Updated: 5 days ago
If you didn't know that Pleasant Company made patterns for the first 6 dolls, then you have been missing out. And now you know!
Pleasant Company created pattern envelopes for Kirsten, Molly, Samantha, Josefina, Addy, and Felicity. These patterns included some variation of 2 outfits, a nightgown, and an accessory from their meet.
These patterns are free right here.
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Sadly, as I've worked through these free patterns one by one I've found issues with the instructions, pattern pieces, and the finished fit. I am forever grateful to both Pleasant Company and agplaythings.com for posting these free patterns. My heart says these dolls should be for fun and play. Purchasing all of these outfits would be very expensive and then of course some are retired so I would be afraid to play with them. I think the best thing to do is make some.
I have gotten my hands on the purchased patterns and measured them against these free pattern for Kirsten Larson. I will explain add differences that I see.
I do not feel comfortable copying these paid patterns because I'm sure that is copyrighted and I don't want to get in trouble. But I will show you what's different between the purchase and free so you can correctly sew some nice things for your dolls or kids.
Kirsten's Pretty Clothes
This blog article is all about Kirsten Pretty Clothes free pattern.
Kirsten's School Dress and Shawl
This is the pattern that started me on this journey. I sourced vintage fabric, printed all 70+ pages of Kirsten's patterns, sewed the whole School dress, and guess what... it didn't fit!
I said to myself "Self, this doesn't fit a Mattel doll. It certainly wouldn't fit a Pleasant Company doll" I knew something was wrong. (Little did I know, everything is just a little off)
First, when you download the free patterns the instructions don't come in order of page.
Here's the comparison between paid and free instructions.
The only differences here are my surprise at the paid pattern being one big page and more importantly that the fabric layout is different between the paid and free.
Here's a close-up of the paid cutting layout.
This difference isn't a problem of course, but the rest of the pattern pieces are all different sized between the paid and free.
We have 7 pieces in this School Dress pattern. Here is each pattern piece compared to the paid version and notes of any issue.
Skirt (Kirsten's School Dress Bottom) - This is the one that made me know there was something wrong. The correct measurement is listed on the free pattern, but the free pattern is not that size. Make sure to cut 15 7/8" x 9 1/4" on fold for a total dimension of 31 3/4" long by 9 1/4" tall.
Sleeve (Kirsten's School Dress Sleeve) - This sleeve measurement is wrong. Add 1/4" to both sides and the bottom of the sleeve.
Bodice (Kirsten's School Dress Bodice Front) - The whole thing is a little wonky. So it will sew up fine if you use the free pattern. The paid pattern is larger. If you copy this pattern piece and print at 104% you will be very close to paid patterns size.
Bodice Back (Kirsten's School Dress Bodice Back) - This piece is nominally off. If you add 1/8" to the back and bottom it will be the same as the paid pattern piece.
Waistband (Kirsten's School Dress Waistband) - This pattern piece needs to be lengthened by 1/4". Please add 1/4" to one short side.
Sleeveband (Kirsten's School Dress Sleeveband) - This pattern piece needs to be lengthened to 1/8". Please add 1/8" to one short side.
Neckband (Kirsten's School Dress neckband) - This pattern piece needs to be lengthened by 1/4". Please add 1/4" to one short side.
Here is a gallery of pictures of pattern pieces free and paid to compare the sizing differences.
There are also written dimensions for the shawl. They match from free to paid.
I will post photos of the dress that led me on this quest. Beautiful pink plaid that sewed up and it didn't fit my American Girl Kirsten.
A few geek facts that I know. This dress was originally made red with a cream color plus sign print, and was changed to red with black and white floral design. The first edition is desired.
Please click on photo to see more information at AG wiki fandom (welcome to the rabbit hole 🐰).
Please note I am working on replica fabric for the first edition in my spoonflower shop. I'll add link when finished.
Kirsten's Nightgown, Spoonbag and Bonnet
The instructions for these items are the same for the free and paid versions.
Of course, every pattern is off by a small amount. These finished outfits are loose and I really can't see an issue with sewing this using free pattern. Maybe the hat would line up better with the larger paid pattern pieces. Here are all the pattern pieces, differences, and measurements.
Nightgown Front - The paid version is 1/8" wider on the side seam and 3/8" longer at the bottom.
