Choosing fabrics for my doll’s Valentine’s Day dresses…

I’ve looked at the same fabrics on my shelves for so long sometimes they seem boring to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some nice fabrics, but I’ve just seen them so often, they don’t excite me as much as the “new” ones in the stores do. I was in Joann Fabrics today and I saw a few I could have bought, but when I have this shelf (and a cabinet too) full of pinks and reds, it really doesn’t make sense to buy more when I have all these I need to use up. So I came home empty handed and decided I would pick out my favorites for my girls upcoming Valentine’s Day dresses. Here’s a shot of the smaller print reds and peaches that I see everyday.


Then here are the pinks…


I decided to pick out some that I haven’t used for a while and see what I had to work with. Here’s a shot of all the fabrics I picked off the shelf.



Here is a pretty fat quarter that bought a while back. I had this green and pink print to match it. I think it’s so pretty together.


As I was taking pictures of them, a few of my “girls” asked me what I was doing. I told them I was seeing what I had to work with to make new dresses for everyone. The next thing I knew, Ten Ping was down on the table and she said, “Can I have this one?”


Then Patsy said, “Well, if she gets to pick, can I pick mine out too?”


Isabelle pushed Lian out of the way and said, “We Effner girls would like a pretty dress made from these 3 fabrics, okay?”


Before I knew it Molly had 2 fabrics draped over her shoulder and said, “I can’t decide, which one do you like best, mom?”


Then I saw Addy looking at all the commotion and she wasn’t sure what was going on. I explained how whenever it’s time for a new dress to be made, sometimes the girls get a little excited and jump down from the dolly shelf to pick out the fabric they’d like their next dress made out of. Before I could blink, Addy was on the table and she had 2 fabrics draped over her shoulders like Molly had done. She told me she wasn’t sure but these were her 2 favorites.


The other girls on the shelf were grumbling that they had been asleep and missed out on all the good fabrics, but I told them there was plenty left for everyone.

Do you think the girls made good choices and can you help Molly and Addy decide on their fabrics?

I’ve got it rough sharing a room with 23 girls!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. I have the same problem with fabric I have stashed!

    For Molly, I would choose the one on the left with the pink flowers. For Addy I love the one on the right with the whirls.

    Can’t wait to see what you will create with the various fabrics you have selected.

    • HI Maureen,
      I guess it’s the typical, “the grass is always greener on the other side…” I’m sure I could make a dress out of ANY of the fabrics and it would be cute, but there’s something about bringing home a new fabric and starting on it right away… *sigh*
      I guess I’ll do a tally and add up the votes for each doll to see which fabric to choose. Thanks for your input Maureen.
      I better get busy!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh gosh, Maureen picked exactly the opposite of what I picked! I think we cancelled each other out!! My reasons are, that I just can’t see Molly wearing a lot of flowers, knowing her character in her books! I think that a little girl would like butterflies over flowers any day, and the flowered patterned material looks more like a feed-sack type pattern, that Kit would have worn. Maybe a white eyelet pinafore would look cute with the butterfly material. That’s just me, I’m sure you will get many other opinions.

    As far as Addy, wow, her hair is just adorable! What did you do with the back? Would love to see a picture! So I picked the material on the left because it looks more like what Addy would wear in the Civil War times. The orange is pretty, but looks modern to me.

    I know you will weave your magic on these outfits Jeanne, and you will always get it right. I’m wondering why you are asking all of us for our opinions, since it would confuse me no end if I did that!!! 🙂

    • HI Linda,
      Well, you and Maureen did cancel each other out on the fabrics… Oh well, we’ll see what other people think…
      I’ll take a picture of Addy’s hair and show it. She has really long hair and it’s going to be fun to do lots of things with it. It’s just braided and tucked under…but I’ll show it…
      The paisley is a new print that I don’t think I’ve used before. The swirls print is a Civil War print, and I’ve used it before… a LONG time ago. It’s red, but it looks sort of orangy in the pictures.
      I just like to get everyone’s take on the fabrics I’m thinking about…we’ll see what happens.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Good Morning, Jeanne,
    See, with 23 dolls, you are most definitely a doll collector. You may not have all the other trappings of clothing and little accessories, but you definitely collect dolls! You are halfway there to owning all the historical ones. *smiles*
    I’m so glad Addy jumped right in and tried on some fabrics.
    I will “help” by choosing differently than either Maureen or Linda. Both of Molly’s are pretty and I like the flowers best, but I also like a fabric you didn’t pick. It’s the one with the blue hearts in the second row of the first picture with the fabrics all laid out. I couldn’t make it very large, but it reminds me of 1940’s valentine’s.
    For Addy, I love the one on her right shoulder with the blue paisley design. Addy fairly glows in red. She really deserves the next dress being the new girl and all. *wink, hint, hint*
    I have no intention of getting Melody because the 1960’s are not my thing plus I don’t want another doll with bangs( older is better), and Addy is next on my wish list hopefully by the end of the year, but I have her book on reserve at my library and am pleased with her story revue. It seems to be similar to Addy in the sense of the importance of God, church and family in her story. Are you considering her?

