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, by Forever 18 Inches, 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.
During the late 1930s through the 1950s a casual-wear staple in the female closet was a Playsuit. A typical Playsuit consisted of a one or two-piece outfit with short pants or bloomers worn at the beach or other casual warm-weather occasions, accompanied by a front-opening skirt that could be added or removed for a more covered look. A Playsuit set could be designed as beach wear with a bathing suit underlayer, as well as a casual outfit that could be worn during sports activities or outdoor events.
The Forever 18 Inches Playsuit Skirt is an authentic reproduction of a vintage pattern. It's designed to fit over the Forever 18 Inches Cat's Meow Vintage Rompers, as well as the long bloomers in the Forever 18 Inches Aloha Vintage Swimsuit. Features include a gathered skirt sewn into a fitted waistband, a front opening, and optional pockets. The skirt can close with button-covered snaps, hook and loop tape, or even authentic buttons and buttonholes. It can also be paired with any vintage blouse or top pattern, such as the Time Traveler Vintage Blouse, for a classic swing-era retro look, or worn as a classic skirt with a modern-day top for a timeless fusion of then and now. Your doll can time travel with ease and look great combining her favorite looks!
This PDF pattern is designed to fit 18" dolls such as American Girl®.
Recommended Fabrics for the rompers: 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.
Recommended Fabrics for the playsuit skirt: Natural fabrics such as quilter's cotton, seersucker, lightweight denim, or lightweight chambray. All fabrics should have a tight weave.
- 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
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
Fabric Requirements: Natural fabrics such as quilter's cotton, seersucker, lightweight denim, or lightweight chambray. All fabrics should have a tight weave.
Fabric Needed: ¼ yd. 45" wide fabric
1. Matching thread
2. One pair of small, very sharp scissors to trim seam allowances
3. ¼" Graph Paper to make the pattern for the Skirt
4. Six ¼” buttons (for use with snaps only)
5. Five or Six medium-sized snaps OR buttons (to be used with buttonholes)
6. Fray Check
7. Optional: Contrast thread for topstitching
8. Optional: Two 3/8" x 6" wide strips of lightweight iron-on interfacing
9. Cellophane tape to tape the graph paper together
Skill Level: Easy to Intermediate
What You Get: One 56 page sewing pattern and one 19 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!
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PixieFaire and the designers featured are not affiliated with American Girl®.
Cute play suit and dress. Easy to sew with clear instructions. My granddaughter will enjoy these outfits.
I have cut out the pattern, sewn part of the clothing, so far they are easy to use and the instructions are easy to follow. I have two granddaughters that have 18" dolls, they are always looking for new things.