Nightgown Back - The Nightgown back is the same as the front. it needs 1/8" added to the side seam and 3/8" added to the bottom.
Nightgown Yoke Front - The difference is so minimal there's no reason to change free pattern dimensions. In order to match the paid pattern add 1/8" to the middle of the free pattern. (Cut the pattern, widen it by 1/8", and tape it together.)
Nightgown Yoke Back - Also very minimal, add 1/8" to the back closure.
Nightgown Cuff - Add 1/8" to one short end of the cuff.
Nightgown placket - Add 1/8" to the rounded edge of the placket.
Nightgown collar - Add 1/8" to the short edge of the collar.
Sleeve - This sleeve measurement is wrong. Add 1/4" to both sides and the bottom of the sleeve.
The Applique is the same in both patterns, the spoon bag square is 1/8" longer in the paid pattern.
Sunbonnet Brim - The paid pattern is 1/4" longer (edge by ear) than the free pattern.
Sunbonnet Back - The paid pattern is 1/4" longer than the free pattern. I suggest printing at 102%.
Sunbonnet Neck Brim - The paid pattern is 1/4" longer.
To summarize Kirsten's nightgown, spoonbag, and sunbonnet - The only pattern pieces I will change when I sew this are the nightgown cuffs and all 3 pieces of the hat. The rest of the differences will not affect the finished clothing.
The only difference I see in the paid verse free patterns that would affect sewing is the sleeve.
Pantaloons - The pantaloons are smaller by 1/4" on both sides and the bottom. This won't affect the finished garment.
Chemise Bodice Front - The shirt front is smaller by 1/4" on each side seam and the bottom.
Chemise Bodice Back - The paid pattern is 1/4" longer on the bottom edge than the free pattern.
Kirsten's Chemise Sleeve - This pattern piece is entirely different from the free pattern and paid pattern. Please take a look at the pictures to determine what shape you want to cut out. I suggest adding 1/4" to the bottom of the sleeve, straightening the underarm edge, and widening it 3/8".
Petticoat - This free pattern piece is a bit of a mess. It is cut off at the top, bottom, and side. Please cut a square that measures 27" long and 8 3/4" tall. The top has a fold mark at 1/2", and the bottom has a fold mark at 1 1/2".
Kirsten's Apron Dress
Apron Bottom Skirt - The free pattern is 3/8" smaller on the short edge and 1/4" smaller on the bottom edge.
Apron Waistband - The free pattern is 3/8" smaller on the short edge.
Apron Back - The free pattern is 1/8" smaller on the short edge.
Apron Front - The free pattern is 1/8" smaller on both edges of the top of the Y (shoulder).
Kirsten's Apron Dress
Apron Dress Bodice Front - The difference is nominal.
Apron Dress Bodice Back - The difference is nominal.
Apron Dress Waistband - Add 3/8" to one short edge!
Apron Dress Sleeve - The difference is nominal.
Apron Dress Bottom Skirt - Add 1/4" to the long edge and 3/8" to the short end (back closure)
For those who sew- We have replica sewing patterns for great styles.
For those who sew- We also offer replica fabrics in 1:3 scale
If you prefer to buy your clothes handmade and unique, click on my logo
This article took much time and work to create. I wanted to document the differences not only for myself but for all sewers.
Kirsten's School dress is actually what started me on this journey. I found beautiful vintage fabric, used the pattern, and put on my Kirsten and it didn't fit!
I thought I'd made a mistake but after sewing quite a few and adjusting measurements by hand, I found that it wasn't my mistake.
For the last 6 months, I've painstakingly gone through each pattern and adjusted by hand and wrote articles about how to fix these. Recently a dear friend loaned me the patterns to make this job easier and I am so grateful. Now I don't have to cut, sew, adjust, and start over and over. With one glance we can all see what needs to be fixed and sew these beautiful clothes right the first time.
Here's a little breakdown of the cost for these items when they were released and now (8-2023)
Since Kirsten is retired, her items slowly increase in value over time. These patterns are such a blessing for a child to be able to play without worrying about damage or price.
I hope this has been helpful for someone. Please bookmark this blog or sign up for our mailing list. I plan to link instructions and photos of how it's sewn to each garment as time allows.
Happy Doll Sewing, y'all! 🪡 🧵