This stylish dress was inspired by the stories of the 1930s and ‘40s historical American Girl® dolls and their love of a good mystery. The delightful Nancy Drew book series that began in 1930, and -with changes- is still inspiring young girls today as “Girl Detective”.
I imagine that Nancy Drew’s plucky intelligence was an influence on many
young girls through the years, including this designer. As a child, I gloried in finding mysteries about the house to solve!
The 1930s & ‘40s was also a celebrated style period that featured very structured
tailoring. I have tried to capture that look in this design.
Use lightweight fabrics to construct the dress. Trims can be added easily at neckline, sleeves, and the waistband. While the gathering might look tricky, the shaped pattern pieces create the unique look of this style. This is an Experienced-Basic level pattern (someone who has sewn a few items before). Clear instruction & images guide you through each step.
Recommended Fabrics: Dress – Lightweight Woven – Cotton & Cotton Blends up to quilting weight. Lining – Very lightweight cotton or silky lining fabrics are ideal. Contrast– Same as Dress fabrics.
Dress – Lightweight Woven – Cotton & Cotton Blends up to quilting weight.
Lining – Very lightweight cotton or silky lining fabrics are ideal.
Contrast– Same as Dress fabrics.
*Use 1/4” seam allowance unless noted. If using stripes or plaid, more yardage will be needed to match
Trim Yardage (Optional)
Notions - Matching thread
Closure method such as 4" length of 1/2" wide hook and loop tape
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! This pattern comes with a 2 page summary of instructions to help you save on printer ink. 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!
Wonderful! The fit is perfect and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
This is an easy pattern to make. The instructions were very clear and concise. It is an easy one to get the creative juices moving. I will be making this one again, but in a different fabric with some additional trims. I love this pattern!
Very tedious, putting in a lining. Took me much longer than most doll clothes, was cute when finished.
The pattern is very pretty on the doll - the gathered bodice is unlike any other I’ve seen. Take care, however, to center the gathers on the yoke and the center dress panel on the waistband so it all lines up. I actually “hacked” 3 patterns to make a “Renaissance princess" dress for a silent auction - I made the Sleuth dress full-length, used the Georgiana sleeves, and added the train from the Winter Snow Queen pattern. Turned out really amazing!