August 24, 2022

22 Comments

Style Guide ›




 

 


1920s Fashion For Dolls - A aleksandrajones Style Guide

PIXIE FAIRE STYLE GUIDE: 1920s Fashion For Dolls 

We’ve put together the ultimate style to help you make a historically accurate 1920s look for your doll such as Claudie Wells™ the newest historical character from American Girl®! The 1920s were a time of relentless joy in the aftermath of the First World War. Exuberant styles like the flapper dress and bob haircuts were all the rage. To make a great 1920s-inspired outfit for your doll you’ll want to understand these five components to this particular fashion era: new developments for children’s clothing, dresses, embellishments, accessories, and flapper girls. 

Please be sure to leave a comment at the bottom telling us which pattern you’re most excited to start working on!

 

NEW DEVELOPMENTS FOR CHILDREN’S CLOTHES

Children’s clothing in the 1920s changed dramatically from the past decades because it shifted focus from ornateness to practicality.  The clothes, especially girl’s clothing, began to loosen and feature simple lines that were designed for their needs and comfort.  There was also a substantial loss of layers in children’s clothing.  Before then there would be several layers of bloomers, stockings, and more, but in the 1920s, and thereafter, there was typically only be one layer of undergarments under children’s clothing.  This gave children more freedom to play than ever before.

 

DRESSES

The new popular style for dresses in the 1920s heavily deviated from anything that was previously in fashion.  Dresses were shortened for girls and women of all ages.  For young girls, dresses fell to the knee or just above.  For older girls, teens, and women, dresses fell somewhere between below the knee and midcalf.  Dresses featured dropped waists which accentuated their boxy fit.  This eliminated the need for corsets and rebelled against the trends of centuries prior.  It is an interesting reversal in trends to note, however.  In the past (and future) girls’ clothing always followed the trends for women’s clothing, but in this unique case, women’s clothing was heavily inspired by girls’ fashion trends.  This is evident through the short and boxy fit of the fashionable dress styles.

 

EMBELLISHMENTS

Although children’s clothing was more practical than it had been in the past, girls’ clothing in the 1920s was joyful and full of extravagant embellishments.  This is a reflection of the culture during the time period.  Some of these embellishments consisted of smocking patterns, embroidery, and bright-patterned fabrics.  Girls’ dresses and shirts would often also feature large “Peter Pan”-style collars.

 

ACCESSORIES

Young girls in the 1920s did not wear many accessories besides hats, shoes, or hair accessories.  Hats were popular for all age groups and were most often made of either wool or straw.  Straw hats had wide brims and flat tops.  They also were accented with ribbons or sashes as trims.  The popular wool hat at the time was cloche hats.  A cloche hat is shaped like a bell and extends down to the base of the neck and over the ears.  The brim is small and frames the face well.  Shoes for girls in the 1920s were often made of canvas which was easy to clean and cheap to produce.  In the 1920s girls of all age groups wore their hair in short bob haircuts.  These hair cuts were often decorated with ribbons or headbands to make them more feminine looking.

 

FLAPPER GIRLS

One of the most iconic looks of all of fashion history is that of the flapper girl.  Although it was not popular with young girls, it was still an influential look during the time period.  The name “flapper” doesn’t have a clear root but describes young women in the 1920s who wore short, drop-waist dresses, bobbed hair, and heavy makeup.  They valued fun, had very loose morals, and were nothing like their mothers from the generations before them.  They dated one man after another, partied nearly every night, spent money endlessly, and danced until dawn.  Nearly any girl in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels was considered a flapper girl, as well as his wife Zelda.  Zelda heavily influenced the flapper fashion culture.

 

FABRICS AND PRINTS

Popular fabrics for children’s clothing in the 1920s were fabrics that did not take much maintenance.  These would have been things like cotton, wool, or jersey knit.  These textiles were easy to wash and did not require much ironing, which made them popular with the children’s mothers as well!  Wealthier children would have been able to wear fabrics like velvet, lace, muslin, or silk, but these were also often reserved for special occasions.  Bright and optimistic colors as well as bold prints were popular for the era. Take a look below for our suggested fabric choices:

Lace Fabric from Joann Fabrics

Wool Felt Fabric from Joann Fabrics

Black Velvet Ribbon from Mood Fabrics 

Black Velvet Fabric from Mood Fabrics 

Black Fringe Trim from Mood Fabrics 

 

 

aleksandrajones offers a wide variety of 1920s era-inspired patterns, but to start check out these patterns below:

1920s Downtown for 18in Dolls

Nautical Pleats Outfit for 18in Dolls

The Little Flapper Dress for 18in Dolls

1920s Downtown for AGAT Dolls

Balmoral Holiday Set for 18in Dolls

Cloche Hat for Hearts for Hearts Dolls

1927 Coat Set for 18in Dolls

 

 

We’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment, and tell us which pattern you’re most excited to get working on!

