Retro playsuit



(background image in public domain from

Did you get the latest AG catalog and think, “I MUST have Maryellen’s new airstream!” and then have sticker shock at the price and the fact that the campfire, etc. was extra?  Me too.  So here’s an enabling post:  I made a pattern for a similar playsuit with much easier construction than the original, and with the money you save making it, you can totally justify that new camper! 😉

Spring is usually a VERY snowy time in the mountains, but the weather has so far been pretty nice – although much too windy to take doll pix outside unfortunately!  This project is perfect if you’re really looking forward to warm weather.  It’s not as quick as I initially anticipated, but should be do-able for an advanced beginner, since it’s not much more complicated than making a pair of pants.   Try the playsuit part as a swimsuit for Nanea, or maybe even Melody if you shorten the legs.  In case it’s not obvious, you could also turn the facing to the inside so it doesn’t show and in that case you could just pink the raw edges and not have to deal with the hassle of turning it under.

If your doll is brand new, this playsuit might be loose on her.  See inside the pattern for “Are AGs losing weight again?”  If you need a tight fit, I would suggest sewing the side seams first and basting the center front seam.  Pin the back in place and then take in any excess at the front.  For that reason, I changed the front facing piece to have a CF seam, instead of a fold as you see here.  Make sure to adjust it the same amount that you take in at the front.

Get it here


18 responses »

  1. What a lovely playsuit! Thank you for this pattern! I too love Maryellen’s airstream, but could never afford it… and I wouldn’t even have room for it either. It’s a very fine piece, though. I like the new historic clothing that was released. Your take on the playsuit is great, and I found it interresting that you pointed out the slimmer body of the new dolls. Is Nanae also thinner like Luciana? That might mean that the new AG clothing won’t fit the older dolls…

  2. Very cute outfit. Thanks! I no longer sew for granddaughters, but I sew for charity giving at Christmas and greatly appreciate the patterns you make.

    Susan Mayhew


  3. Wow, thank you for your many generous pattern offerings. I have enjoyed them thoroughly. I totally agree with so many things you discuss. I gave searched your archives and enjoyed my exploration. I too have a thing about period costume! I always think about my college History of Clothing instructor who is long dead, she would be doing cartwheels in her grave over such careless costuming.

  4. Ooh thankyou for the pattern! Its been really wintery here in Alaska the past few weeks and I am so over it! So I feel your pain as far as that goes. It usually is pretty wintery in Alaska in March. In April, things start to thaw out. Our weather is getting warmer though! Yay! I am itching to get outside and get photos of my dolls! Indoor photos are just not as nice!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this and all the other patterns you provide for us!!! Your generosity is just sooooo over-whelming!!! Warmest hugs, Jane J.

  6. The shorts were separate from the dress in the one I had, and my mother forbade me to wear them to school. So I smuggled them in my lunch bag, because with them on I could hang by my knees from the Jungle Gym. Definitely one of my favorite outfits! (I was seven years old.) Thanx for the memory!

  7. Hello, Thank you so much! The playsuit is darling and much appreciated. I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula bordering Canada, and if you think Spring is a long time coming where you are, you should be here! We still have about 5″ of snow on the ground, down from about 20″ or so of regular snow cover though, and it snows lightly just about every day. Spring for us is more like mid to end of April and the kids have had snow days from school in May–keeping in mind that we don’t close school for much less than a 10″ snowfall! Thanks again, Barb


  8. What a darling playsuit & bonus scarf pattern, Jen! Thanks so much, again! Once life slows down here, I shall have to decide for whom I’m going to sew this sweet playsuit. Hate that AGs seem to be getting thinner again, but very much appreciate your sharing this information with us.

  9. Thank you so much for this pattern! I sewed it up the other day, and I was so happy with it! Alas, I have already given it away, I was participating in a facebook group craft swap and it went so perfectly with the doll sized picnic I made! My daughter’s eyes got enormous when she saw it though, so I will most likely be making a second play suit sometime this week, and I also need one for my own MaryEllen doll! We tried our playsuit on MaryEllen for a quick photoshoot before we sent it off, and it fit her perfectly.

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