    • HI Laura,
      So I’m halfway there, huh? Oh dear…what have I started… I’ve probably had them all at one time or another but sold them… I’ve had Samantha, sold her, Nellie, sold her, Kit…I’m working on her, who else is there? Oh Kaya, never really wanted her. Although I did make some pretty cute Indian outfits for her when I first started sewing for the dolls. I unfortunately don’t have a single picture of my outfits.
      I’ll have to take another look at the Valentine’s fabric you are talking about. I’ve made a dress for my Wren doll, by Helen Kish, from that fabric, and added a burgundy wool felt for a jacket and it was sweet!
      I don’t think I’ll get Melody…I’m not into the bangs either…it really limits the periods you can use the doll for…
      Thanks for your thoughts Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Who are you missing? Well, besides Kaya, Samantha and Nellie ( both of whom I have) whom you mentioned, you are missing Caroline and Marie-Grace both of whom you know I have as well. Caroline’s seafoam green eyes are really very mesmerizing and of course, you know by now I love decal eyes. her hair is the same color as Julie’s, but the curls give it more depth and variations.
        Marie-Grace actually is very sweet is person, very like the Josefina mold, but with a more heart-shaped face. She has really grow on me in the about six weeks I’ve had her. I love her tendrils and her hair is past her bottom and very thick.
        The others are Cecile, Ruthie, Emily and Ivy. Personally, I’m not interested in any others other than Addy when I have the funds..

        • HI Laura,
          I could have figured it out myself, but I knew you’d KNOW off hand, so that’s why I asked you!
          Okay, so of the ones left, Caroline is too close to my Elizabeth. I’m sorry, but I just don’t care for Marie Grace. (Double Sorry because I know you LOVE her…) I’ve had a Cecile before but I got one that had wonky eyes and wasn’t interested in finding one that had good eyes. She was the only doll I ever ordered NEW from the company. Ruthie is too close to my #41, Emily and Ivy are just so so to me… but I’ve never seen them in person, so I might not know what I’m missing…
          Thanks Laura,
          Blessings, Jeanne

  4. For Molly I like the butterfly fabric, that is different than what I have seen you make for her. I like the paisley print for Addy. I hope that Ten Ping will get a pink dress, I think pink is definitely her color.

    • Thanks Regina,
      The butterfly fabric is super soft and light weight. I had thought at one time of smocking it for a dress, so that’s a possibility.
      I put you down for paisley for Addy too…
      Do you mean a pink print for Ten Ping other than the one with the pink roses and black stems and leaves? Maybe she and Patsy could switch. I did find a pretty blue print with a touch of red in it that looks very pretty with Patsy’s blue eyes.
      Thanks Regina,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. For both girls I like the fabric to the left in the photos. And, love Isabelle’s and Ten Pings fabric choices. I discovered yesterday that your blog does not like multiple posts from a reader. Often, I think of something I would like to add after I press send. Also, I wish I could read the previous day’s entry. Can you use the doll you have from the Gettyburg mall doll shop as a fitting model? Is she the same size as an A G doll?

    • HI Jan,
      I put your fabric choices down and will have to see what the end of the day holds…

      You CAN read the previous day’s post. Every day you receive a post from me, but it’s just a single post. When the post for each day comes up… ALL you have to do is click on the TAB button just above the title of the post. It’s the first TAB button in that row… when you click on it, it will bring up all the posts from me…starting with the one for that day. All of the posts are stacked on top of each other. Just scroll down and find the one you want. Yesterday’s post will be below the one shown today.

      I’m not sure what dolls they sell at the Gettysburg doll shop… I could maybe ask my sister to see if she know….
      Thanks Jan,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Oh, sorry, I thought you have
        one of the dolls. I have a friend who would like to have a doll the size of the AG doll to use her AG size patterns Thanks for the blog tips.

  6. For Molly I like the material on the left side. It’s a smaller print, sweet and modest and has several shades of pink. The butterflies look to big to big however, once you put your artistic touch to either piece of material, I’d be sure to like both.
    With Addy, I like the material on the left with the paisley. And some material that looks like a Civil War print to me, is the green print behind little Ten Ping’s face.
    I am sure I would and will like anything combination you put together. Isabelle has a pretty collection of material there too.
    Do you know where I can read up on this Melody that’s mentioned? Thank you.

    • HI Paula,
      Thanks for your input… I have your choices down and will be making that green and red print for a Civil War dress someday, but maybe not right now. It’s a very pretty print and screams Civil War loudly!
      The only thing I’ve done about Melody is just google her name and a few articles have come up. I’m sure the American Girl PlayThings has the latest scoop, but I haven’t been there for a while…
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. How funny. I was at Joann’s recently when the fat quarters were on sale, and I also picked the same white background with the pink & green flowers. I’m putting it with a vintage look pink flowered piece. Can’t wait to see what you make for your darlings with the fabric. I prefer the paisley for Addie and look forward to seeing your photo of her hair. The style really looks lovely on her. I know Ten Ping chose the white/pink/black piece, but she would look really cute in that red & white Valentine piece too. I really don’t know how your kids decided with all of the outstanding choices offered to them.