Thanks, everyone!

--The aleksandrajones Team :^)


22 Comments

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

September 22, 2022

I want to start working on the 1920’s Downtown for 18” dolls

Amy
Amy

September 19, 2022

I can’t wait to start on the 1920s Downtown for my AGAT doll. I do so like the look of the Balmoral Holiday set and may have to buy and start that one brfore the 1920s Downtown ourtfit! Hmmm, it would be amazing if I could resize these patterns to fit my grandbaby! Love, love, love!

Vn Sypphj
Vn Sypphj

September 08, 2022

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Charlene Clark
Charlene Clark

September 07, 2022

I love these little climpses into history. I would love to see monthly classes developed around these topics.

Marilyn Ketner
Marilyn Ketner

September 02, 2022

I’ve previously made KDD’s 1920’s Dress and Hat, and the Balmoral Coat. I’m now working on the Nautical Pleats Dress.
I’m also searching other patterns I can modify to come up with more outfits.

Judy
Judy

August 27, 2022

I’ve been waiting for this to be posted on Facebook but still not there. Shari Fuller’s Thimbles & Acorns TA-0000-07, A Piece of History pattern has a 1920s dress included in her 10 dresses. I remembered it after I got my email from American Girl about Claudie Wells and started looking through my doll patterns for 1920s style.

Rebecca
Rebecca

August 26, 2022

I’ve been drooling over fashion plates and catalog scans since January in anticipation! Some of them really drive home that changes don’t always align with the decade turnover. The styles from 1920-1922 still have a lot in common with 1918-19, and the waistlines fluctuate a bit.
I’m actually considering modifying the Sweet Seventies Dress (another Keepers pattern) for Claudie. It already has the dropped waistband with a slightly boxier bodice I think it could work.
https://aleksandrajones.com//products/sweet-70s-dress-18-doll-clothes-pattern

Joan
Joan

August 26, 2022

My next project would be the Nautical pleats or the 1920’s downtown which I have made before but I would like to do the next one in short sleeves or in a contrast sleeve. I really love all of these hats.

Mollie Bradford
Mollie Bradford

August 26, 2022

I’m so excited for this era of fashion to be spotlighted! It’s one of my favorites to sew. Little girls and dolls look so playful and comfortable!
I think I may try the nautical outfit since I have some fabric that could work!

Janice
Janice

August 26, 2022

I like the Downtown 1920’s dress.

Anne
Anne

August 26, 2022

I’m going to start with the cloche hat. I also like the nautical pleats outfit and the 1927 coat set.

Islander_58North
Islander_58North

August 26, 2022

I’m hoping for SWC monthly topic to be sewing by the decades: 1900s, 1910-15, 1915-20, 1920s, 1930s…so many changes and variations! My favorite styles: 1915-1925.

Jo
Jo

August 26, 2022

The Balmoral Holiday set really caught my eye. I can just picture all of the little girls, lined up in church, wearing this adorable coat and hat. Of course, they would have their favorite doll with them, wearing a perfectly matched Coat and hat…….

Maggie Hubbard
Maggie Hubbard

August 26, 2022

These are adorable and so very stylish. Do people make these and sell them? I would love to create outfits and be able to sell them, but I haven’t a clue where to start.

Michele
Michele

August 26, 2022

I’m so thrilled to see the 1920’s era become a focus this year! I have the KDD Downtown 1920s Dress and Hat pattern. I hope to make an outfit soon!

Judy
Judy

August 26, 2022

I am anxious to make the gray, scalloped front coat for my new Claudie doll. Love the details!

Florence
Florence

August 26, 2022

I remember seeing pictures of my aunts as girls in the 1920’s wearing simple dresses and tam style hats. I would like to try to recreate those outfits. So much fun!

Vicki
Vicki

August 26, 2022

Looking forward to making some dropped waist dresses, but now I need a coat pattern!

Judi
Judi

August 26, 2022

Thank you for all the great info! Truly a great insight into the era! Since I just ordered Claudie, guess I will be needing some new patterns!!
Thank you for the list.. now to order them!

Christine
Christine

August 24, 2022

Last year, I made the Downtown 1920s dress which came out really cute! I would most like to make the Nautical Pleats dress next along with the Balmoral Holiday coat for outerwear.

adele
adele

August 24, 2022

Thank you for sharing some appropriate 1920’s style clothes for a young girl in that time period!

Kathy  m.
Kathy m.

August 24, 2022

To make flapper dress and that cute hat of the roaring ’20 and to buy the cloche hat for the 14 inch doll I have the pattern for 18 inch doll

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