A Glimpse at Both of my Rebecca Dresses….

I know why I much prefer to sew doll clothing to people clothing… it’s easier, and less material to handle, and just more fun! I also know why I’m not too fond of the fabric chiffon… what a pain to sew…

I had a very busy day with an out of town eye doctor appointment for my mom, taking Jean’s wife, Bithar, to the Food Pantry to get registered, coming home and starting a Taco dinner for my hubby to take to a meeting tonight, then getting a call from my hubby that plans had fallen through for the person who was supposed to pick up their kids at school, and could I possibly go pick up Bithar and head to the school to get their kids, coming home and finishing my taco dinner, and then working on Rebecca’s dress for the rest of the evening. There were other things but I’ll spare you…

I have worked on “my” Rebecca’s dress and managed to get the halter neck fixed…the sides taken in, (ugh!) bra pads in place because it’s a halter dress and she doesn’t want to wear a bra, and then finally hemmed… It has been a big alterations job. I remember when she brought the dress home, and said to me… “I need the neck fixed so it’s not so low, and the sides taken in a little bit and it needs hemming.” That sounds reasonable? Right? Not so much… I bet I have worked 15 hours on it so far and I still have to steam it and make sure it’s all okay. She petered out on me about 10:00 tonight… so I was on my own…

Anyway, enough on that. I knew I didn’t have much to show you so she said maybe somehow I could incorporate her dress into my post tonight…The pictures of her dress are a different color it seems like in every single picture. The dress color is called Garnet, I think and it’s a deep red. Some of my pictures are pretty terrible, but maybe you can get the idea….

After I got the neckline straightened out and the sides done, it was ready to do the hem… It was about 3″ too long in some places and about 1″ in other places… I told her it would be easier for me to mark the hem if she were up off the floor and I could just cut it off at floor level. She found an end table and moved it into the kitchen and used a step stool to get up on it. Then she held onto the refrigerator to balance herself because she was in 3 1/2″ heels.




I used a pair of scissors and just cut the dress even with the top of the end table. I thought this was the best way to get it even from the floor.




Here are a few pictures of the work I did on it… It’s one of those jobs that no one ever sees and isn’t something you would necessarily say, “wow…look what I did to this dress!” So I’m using this post for my “Show and Tell” today. Don’t look too closely at my work… it’s not as I say on the doll clothes “as neat on the insides as it is on the outside…” but it will do for a bridesmaid dress…


I didn’t have a picture of the crooked surplice front, but here it is straighted up… I had to repin the pleats on the front too…


…and here it is…waiting for the next “try on” time…oh, please fit perfectly!!!


Now, enough on “that” Rebecca…here’s a little something to show you on my Rebecca doll’s Civil War dress. I added some little green, “I’m calling them diagonal epaulets” on the midriff section of her dress. The green matched perfectly and I found 4 teeny tiny mother of pearl vintage buttons to hold them down. I worked on this night before last and have a little bit more to show you…

I’m going to have to get my lighting figured out for my dolls too… These pictures aren’t much better than the ones on “my” Rebecca…





Well, I better call it quits. It’s later than I care to tell you…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, I love both dresses! Gosh, all the dresses are different colors on my monitor! “Your” Rebecca’s dress goes from shades of pink to orange! Anyway, it looks just beautiful all finished, and boy what a job that must have been! I too, have a hard time trying to figure out why I enjoyed sewing for “big” people, and my patience is about gone for even the dolls clothes!

    The epaulets turned out to be just the thing I thought was needed! You never cease to amaze me in what you do to turn an ordinary dress pattern into something so original and beautiful! Now what is Rebecca supposed to be doing in that dress? Maybe taking a music lesson?

    • Thank you Linda,
      It feels so good to be done with Rebecca’s bridesmaid dress. I think if she’s ever asked to be in a wedding again, I’m going to find out if the dress is chiffon and if so, she might have to pass! :o) It took up too much of my time…
      I don’t mind sewing “big people” clothes or even little girl’s dresses, but these fancy fabrics that the wedding dresses are made from certainly aren’t my cup of tea! Give me cotton any day of the week!
      I know they aren’t really epaulets, but it was what popped in my mind when I did them, so I just decided to call them that.
      Oh….I like the idea of a music lesson… I might have to do a little investigation into an instrument or a music book at least! Thanks!
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        You’re right, Jeanne, they’re not epaulets–those are on the shoulders.

