Cat's Meow Vintage Rompers & Dress 18" Doll Clothes

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If you lived in the first half of 20th century America, you would have been aware of (and maybe even used) the idiom "The Cat's Meow." Although there is debate about the phrase's origins, its meaning was unquestionably one meant to describe something excellent and appealing. This pattern for Rompers has been written for nostalgia lovers of this era. A romper (also known as a "Playsuit") was a popular casual item from the 1930s through the 1950s. Often featured with a button-front skirt, they were worn as casual wear at home or even as bathing suits by removing the skirt. This design was inspired by two real-life patterns from those decades, and incorporates my favorite features from each of them. The bodice has front and back princess seams, armhole ruffles, a square neckline, and a lining with finished seams. The attached pants have two pinch pleats on the front for extra fullness without bulk, and can be gathered with elastic on the bottom edges or left straight. The dress uses the same bodice as the Rompers, and is attached to a skirt suitable for border prints, stripes, and eyelet edges. All options can be finished at the waist with a bias-cut tie or Skinny Tie Belt. Those who want a simpler project can use the separate Lining pattern for both the Bodice and Lining to eliminate the princess seams, and also remove the sleeve ruffles. An an extra perk, a Bonus tutorial with directions for making a sleeveless bodice with a finished lining is also included.

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

This pattern is also available in a bundled pattern with the Vintage Playsuit Skirt.

Recommended Fabrics: Light to medium-weight cottons, lightweight chambray, seersucker, or other woven fabrics with a similar weight and drape. Not suitable for very lightweight fabrics or those with a tendency to fray.

Supplies Needed:
- Option 1: ½ yd. of 45" wide fabric
- Option 2: ½ yd. of 45" wide fabric
- Option 3: 2/3 yd. of 45" wide fabric

All Options: 1/6 yd. of lightweight fabric (or equivalent scrap size) for the Lining, such as batiste or lawn

All Options:
1. Matching thread and optional contrast thread
2. One pair of small, very sharp scissors to trim and clip seam allowances.
4. Three medium-sized snaps OR 3" of Hook-and-Loop
5. Optional: a Frixion pen for marking pleats and dots
6. Optional: a hemostat for turning the Bodice to the RIGHT side

For Option 1 Add:
1. Two 6" long pieces of ¼" elastic (1/3 yd. of ¼" elastic)

For Option 2 Add:
1. Optional: Six ¼" buttons, and a 6" x 6" fabric square for the tie

Skill Level: Intermediate

What You Get: One 56 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 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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Amelia W.

Beautiful Vintage Romper

This pattern was fairly easy to follow and the finished piece is absolutely adorable. I made this romper as a 30's -esque romper for a customer, and I'm going to be sad to sell it. I may have to make myself one in the same fabric! I would definitely recommend this pattern.

Cat's Meow Vintage Rompers & Dress 18 Doll Clothes
Betty V.
United States

Cat's Meow Romper

Positive!!! Great instructions. Works up beautiful. Fits great

Cat's Meow Vintage Rompers & Dress 18 Doll Clothes
Linda R.

Cute as

I printed the whole pattern. It's a LOT of pages but easy to follow and very cute. Thank you Kindest regards Linda


Great pattern!

This is about THE best written pattern I have ever used, & I've been sewing for about 60 yrs. She walks you through each step & how to do it. She also has alterations for skinnier dolls. Also one of the only AG doll clothes designs that has straight grain on the pattern, which means a lot! She is so complee & precise. I'll be buying her patterns again. Well worth the small price!



This Romper pattern is precisely written with concise photographs to accommodate you for a most enjoyable sewing experience!

Cat's Meow Vintage Rompers & Dress 18 Doll Clothes