American Girl Molly in a few doll dresses from the 1940’s…

As I looked at many of my sketches from yesterdays post, (HERE) I realized so many of them were from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I used to sew a lot for Molly and Kit but kind of slacked off in recent years. As I was searching for dresses made from my sketches, I ran across a few in my archives that I don’t think I’ve shared yet. I thought you might like to see some of my earlier dresses for those dolls. I’ll do Molly today and maybe Kit tomorrow.

I’m trying to get a prototype dress finished for my niece’s little flower girl dresses for her wedding and that is a priority right now. I’m almost finished with the bigger one and will send it to PA to see how it fits…(long distance sewing…anyone else do that?) If it’s a nice fit, then I’ll cut into her big floral print…remember it?

If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.


But for today, here are a few Molly dresses that I hope you enjoy…



This next dress was my very first doll dress that I smocked after learning how… I was pretty proud of it.





This one was copied directly from a 1943 catalog. It was called “Cheerful Checkmate” so that’s what I called my listing…


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Sorry, but I’ll save a few more of Molly’s dresses for another time…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

P.S. My hubby took me on a DATE tonight! It’s been a while since we did that… We went to see the movie, McFarland, USA and I would highly recommend it! We don’t go to movies very often… in fact I can’t even think of the last one we went to, but this one was SO good. It’s one of those movies where you’ll find yourself cheering for the underdog.
I don’t even know what it was rated, but there wasn’t one bad word in it, no sleazy parts…just a really well done movie that makes you grateful that you have what you have. We talked about it all the way home.

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, I loved this blog! Since Molly is my first AG, she is special to me. I do have 7 others, but Molly is my main girl, mostly because her collection is what I had as a little girl. Those dresses are just adorable! Those happy little ducks on the first dress, the gorgeous smocking, the cherries, polka dots, checks and red, white and blue really make her collection such a fun one!

    Glad you found a movie that was also an inspiring one! Seems like they are so few and far between nowadays!

    • Hi Linda,
      I thought you’d like this post! The dresses of the 40’s were so “little girlish” and fun to look at. There are lots of people who have Molly as their favorite doll, so it was nice to find these hidden pictures of mine.
      Also…my hubby said in Olney, IL, there is a city ordinance that no white squirrels can be killed. They are protected. He said the albino squirrels are quite rare….and you should be thrilled that he’s picked your house to get fed from!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. The elegant lines of the first little dress, the beautiful smocking, the matching bias edging on the collars, the piping and all the tiny details are just wonderful. Thanks once again for sharing your talents with us. I ordered “Fashions for Small Dolls” that you recommended and plan to learn about smocking from it as well as study the designs to possibly adapt for Molly.

    Do you use interfacing on the collars and cuffs? It might be unnecessary in such small pieces as it seems to add too much bulk. Thanks again for your great Blog.

    • Good morning Susette,
      So happy you liked Molly’s dresses today! The 40’s had some wonderful little designs, didn’t they. Also can’t wait to see what you think of the Fashions for Small Dolls book. I hope you enjoy it.
      I usually interface one side of the collar with a very lightweight iron on interfacing to give it a little body and not appear to “cave in” around the dolls neck. If you use a heavier interfacing it will look like it’s starched and very uncomfortable.
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Just loving Molly all the more. She was my first AG and still my favorite girl. I do love the dresses you made for her and especially the dress made from the 1943 catalog. Perfect for the era that Molly represents. Love the fabric choices.

    • Thanks Jeannie,
      Molly is fun to sew for and I need to bring her out to the front of the doll shelf so I see her more. Thanks so much for your nice comments. Are you doing okay with the weather you guys were dealt?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Gosh, Jeanne, a movie with no bad words and no sleazy parts? I didn’t know they make those anymore except for the Disney cartoon movies. I’ve written down the title so I’ll remember. I can’t sit through a movie at a threatre any more but we watch them at home as soon as they’re available.
    I think it’s so wise of you to copy old patterns. It’s one way to make each dress look different instead of making the same dress over and over in different prints as I see some regular sellers do. But, hey, it seems to work for them although I see a lot of things being relisted and sometimes relisted again. Just not a good time to be selling on eBay I think.

    What did we read in the mornings, Jeanne, before you started this blog? Thanks, keep up the good work.

    • HI Jevne,
      It happened to be a Disney movie. We do the same thing…wait for them to come to the video store and then watch them at home.
      I think I’d get tired of making the same thing over and over again. That’s why I like to change it up a bit every so often.
      It is VERY slow on Ebay right now. I think it’s that time of year when everyone is waiting for the weather to change and want to wait on Spring things. Plus I think some people are still paying off Christmas.
      Thanks so much for enjoying the blog, Jevne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Those dresses for Molly are so cute. My mom was a little girl in the 1940’s and always talks about the cute styles she had because my grandmother was a avid sewer. She did her costumes for plays as well. The smocked dress reminds me of two “Polly Flinders”
    dresses I had when I was about two or three in 1970 or 71. I still have them!!
    We’ll have to check that movie out, too. Don’t go to movies very often because there is nothing good to see. The last good one was “The Christmas Candle” in 2013. Did you see it? The theater in my town will turn 100 next year and is so pretty inside because it has been preserved since 1916.

    • Hi Laura,
      I remember looking in thrift stores and seeing Polly Flinders dresses. Wasn’t there another brand called Peaches and Cream?
      Yes, check out the movie…it was really good. I went to bed thinking of it.
      I googled Christmas Candle and don’t think we saw that one. I will have to check it out. I looked at the pictures, and want to see it.
      I bet your theater is beautifully done!
      Blessings, Jeanne

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