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Kirsten Larsen School Clothes for 18" dolls, free sewing pattern

Updated: Sep 1, 2023


This free pattern has been available from Pleasant Company along with 5 other characters (Samantha, Josefina, Molly, Addy, and Felicity). The patterns were made by Pleasant Company and designed to include sewing patterns for their meet outfit, holiday outfit, another outfit, Pajamas, and a meet accessory.


Please don't be fooled by the websites trying to sell these patterns. Kirsten Larsen School Clothes for 18" dolls are free!

You can go to agplaythings.com to download all of them. We also have them available for download here. We will go through each pattern, note any issues, and provide tutorials.


I have to put Affiliate disclosure here. The patterns on this page are free, but we also design fabrics. Links to fabric, buttons, and trim are provided for your convenience. I may receive compensation for purchases at no cost to you. I use links to items I've designed or used.


Download Just Kristen's patterns here.

Kirstens_Pretty_Dresses.pdf
.zip
Download ZIP • 14.25MB



Many of the free patterns have errors.










These patterns appear to have been copied at

some point, so the reason I'm doing this is to correct any issues with these original patterns and document the modifications. Some issues I've seen are duplicate patterns, cut-off corners, and missing darts and dots. I also want to simplify where I can to make these easy for beginners to make.




First, we are starting with Kristen's School clothes. The information page for this pattern is page 37. It has a cool list of trim options too. These patterns all have between 60-80 pages so I'm only going to print for this dress. I've printed pages 38-46.


I have found this gorgeous print that I think is perfect for the time period. It is Moda brand. I'll include a link when I can, but for now, the fabric is called Moda- "Yesterday by Jo Morton"(#38106).

Yesterday by Jo Morton for Moda fabrics

Kristen's stories take place between 1854 and 1856 as she immigrates from Sweden to Minnesota.


These wonderful patterns have a cover page that describes each outfit and how it relates to the books. For this school outfit, the pattern says her mother made this dress from leftover fabric from her Mother's matching dress. Here are some pictures of this dress.


This picture is taken from americangirl.fandom.wiki. This is an awesome crowdsourced website with unlimited Information about American Girl and Pleasant Company. If you look at Kristen's School dress on this website, it states this dress was sold from 1986-2009 and then retired.

One of the reasons I prefer to sew this is cost. Once these dresses retire they become collectible and expensive. I want to have this dress and story for children to enjoy, not to collect and worry over. The current price for an original dress, shawl, and hair tie is $50. That's too expensive for me to allow my toddler to play with and these outfits add up. So let's sew one for about $7 today!


Step 1 Start with prewashed and ironed fabric. We need 1/2 yard percale, 8" of Velcro, and matching thread. I must warn ya, Im using 100% cotton quilting fabric for this one.


Step 2 Print and cut out the pattern. I use my general use scissors because printer paper will dull sewing scissors. We only printed pages 36-47 to save paper and storage space. There are a few minor issues with these printed patterns.


-The skirt has the correct measurements in the top left corner. After you tape, it should be 15 7/8" by 9 1/4".

-The waistband does not state the correct measurements. It should be 12 1/4" by 1" after taping.

- The neckband is not the right size. Add 1/2" to length before cutting.


Step 3 Straight stitch the front bodice and back pieces at the shoulder. The directions do not mention, but the seam should be finished too. Clean finish this seam by sewing a zig zag stitch on raw edge. This will stop fabric from traveling when washed.

Step 4 Gather front bodice neck. This means sew a straight stitch that's extra long stitch length. That way you can pull the stitch string to gather the material.


Step 5 I mentioned earlier that the neck band is not correct on this version of pattern. If you added 1/2" when you cut the neckband then just fold the short edges in 5/16th and iron. Zig Zag the 2 long edges.

If you cut pattern to match the printout then this neckband is too small! In this case zig zag all the way around neckband, fold the short edges in 1/4". Iron.

Step 6 Pin neckband to the bodice. Right sides of fabric are facing each other. On the backside flip edge of fabric up 1/4". That way this neckband is encased.





Step 7 Use a long-running straight stitch to gather both sleeves top and bottom.

Step 8 Prepare the wristband by zig-zag stitching all the way around both pieces. Iron short edges in 1/4", then iron in half.


Step 9 Pin lower edge of sleeves to wristbands with right sides of fabric together. Were going to sew this just like we did the neckband. Straight stitch wristband to sleeve, fold fabric in half and tuck 1/4" under to encase the seam.

Step 10 Gather top of sleeves and sew to the armholes.

Step 11 The pattern directions are cut off here (step 10). You should sew down both sides of the dress. Start with sleeves and line up sleeves, armpit and lower end, sew then clean finish with a zig zag stitch.

Step 12 Gather lower edge of bodice. Pin waistband to bodice. Straight stitch then zig zag stitch to clean finish seams.


Step 13 Iron the grow lines onto the skirt body. This was a lot of measuring and ironing!Straight stitch grow lines.

Step 14 Sew back of skirt closed to dot on pattern.

Step 15 Gather skirt top. Pin skirt top to waistband. Straight stitch. I used a 3/8" seam here to make sure I sewed through all the gathers.

Step 16 Zig zag stitch bottom of skirt. Iron hem up 1/4" and straight stitch hem.


Step 17 Sew back on each side 1/4".


Step 18 Add Velcro to back. Put hook side near doll so soft side faces doll body.




All things considered, this pattern wasn't the most messed up out of the free Patterns from agplaythings.com.

There was some important points


  • The skirt body doesn't print big enough, it needs to be 1/2" wider

  • The waistband doesn't print big enough, it needs to be 1/2" wider

  • The neckband doesn't print big enough, add 1/2" to length

  • The back of bodice does not meet so there's no fabric to add Velcro. Increase each side of back bodice by 1/4".

  • Step 10 direction is cut off. It should tell you to sew sleeves and bodice there. sew straight stitch from sleeve cuff to bottom of bodice on each side. Make sure to clean finish by zig zagging the raw edge.


I provide these instructions free first because I want a record for when I create this dress again, and also because I want to help beginning sewers learn and advanced sewers to not make mistakes that are prevalent with these free patterns.


I aim to create every one of these Pleasant Company patterns as time allows so please consider subscribing to this blog for more to come.



Please consider subscribing to my blog for updates as I sew and new patterns. We offer free and paid patterns depending on how long it takes me to draft. Some of the free patterns on this blog are doll mittens, doll pajamas, doll mermaid outfit, and bathing suit. The patterns for sale mimic or reproduce some vintage and hard-to-find AG clothing like Kit's Chicken Keeping outfit, Kit's striped pajamas, and Samantha's bicycle outfit.


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