren't always out of sight - they were simply the first layers of a complete outfit. In fact, for a working class girl, the underpinnings may have been all that she wore from day to day.
This 28 page PDF pattern by Thimbles and Acorns is not too difficult, but some sewing experience is helpful. It includes instructions for a shift, stays, panniers, and petticoat.
This pattern is available in two sizes (18" dolls such as American Girl® and 16" A Girl For All Time)® that can be purchased individually for $8.99.
Recommended Fabrics: Shift and Stays Lining in lightweight cotton batiste or linen. Not suitable for knits. Stays, Panniers, and Petticoat in medium weight quilting cotton, silk, wool, or linen. Period prints, stripes, and solids work well for the panniers and petticoat. Stripes are not recommended for the Stays. Not suitable for knits.
-Shift ~ 1/4 yard (1/4 m),
-Stays ~ 1/4 yard (1/4 m) or a 9 x 15-inch remnant.
-Stays Lining ~ 1/2 yard (1/2 m) or a 9 x 15-inch remnant.
-Panniers ~ 1/4 yard (1/4 m) or a 9 x 15-inch remnant.
-Petticoat ~ 1/3 yard (1/3 m).
Notions: Thread. Shift ~ 1 yard 1/8-inch (3 mm) wide twill tape or ribbon. Stays with straps ~ 1 yard 1/8-inch (3 mm) wide twill tape or ribbon, 2 yards 1/4-inch (6 mm) wide boning, 1/2 yard 1/4-inch (6mm) ribbon, 1 yard of 5/8-inch wide bias tape (trimmed down from 1-inch wide commercial bias tape or cut from fabric), fourteen 1/4-inch (6mm) eyelets. Stays without straps ~ 1 yard 1/8-inch (3 mm) wide twill tape or ribbon, 2 yards 1/4-inch (6 mm) wide boning, ten 1/4-inch (6mm) eyelets. Panniers ~ 1 yard 1/4-inch (6 mm) wide boning, 1 yard 1/8-inch (3 mm) wide twill tape or ribbon. Petticoat ~ 1 yard 1/8-inch (3 mm) twill tape or ribbon.
Skill Level: Intermediate
What You Get: One 28 page sewing pattern that you digitally download as a PDF file so you can start your project immediately! The PDF sewing pattern provides digitally drawn step-by-step illustrated 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®.
Came together well. Instructions were well written and illustrated. I will buy from designer again. Easy to download
Not only did this pattern work well, I also learned a lot about the function of the garments. I had no idea that panniers really did function as side baskets for ladies, with side slits allowed in all their skirts for access to them. This is not a pattern that makes shortcuts for doll scale; it’s as accurate to the period as can be made at this scale. For that reason, the pattern is a lot of work to sew. Other patterns on this site will make short cuts and look the same on the finished doll. But I love Thimbles and Acorns patterns for their detail and accuracy so I can learn more about historical costume. I’d love to have the same pattern scaled for Kidz n Cats dolls!
It turned out great, and all the pieces are very historically accurate in the way they are assembled. The boning was a little intimidating, but it turned out to be pretty easy in the end:)
great love pattern, easy to follow looks great
These little pocket hoops are so very cute. They are made just like my full size person set. The pattern itself is very easy to read and work with. Making them was pure pleasure and loads of fun!