A Sneak Preview at my 1950’s Christmas dress for American Girl Maryellen…

Call me crazy, but I picked another metallic fabric for American Girl Maryellen’s Christmas Dress…HOWEVER, I tested it for it raveling tendencies before I cut a single piece of it out…and it was much better…in fact almost non-existent. As I was taking pictures of my 50’s girl, Eden, modeling (for Maryellen), I sort of second guessed myself, thinking, “Oh no, Maryellen has reddish hair; I should have made her a green dress instead of a red plaid one” or is it acceptable now that red heads wear red? Well… it’s too late for those kinds of thoughts… so I’ll carry on…

Here’s a picture of the fabric…it looks sort of orangy red in my pictures, but it’s not… I’d actually call it a deep blue/red…not burgundy but definitely not orange-ish red…

[If you click on any picture it will enlarge.]


After looking at hundreds of patterns for girls, I found a sweet one from the 1950’s and decided to mimic it the best I could… It’s not really a super fancy dress and there isn’t anything extraordinary about it, but when I saw it, I knew it was the one… :o)



…so here are a few teaser pictures…




I decided not to be so mean and go ahead and show you what I got accomplished today… quite a bit actually!





I still have things to do on it, snaps in the back, a slip, a head thingy (?) and maybe something else… but she’s looking pretty cute so far, don’t you think? This was so much nicer to sew than Nyssa’s dress… Oh, by the way, I probably won’t list the dresses until after Thanksgiving because it’s not a good time with traveling and visiting and cooking and eating… You know… But I’ll have my dresses ready to go and they’ll be listed fairly soon. I’ll keep sewing… you just keep reading… :o)

A BIG thank you to my new subscribers… I hope you enjoy yourselves here on my blog… join right in and make yourself at home…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Am I first today? I’ve got so much to get done today I need to be sewing but instead I’m on the computer. At least it’s early.

    This is an adorable dress for Ellie. I love your rendition of the pattern, and it’s so festive in the red plaid. Oh, and by the way, I have made quite a few things in red for Maryellen and she looks smashing in red. I worried about that also when I made the first thing, but no worries after I saw it on her.

    She’ll look great in this dress.

    • HI Anna,
      Yep, you seem to be first today!
      I’m glad to hear you say that Maryellen looks good in red… that makes me feel better!
      Thanks so much for your kind words, Anna,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Very pretty. I’ve seen that fabric and steered away from it thinking that it would be a terribly ravelly fabric. Nice to know that’s not the case. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HI Christine,
      This fabric was an absolute joy to sew…no problems whatsoever… it was nice!
      Thank you very much Christine,
      blessings, Jeanne

  3. Jeannie Brandon says:

    Jeanne, did I ever mention that I love plaid ? Likely, yes so there is no doubt that I love this dress. WOW and the style !! It is perfectly 1950’s. The fitted bodice, collar and cuffs out of dotted swiss, the ribbon tie at the neck, then the extra little two layer ruffle on the skirt just makes this an extra special dress. Now I waiting to see what you come up with for the hair piece. This is an really outstanding dress!!
    I’ll bet you are just humming along as you worked on this one after the Nyssa dress situation. Such a pleasure to sew when all things are right.
    Have a fun day today!

    • HI Jeannie,
      I think you have mentioned that you like plaids… me too!!! I was a little worried when I first started this dress that it would look too much like a “school” dress, but the more I worked on it, the more it seemed okay for Christmas. I think the pattern is such a darling little dress.
      It was a nice change of pace to make a dress, have the edges not ravel and press like a dream! That’s how I got so much done… and the fact that I was alone all day.. I’m hoping more of the same today!
      Thank you for your sweet compliments on it, Jeannie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    That’s an amazing dress. The sleeves are a nice new look, the collar and cuff fabric is special, the plaid is beautifully matched. Matched plaids are not at all common. I think this one is a winner.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do for shoes and socks to go with this dress. It seems to me that we sometimes wore flats without socks when we were being dressy. The girls in the pattern pictures are wearing socks that aren’t anklets. I like the look but not ever recall seeing them in real life. Not that that would bother me. I never liked anklets and was delighted to give them up.

    How many outfits do you think you can have done by Thanksgiving? Who’s next? I was certainly surprised to see this one nearly complete this morning.

    Speaking of Thanksgiving, I think you should tell us more about that corn casserole.

    • Morning Marilyn,
      Thank you for all your special comments on the dress… it was fun seeing it come to life from the pattern picture. I hope someone thinks it’s a winner when I list it on Ebay…

      I haven’t decided what to do about the sock thing just yet. It seems like too dressy of a dress for anklets but that’s what was worn in the 50’s so maybe I should get over it. But it would be nice to see a pair of pretty tights with this one.. and her black patent leather shoes.. hmmm…

      You asked who was next on my Christmas list? It’s none other than tiny little Ten Ping… I’ve got to find something teeny tiny and special for her too.

