A Bonnet is Born….

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know I’ve had to stop my dolly sewing for a few days to alter a dress my daughter is wearing in a wedding Saturday. It is made of a dark red chiffon and has not been fun to make changes on…


However…in the midst of all the trials and tribulations, Anne Johnson, one of my dear readers, left me a comment in the form of a poem, but I didn’t see it until after 10:30 p.m. Friday night, and many of you may have missed it too. It was just TOO sweet and VERY GOOD…so I copied it for everyone to see… It made me smile big time…and right before bed! Anne this is just over the top cute as can be!!!

THE RED DRESS ~ by Anne Johnson

There once was a girl who bought a red dress–
The color was lovely, though the fit was a mess!
She needed it altered and she needed it FAST,
But she knew a good seamstress with skills unsurpassed.

So away to the seamstress the girl fairly flew
And tried on her red dress with a high-heeled shoe.
After taking the fitting and checking it twice,
The seamstress was sure she could make it quite nice.

Well into the night the seamstress did sew,
But the fabric was slippery and the going was slow.
When making a cut, the chiffon it would fray,
And so the poor seamstress began to pray.

She used all her skills, and at last it was finished–
The dress was divine, her talent undiminished.
The girl was delighted to see her new gown
And said, “Thank you, Mom! You’re the best seamstress in town!”

Now, didn’t that put a smile on your face too???

Okay, now for my part of this post, though, it’s not nearly so impressive… Rebecca’s bonnet was born today… I can’t believe I found this scrap of fabric that matched her dress so well. I made it with some vintage lace I already had and added an additional bit to the inside of the bonnet to frame Rebecca’s face. It has been a long time since I made a bonnet for a dress, and I wonder why… as they always add so much to the dresses!
Here are a few views of it…





Oh, and here’s a sneak peek at something else for this set! :o)


One more thing… “my” Rebecca had a rehearsal dinner to go to and ordered a dress from Lindybop.com… They carry vintage looking dresses from the 50’s and she found one she liked…

This is the red one, but I picked it so you could see the details better…



She ordered the coppery colored one, but when it arrived, she decided she LOVED the shimmery copper color, but wasn’t crazy about the sleeves, the length or the belt…so guess what I did with it?


… took off the sleeves, used them to cut a bias strip and bind the sleeve edges;


… then cut about 10″ off the hem of the dress and used that fabric to make a tie belt for the dress…big changes but she loved the new revamped look. I’m glad, because once the sleeves were off and the hem was shortened, there was no going back.


I wanted to take at least one shot of her in it, and she let me! She was curling her hair and had her flip flops on…but maybe you can tell how it looks on her…


All my alterations are finished.. I HOPE!

I’ll see you Monday morning,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    What a beautiful dress and a beautiful daughter! You did an excellent job, Jeanne, to make the dress more “today”, yet it still has a “50’s” vibe! Beautiful color too! Gee, this is one heck of a weekend for a wedding as far as the weather goes! We have had nothing but rain, and a lot of it, and will get more today.

    Oh, that bonnet is just adorable! Every Civil War girl needs a bonnet like that to go where she is going, and then when she gets to her destination, perhaps, the music teacher’s, she can remove it. The lace ruffles frame her face so sweetly, and I like the way you tied the bow on the side so that the brooch shows. Oh my, that petticoat! That will make the dress stand out for sure, and will make the whole outfit a knockout!

    • Good morning Linda,
      Thanks for your compliments on the dress AND my daughter! I’ll take them both!

      The sun is shining here right now… I hope it stays sunny all day! Maybe it will quit raining in St. Louis soon too.

      I’ve got several things to finish up on this set, but I’m hoping to maybe get it listed this evening. If everything cooperates, I just might make it!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Me again! I forgot to mention that I did see that very darling poem last night that Anne wrote, and thought it was so sweet! How talented you are, Anne! Jeanne, you should print it out and frame it!!!

    • HI again Linda,
      What a great idea to frame Anne’s poem about Rebecca’s dress. I just read it to Rebecca and she loved it too…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I just have to second every comment Linda made: The beautiful daughter, clever and sometimes patience-testing alterations and the lovely poem by Anne. She was probably writing the poem while you were doing the alterations. “Yes” to framing it, maybe with pictures of Rebecca in the dresses on each side.

    I do have a question about the amazing bonnet: How did you attach the gathered strip. I only see one line of stitching on each side (the gathering stitches). Are they oversewn or hand sewn to the other two pieces or done with a machine attachment of some kind. Did you design the bonnet yourself? It’s just wonderful. You certainly glean everything possible from the old magazines.

    • Thank you Susette…
      I loved the poem and so glad you did too!

      For the bonnet, I gathered up that middle piece of fabric by just running one row of basting close to the edges. I pulled the threads and tried to make the gathers even from side to side. The fabric was stiff enough they pretty much stayed in place. Then I pinned it in place and stitched it on the middle of the bonnet and removed the basting stitches. That way it only shows one row of stitching. You have a keen eye for sewing details, Susette!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Anne’s poem was right on the mark! Definitely worthy of framing! And then you go and show Rebecca’s rehearsal dinner dress that you altered! You are indeed a super woman with super sewing skills!

    Love dolly Rebecca’s new bonnet. That looks like the Keepers Dolly Duds pattern with all the ruching. I’ve made it several times myself with slight modifications, including sewing an additional seam down the middle of the ruching. Your green fabric is perfect, and I always love lace on the inside of a bonnet.

    I hope your Rebecca has a wonderful time at the wedding. She will be beautiful in the red dress you helped make perfect for her to wear.

    • HI Karen,
      I thought everyone would enjoy Anne’s poem… I know I certainly did.