        What you’ve added to the dress are tabs. And I do like that look! It adds a nice touch of solid color in a rather busy print.

        Congrats on finishing your Rebecca’s bridesmaid dress!! I’m with you–I’d rather make a garment from scratch than do alterations, and chiffon is Not one of my favorite fabrics to sew!

  2. About halfway through reading what you took on yesterday, I think I’d have sat down and shed a few tears if I were you. It’s amazing what you accomplished in one day! I’d rather make an entire dress from scratch rather than alter even one detail of a dress let alone all the alterations you took on. And taking care of so many others in the bargain. Amazing! Wish I could run a few errands for you.

    I really like the detail at the waistline of the Rebecca doll dress. The waist is defined and the brooch and fabric pattern remain the stars of the show. You are so creative. I never would have thought of that. Thanks for still taking the time to write, take pictures and post after such a busy, busy day. Maybe you will have time to do what you truly enjoy today, make little doll clothes. Hope so.

    • HI Susette,
      I feel about alterations the same way you do… I used to do them for a store here in town and sometimes would have thousands of dollars of prom dresses in my house. We had a little saying back then, “Grab the dresses from Ruthie’s if there’s a fire!!!” and I meant it too!

      I have Rebecca’s bridesmaid dress finished and just have to steam her rehearsal dress for tomorrow night. It feels good to have both of them checked off my “to do” list! I might have to find a picture of the rehearsal dress and show you what I did to it. It was quite a transformation…

      I am truly hoping to find time to sew today, or I might as well get out of the sewing business. My life has been taken over by “other things” lately. I need to figure out how to do more sewing and less doing… but that’s kind of hard… I don’t mind the doing, but the doing and the sewing seem to butt heads sometimes… :o)

      Oh, I saw your emails this morning at 1:00 something… The panels were very sweet but I think I’ll pass as I mostly have the walls in my room filled up. I need to get things cleaned back up and show you my room again… minus the cutting table area… I’m still working on that…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. In paragraph 2, you say, “…the rest of the evening.” I got to that and thought, “After all that, how could there be a ‘rest’ to that evening?”
    The table top hemming was an excellent idea. All Rebecca had to do was stand and not shift from foot to foot. She was high enough that you were possibly not too uncomfortable while you cut.
    For years, we tried yardsticks and similar things for measuring where hems should go. One day I just used what I had, a stack of books — much more stable than a yardstick. We have done that ever since.
    Linda and Susette are right about the new waist detail — just what was needed and I would never have thought of it. I also really like the stitching on the bodice around the sleeves. It gives just a little extra definition that’s nice with the patterned fabric. Now you are down to the extras. Petticoat? Pantalettes? Hair decoration? Accessory? There’s a lot of fun for us left before this outfit is completely ready. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      You are so right and there wasn’t any rest last night. I actually went to bed at 1:30 this morning…
      The end table did work out very well and it turned out about as straight as I could have hoped!
      Yes…now I’m down to the “extras” for Rebecca’s dress. I’ll have to see what it needs to complete this pretty dress. Rebecca sure does look pretty in thsee colors…
      Thank you Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. The bridesmaid dress was an amazing feat. I’m with you on my dislike of chiffon.
    Think Bithar needs an Uber driver on call for the kids. You are so kind to help out.
    I really like the waist detail on AG Rebecca’s dress. It is just adorable and so perfect for her. I like Linda’s music lesson idea too.

