Heirloom Doll Costumes & Restoration
Mary B. Lytle · 2806 E. 9th St. · Tucson, AZ 85716-5242 USA · 1-520-881-5545
E-mail: puppen@heirloomrestoration.com

An Original 1920 Bleuette Pattern from
"La Semaine de Suzette"

Translated from the French by Mary B. Lytle © 2002

Robe Kimono – Kimono Dress

The St-Ouen flea market in Paris is a wonderful and atmospheric place to indulge your passion for just about any kind of collectible. Besides German bisque and china dolls, paper theaters, and toy tea sets, I collect toy sewing machines, sewing paraphernalia of all types, and old dress patterns, preferably ones for dolls. I found all these things and more on a Sunday's hunting during the PuppentourTM last year, including, to my very great delight, 52 issues of "La Semaine de Suzette" from, February 1920 through January 1921! In beautiful condition, they are bound into a single, hard cover volume from which I have chosen an original Bleuette pattern to share with you. I have translated the French instructions into English for your convenience in making it for your Bleuette or other little doll. I have attempted to make the translation as colloquial as possible without sacrificing the lovely nuances of 1920s manners. It is quite an eye opener when one contemplates that only eighty-two years ago, little girls read and followed these reasonably complicated instructions to dress their Bleuette dolls. How many little girls of today could do the same? My Bleuette (right) is wearing the Robe Kimono made up in a simple cotton print with ribbon ties. The scallops were done by machine. Enjoy making this precious little dress for your doll! TANTE MARY.

Robe Kimono
Click here for a full size pattern!
     Le devant et le dos se taillent sur le mème patron; ils sont sans couture au milieu.
     Cette robe se ferme sur les épaules. Une broderie de pois forme garniture. Un petit croquis, en bas et à droite de la page, vous montre la façon dont on procède. C'est un point de plumetis plat, c'est-à-dire non bourré.
     Le bord de la robe et celui des manches sont festonnés. Un petit croquis vous montre ce point, le plus facile de tous.
     Une rangée de boutons dissimule, de chaque coté, la couture d'épaules. Deux petites pattes forment comme deux fractions de ceinture; l'une se pose devant, l'autre derrière; elles servent à passer deux rubans qui viennent se nouer en flots sur les côtés.
     Cette robe peut se broder en couleur: bleu pâle sur petit lainage blanc, rose corail sur nansouk, par example.
     On peut aussi la faire en taffetas léger bleu sombre, avec pois rouges et or, genre chinois. TANTE JACQUELINE.
     The front and the back are cut on the same pattern; they do not have a seam in the middle.
     This dress is closed at the shoulders. A dotted embroidery is the trimming. A small sketch, at the bottom right edge of the page, shows you the way in which one proceeds. It is a flat stitch, that is to say, not padded.
     The edge of the dress and that of the sleeves are scalloped. A small sketch shows you this stitch, the easiest of all.
     A row of buttons conceals on each side the seam of the shoulders. Two small casings form two sections of belt; one in front, the other in back; they serve to slip through two ribbons which come to be tied loosely on the sides.
     This dress can be embroidered in color: pale blue on light white wool, coral pink on nainsook, for example.
     One can also do it in lightweight, dark blue taffeta with red and gold dots, Chinese style. AUNT JACQUELINE.