      The bonnet is a Keeper’s Dolly Duds pattern. I shortened the sides by about 3/8th’s if an inch though. I was going to just make a “flat bonnet” but decided it would be fun to have a regular bonnet so I used Eve’s pattern.

      Thanks Karen,
      Have a wonderful Saturday!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. What a great poem, Anne. Your words certainly describe one of our favorite seamstresses so well. Thanks for sharing it with us, Jeanne.

    Rebecca’s bonnet is so pretty on her…and your Rebecca’s dress looks so pretty on her with all of your creative changes. What a wonderful mom you are!


    • Thank you Becky,
      I just knew this poem was too good to only be seen a few times. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Thanks too, for your compliments on my “girls” in all their glory! I am blessed!
      Blessings back to you, Jeanne

  6. That poem did bring a smile to my face, it was very nice. Rebecca’s bonnet looks really cute on her. Rebecca looks divine in that dress, and I hope she has a wonderful time at the wedding. 🙂

    • HI Christine,
      I’m glad everyone got a chance to read Anne’s poem… I loved it too!

      Thanks for the compliments on Rebecca’s bonnet. She loves it!
      I’m sure my Rebecca will have a good time… She has to be there at 12:30 but the wedding isn’t until 4:00, so I guess they’ll be putting lots of finishing touches on their looks before they walk down the aisle.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Great poem from Anne! Loved it.
    The Lindybop Dress was great, but now it is even greater! Amazing what you can do. Hope daughter Rebecca enjoyed the rehearsal dinner in her new improved dress.
    Little Rebecca now has a perfect bonnet that even matches her eyes. Such a cute set.

    • Thank you Joy,
      I’m so glad I picked Rebecca to model this Civil War dress. It does go perfectly with her green eyes. I hope I can get my pictures to turn out well…
      Thanks so much Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Anne Johnson says:

    I’m glad you liked “The Red Dress” poem, Jeanne. I tried to express a little bit of the frustration you may have felt with the bridesmaid dress re-do, yet focus on the beautiful outcome, all while keeping the true identity of the seamstress a secret until the end. I hope I was accurate in capturing the heart of the story, and I hope Rebecca liked it, too. And Yes, Susette, I was thinking of rhymes yesterday while I was busy changing beds, washing linens, folding laundry and prepping supper. It was fun to do and made my chores go faster.

    And now the lovely Lindybop dress! I’m afraid I won’t have a poem for that one today, as we are bathing our dog and then going to the Home and Garden Show at the Ohio Expo Center, but I certainly agree with your readers that: 1) Your daughter is beautiful (good genes, and a good Jeanne 😉 ); 2) The lindybop dress makeover is fantastic (and compliments Rebecca’s hair so nicely); and 3) Your talents are amazing, and there’s nothing you can’t do! Your makeover has retained the essence of the 50s feel while creating a look of modernity. I’m sure your daughter is grateful for her mom’s talent. Thank you for sharing another project with us, Jeanne, and thank you, Rebecca, for allowing your mom to snap your picture — you look stunning in your coppery dress! Perhaps you will catch the bouquet at the wedding.

    Dolly Rebecca is looking stunning as well in her green Civil War ensemble. Again, I agree with your readers, Jeanne. Your charming rushed bonnet is the perfect accessory for Rebecca’s puffed-sleeved dress. The green fabric compliments her eyes nicely, and the extra row of face-framing ruffles on the inside is a very sweet look for a young lady of her era. You know I’m simply a fool for your slips and petticoats, and this lovely tiered one is no exception! Rebecca will be thrilled to wear it, and it will give her full skirt a pretty shape.

    You’ve given us a lot to look at today, Jeanne, but as always, we’ll look forward to the remaining details. Have a good Saturday!

    • Thank you Anne, again, for the lovely poem…It was just the most unexpected thing and it made my night! Now it’s making everyone’s day! You are quite the poet!

      The rehearsal dinner was in a dark restaurant and I’m not sure if they took any pictures of Rebecca, but if she ends up with some, I’ll share them. The same for the wedding today too… I may go just so I can see Rebecca walk down the aisle… I was invited… :o)

      I think Rebecca’s bonnet was the perfect touch to her dress…not too fancy, but just dainty enough to go with her dress…now to get everything finished and all tied together!
      I hope your Saturday is fun too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I love the petticoat, the bonnet, the doll dress, and the new red dress. Tomorrow you have a day off, and the doll dress will probably be ready for Ebay. What a week you have had.
    Anne’s poem is wonderful. How many people can find an appropriate rhyme for “unsurpassed”? I agree with everyone else that framing it with the red dresses on either side might be a really nice addition to the studio.

    • Thank you Marilyn,
      I actually found time to make a cake today. My hubby’s all time favorite cake is a German chocolate. I found this new recipe for an Upside Down German Chocolate Cake and wanted to make it last week for our Anniversary but was too busy.
      It just came out of the oven and I can’t wait to give it a taste!
      I have to get some pantalettes made and see if I still can get this listed…
      Thank you Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. I’m glad you shared Ann’s poem. It’s so clever and fun! I love the bonnet. The color is perfect and the style suits the dress. Rebecca will be all ready for her next adventure. Oh, and I absolutely love the retro-styled dress for your Rebecca. The original style is great, but the modifications made it look dressier, and even better suited for someone Rebecca’s age–oh, to be that age again and able to look good in sleeveless dresses! She’ll be the prettiest girl there!

    • HI Carolyn,
      Thank you for your sweet compliments on both of my Rebecca’s… I’m a little partial to one of them…
      I didn’t make it to the wedding, but I hope someone takes some pictures I can use and show everyone what she looked like in her dress.
      Rebecca’s Civil War dress will go on Ebay this evening. Hurray! I did it! It has been 32 days since I listed my last dress…that’s too long between auctions!
      Thanks Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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