    • Thanks Joy,
      That’s funny that we both bought the same fabric… it will be interesting to see how both of our dresses turn out!
      I’ll post the back of Addy’s hair and tell how I did it… It’s very simple…but it’s nice that this doll has such long hair and is in very nice condition.
      I’m not set in stone on my fabric choices, so I’ll have to consider your choice for Ten Ping…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I’m going with Jan — I like the fabrics on the left for Molly and Addy. And then I’m going with Laura on the fabric with the blue hearts — I like that one a lot.
    You said the butterfly fabric was light and soft — nice for smocking — a smocked dress for someone, maybe Kit, would be pretty, though Kit doesn’t like fancy or frilly things. I’m sure you could manage nevertheless.
    I also agree with all the people who like Addy’s new hairstyle. I have just mailed a link to Nikki, who first showed me an AG catalog. I think both you and Addy are lucky to have found one another.
    Isabelle’s choices would also be nice for Molly, with her all out spirit.
    The fabric to the left of Patsy — would that work for a regency dress?
    The one to the right of Patsy would make a lovely colonial dress — there were at least 2 red and white ones with the hat photos and both were stunning.
    I’m sure you have a better fabric collection than most fabric stores.

    • HI Marilyn,
      Okay, it looks like the paisley print is in the lead for Addy… and the blue hearts print is slowly catching up to the pink floral print. I’ve had a few emails that like the blue heart print too. I guess I overlooked it.
      The red print to the left of Patsy would make a nice Regency dress and I just might do that. I’ve had it for quite some time trying to decide who might get it. It’s a “long” print so it does need to be something with a longer skirt.
      I have some friends who joke with me saying I have more fabric than Joanns… Not really but it’s close! :o)
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. All good choices Jeanne, what wise young ladies share your sewing room!
    As for the two who can’t decide (I’m familiar with that type of dilemma!) I would go with the pink butterfly print for Miss Molly, and the brighter red with the swirls for Miss Addy!

    Hope your new year if off to a wonderful start, have a fantastic 2016!1

    • HI Connie,
      Well, this is getting interesting to see who picks what… thanks for helping with the voting…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. My favorite choices are Lian’s with the great match of the pinks and greens. Of course, I think Lian could wear a flour sack and look good in it, or maybe a rice bag. She is so cute. I agree with Laura on the paisley for Addy and with Laura that the blue hearts that I didn’t even notice at first glance to be a strong match for Molly’s personality. Tiny hearts on the right of Ten Ping look to be the right scale for her.

    I tried to restrain myself at the Road to California Quilt Show today, second biggest in the country in Ontario, California, and only bought four fat quarters, but passed on a paisley that looked a lot like the one for Addy. Hope I don’t have to go back and get it but it is48 miles away. One of the freebies was a stack of Cuddle Charms shades of red, 5 x 5 squares that I’ll use for a little quilt or two for Christmas next year.

    The doll collector definition question can be settled by the fact that your dolls are tax deductible as you use them for your business! Wish I could, ha, ha, as I’d have at least a couple of more dolls. Tax deductible or not, we know they are well loved and very happy girls.

    My daughter-in-law gave away all of the lovely little dresses I’d bought for my granddaughter, except a couple of very special ones, as she was raised in Kenya where you don’t waste things or hang onto them if they are still useful to someone else, so I can’t make a quilt out of them. But I have pictures of Riya in all of them, so I bought a computer program at the show that will print photos on special fabric run through a regular laser printer at home. Has anyone tried one of these before? I thought I’d make a wall hanging or quilt out of the fabric pictures. We’ll see . . . There were some beautiful examples there.

    • HI Susette,
      You are so right about Lian being able to wear just about anything. She probably could wear a feed sack and get away with it. I made note of your choices…thanks!

      How you got away from the quilt show with only 4 fat quarters is beyond me! The quilt squares sound wonderful and so does the quilt that you’ll make.

      I guess maybe I am a doll collector, but just a nude doll collector…that’ should raise some eyebrows!!!

      I just saw some paper that you use when you want to print off fabric but I’ve never used it. If you get some you’ll have to let us know how it works…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Linda Doyle says:

    On second thought, I also like the blue hearts fabric for Molly. I didn’t know we could pick a different material than what you had on the doll. I do think blue fits Molly better than pink.

    • HI Linda,
      Okay, I’ll change your vote from the pink butterflies to the blue hearts…
      thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Oh, my dear, sweet Jeanne…I have stacks and stacks of your blog that I haven’t had the time to read and I feel so horrible that so much time has gone by without a single word from me to you. I decided today to click to open my email from you instead of filing it and I’m so glad I did! I scrolled down through all the dolls and their fabric choices until I came to Molly and I’m absolutely in love with the 3 fabrics chosen for her!! I can’t WAIT to see the finished product. Red, green and pink are my favorite colors, especially all together. So excited! I really need to sit down one afternoon and go through my “I Dream of Jeanne” file and get caught up. Sending love…hoping you’ll accept it!


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