      I’m fighting the urge to go to town and find a pretty white sparkly tree to use for the background for Nyssa’s dress… but I need to stay home and sew… such a dilemma…

      I did write down the “corn casserole” for a possible post idea… also I make a “mean” Sweet Potato Souffle… that is the absolute bomb!!! Seriously delicious and easy to make. Kristoffer asked for it too!

      Thanks so much for all your kind comments, Marilyn,
      Blessings to you, Jeanne

  5. Oh how sweet Eden’s dress is. I’m anxious to see all the rest you decide to do to it. It is perfect for Christmas time. I’ve loved plaids since I was little.
    Trisha received her package. She is so excited. Merry Christmas Molly is lovelier than the pictures show. I just love it. Thank you !
    I’m working on a project today, while listening to Christmas music. Oh, I love Bing Crosby’s ” I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas.”
    Have a wonderful day!! Blessings.

    • HI Paula,
      Thanks so much for your comments today… plaids are fun, aren’t they?
      I’m glad Trisha loved her new Christmas dress… I thought you’d like it too!

      I’m going to have to get out my Christmas music and start listening to it too. I’m a big fan of Bing Crosby and Perry Como… There was a time when my kids were little that they love Perry too… those days are gone, but not for me! What a smooth voice!
      Have fun on your project today Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Driving does mean freedom to me.. Congratulations on your progress using at least part of your foot!
    Love the choice of pattern and your interpretation.

    • HI Jan,
      Yes, driving even just once a week now will make a huge difference. I don’t feel so dependent on someone else, and I get to stop wherever I want… without having to ask…
      Thanks for reading today and for liking what I made for the 50’s.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Jeanne, the dress is beautifull done! Love the details.

    Blessings, Beth

    • Thank you Beth,
      This dress was so much more fun to make than Nyssa’s was. Nyssa’s was a challenge… Eden’s was a joy!
      Thanks so much Beth,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Hi Jeanne,
    Love it, feminine and soft, yet tailored and crisp. And, it fits Eden (or Mary Ellen) perfectly. This dress seems to have magically sewn itself, it appeared so fast. (I know that’s not true. You were probably up until 2 am working on it???)
    You’re going to have quite an offering of beautiful dresses waiting to dress some lucky girls for the holidays. Congrats on moving along…

    • HI Cindy,
      Thanks so much for your sweet comments on Eden’s dress. I was up till 1:00 not 2:00 but I was hoping to get it done enough to show…and I made it…

      I went to you website last night and wrote out this long comment and then it vanished.. it was on my phone and I didn’t know how to retrieve it… I’ll try again…
      Your new little Lucy is adorable! Congratulations on getting her…
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • I got your comment, Jeanne. I had to approve it since it came through with a new email though. Thanks, it was nice hearing from you. (I responded too. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  9. I think this little number would look fabulous on any American Girl. It is just darling. As to a head piece, I remember, simple plastic headbands were the norm! Think they were a “new” thing. Always wore white socks with black Mary Jane patent leather shoes. And carried a little black patent purse. It was lined in red and had a mirror inside the lid. Had to have a place to keep that little hankie of course.

    • HI Joy,
      Oh what sweet memories you have of the 50’s… I might use some of your ideas…
      Thanks so much!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Amazing to get so much done in one day. I love plaid too. I was happy to see the 3/4 sleeves as I just finished a holly berry on black dress on which the sleeves ended up that way and really look fine. I didn’t want the really short sleeves for a Christmas dress and they were in style in the 50s. Thanks again for the inspiration and confirmation of my choices.

    I think you’re right to avoid the Thanksgiving Holiday for an auction. I have sometimes gotten real bargains on holiday weekends that I’m sure would have gone for a lot more if everyone was home.

    • HI Susette,
      I liked the 3/4 length sleeves too and noticed quite a few 50’s patterns had them. Your dress you sent me pictures of was cute that way too.
      I have gotten some bargains too when someone forgot it was a holiday and ended something right during a dinner time…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. WOW..that was super speedy! Yes, you picked a great pattern and I love red on redheads.
    I was surprised you did another metallic fabric but it appears to be OK to work with and so “Christmassy”…if that is a word ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a good weekend…I think we will be getting some of that 4 letter “S” word later….

    • HI Kathie,
      Thanks so much for your comments… it’s amazing how much one fabric that “isn’t fun to sew with” slows you down… this one was a breeze!
      Oh no… not SNOW!!! It’s supposed to be in the low 20’s here in Southern Illinois on Sunday morning… BBBRRRR…. I’m not ready for winter….
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. I *love* it! I admire your work so much! I’d love to see the back of her hair-do, too… I’m still trying to figure out hair styles for these girls! I managed to get some sewing done for my Bleuette doll today… ’tis the season! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • HI Mary,
      Actually her hair isn’t done in a “do” yet… just pulled back in a ponytail for now, but I’ll do something with it when I list it on Ebay.
      Thanks so much for your sweet comments Mary,
      Don’t forget you can send me a picture of your Christmas dress for your Bleuette doll and I’ll post it when I do my “Show and Tell” from everyone…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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