    • Hi Joy,
      I agree with you on everything you said!!
      I’ve made it to my sewing room and hope Rebecca’s dress gets some sewing time before someone or something calls for my attention!
      Thanks, Joy
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Rebecca’s dress certainly required a lot of alterations. I guess for the price I would have expected it to be good to go- oh well, so much for ready made. I’m sure it will be perfect when you finish.I have a nifty little gadget that belonged to my grandmother. It is a hemmer that sits on a tripod base and is a portion of a yardstick fastened to a metal back. The metal slides up and down and locks in place. It has a groove where a pin goes through to mark your hem at the chosen spot. I know it’s from the 1940’s because my mom remember having it used to hem homemade dresses and I had it used for me as well..
    Rebecca’s (doll) dress is certainly looking lovely. The little waist
    tabs add just the right touch of interest. Yes, there is a lot more
    fun to anticipate of what will finish the dress – bonnet? accessory?
    hoop skirt?. i like Linda’s idea of a music lesson as well. I know
    girls would have played the piano and saw a tintype of a girl playing
    a violin although a violin would have been a rarer choice My daughter has the Violin set PC made in 1996 and it’s wood
    and quite nice, the later one was plastic.. Now I need to borrow it
    for a display ( she’s had it in storage for years). Can’t wait to see
    how you finish up this dress.

    • Hi Laura,
      My daughter was the one who was the most disappointed in the dress. She’d never spent $200 on anything before so I think she thought it was going to be incredibly made…
      I used to have one of those yardstick hemmers. This dress was so feathery and fine along the edges it wouldn’t have worked. I couldn’t get pins to stay in it at all… I’m just glad it’s finished…
      Yes…now back to sewing! Yay!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Your work is amazing, Jeanne. Both dresses have taken so many hours to yield the beautiful results you’ve shown us. I do hope you’re getting enough rest for all that you do, seen and unseen.


    • Hi Becky,
      We’ll I can tell you I didn’t get enough sleep last night but I absolutely had to get the dress finished. She tried it on before school and it was good!!!
      Thank you Becky,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Anne Johnson says:

    Where DO you find the time and energy, Jeanne? Although we are only months apart in age, your stamina puts me to shame! Just reading what you accomplished yesterday made me tired! I truly admire your tireless servant’s heart.

    Both “Rebecca” dresses look lovely, Jeanne. You certainly had a detailed reconstruction of the the bridesmaid dress, but I’m sure your daughter is grateful for her talented seamstress mother! Tailored to perfection, the red chiffon will look very pretty on Rebecca with her beautiful hair. Careful, she might outshine the bride!

    The AG dress is charming in its details. I love the lace jabot with the brooch, and the green tabs add a nice touch at the waist. The muted colors of the nature-inspired print lend authenticity and compliment Rebecca’s pretty eyes. I like the idea of a music lesson, or perhaps Rebecca is doing a little sewing of her own?

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s updates on all your endeavors, Jeanne, but I think a little rest might be in order! 😉

    • Hi Anne,
      I was up too late last night but I had to get her dress done because of her class schedule. I am hoping to get to bed earlier tonight. ..promise…

      I will have something to show tomorrow…but it won’t be as much as I was hoping for. ..
      Thank you Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. What a busy day! I like the way Rebecca’s new dress fits–both the doll and your daughter. I also think a music lesson is a cute idea. On hemming the bridesmaid dress, I hope you are going to do a machine-sewn rolled hem. Otherwise that fabric will be a nightmare to get straight. I’m sure you already know that, though. I hope you had a more restful day today.

    • Hi Caroyn,
      Yes, I am doing a rolled hem on the dress…I can’t imagine doing it by hand. It would take days…
      I might show some pictures of the hem and how I did it…
      Thanks Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Kathie Welsh says:

    I think bridal and bridesmaids alterations are the hardest and most time consuming alterations. One family calls me whenever there is a wedding in the family and I usually do it for them…but this time I Actually said “no”….it seemed so snotty to not help out but the changes sounded just like Rebecca ‘s…changes and fabric. I really am not a fan of that sleazy chiffon either. Too many doll’s that need attention…so no alterations for a good long time
    You did a great job on that hem…amazing actually. Rebecca is going to look so sweet.

    • Thank you Kathie,
      I don’t blame you for not doing the dress. A friend from church wanted me to drop by her place and see a wedding dress that she had been asked to alter. It was the most major undertaking I had ever seen requested. I told her I wouldn’t tackle it for $600 and she decided to call the people the next morning and told them she couldn’t do it.

      I need to tend to my dolls too..so I’m hoping no more interruptions in my life…
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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