I know when I’m licked…

I had it all planned out…the fabric was chosen…


The most beautiful vintage hankie with the perfect blue embroidery was in my stash…


They both looked beautiful next to Kirsten’s skin…


I knew what pattern I was going to use so I started getting things cut out. I decided on Kirsten’s School Dress pattern from American Girl. I haven’t made it for a very long time and I just wanted a simple dress out of a pretty fabric.

I noticed my fabric seemed a little bit slippery but I still kept cutting. I managed to get the cuffs and the collar made but it wasn’t easy.
I gathered up the neck and tried attaching the collar but it frayed so badly and my machine just wouldn’t stitch the fabric without pulling it down inside the throat plate, which then caused the edges to fray even worse. I took the collar off once because it didn’t suit me.


I decided to cut out a whole new set and tried again, this time stitching it on paper to keep it from being pulled in…it still didn’t work.


Here’s a look at the back side… what a mess, huh?


I changed needles in my machine, rethreaded it, tried using fray check along the edges, but it was the stitching part that was driving me crazy. I envisioned another “Nyssa” episode, so instead of “trudging” through this dress because of a pretty hankie, this is what I decided… TO PITCH WHAT I HAD DONE AND GO TO PLAN B!


Yep, all that went in the trash can and I picked a new hankie; one that is equally as pretty, just all white this time and a new fabric to go with it. It’s still blue and it will look pretty on Kirsten…



So here are the new pieces, but nothing’s been sewn together yet… it was just one of those things… This picture looks quite drab, but it’s a pretty blue… like in the picture above.


I hope I like it when it gets sewn together… if not, I’ll go to plan C, which is pick another fabric…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. What kind of fabric was the first one? It may make a pretty dirndl skirt someday, but I am so glad you moved on instead of spending hours being frustrated. There’s a lesson here for all of us — something about needless frustration.

    Besides, I think the second fabric will be even more becoming. Most of us liked the last outfit best, and that one was the darkest blue. The white handkerchief is just as pretty, and you’ll find new blue fabric to go with the other one. With the prairie dresses, you usually don’t use handkerchiefs anyway, the extravagant eyelet trim on the last blue dress attracted quite a bit of praise yesterday. Whatever you choose, we already know it will be lovely.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I thought the fabric was just a nice soft cotton, but it must have had some rayon or silk in it, because it was a nightmare… I knew it was going to take me 3 times as long to make it and then there was always that uncertain feeling of what if it didn’t hold up for the winner, so I just scrapped the whole idea for it.
      I think I’ll still use the white hankie, but have it a separate apron instead of attached to the dress. Who knows what else I might come up with…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. The hankie didn’t go in the trash, too, did it? I hope some of it was salvaged. The hankies always remind me of my mother. She was known as the “Pin Lady” for the pins she always wore on her suit jackets and she always carried a hankie. She only wore pants once in her life, on an Alaska cruise, very brave of my parents to go on. I can’t believe how many memories are stirred by your posts.

    Back to business: As much as it is painful, it helps to know that these trials happen to even the most experienced seamstresses and we amateurs can power through as well. Thanks as always for sharing both the good and the bad.

    • HI Susette,
      Oh, no, the blue embroidered hankie didn’t make it in the trash can… I hadn’t even cut it in half yet…and now I’m glad I didn’t. I got the white and the blue hankie at the same place and they are just exquisite!
      Yes, this blue fabric that I tried to use would definitely go in the “bad” category! It was awful…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I’m glad you cut your losses early. Life is to short to sew with yucky fabric, and Kristen seems to look more pleased with the second choice! I hope it will be a joy to sew!

    • HI Carolyn,
      Oh, I like how you said that… “cut your losses early!” That’s exactly what I did, and so glad. I’m sure anything will be better to sew than what I started with. That fabric had a mind of its own and it wasn’t very fun to even cut out. I’m glad I had the sense to stop before I got too far… The new blue will be much nicer and sew much more quickly. I can’t wait to start on it…
      I’ve been gone all day with my mom… but I’m anxious to see something done on it…
      Thanks Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I agree with everyone above. No sense in dealing with frustration when your sewing is something you love and for the most part it’s enjoyable.
    The new choice of material is very pretty and Kristen looks good against it.
    We will all look forward to seeing what you are able to show us tomorrow.

    I lost another comment yesterday on your blog- I had just finished it and it just disappeared. I tried to retrieve it but luck. I lost other things on my computer that have nothing to do with your blog so it’s definitely my computer.
    I just had an update and think pages disappearing happens when I have updates. I’m on my phone so I’m safe so far!

    • HI Paula,
      I guess I could have given you all a choice on the fabrics, but I just thought I knew what would look best… guess I was wrong. I’m glad everyone likes the new blue. I’ve had it for a while and wanted to use it for Kirsten… I just didn’t know when… I guess now!! :o)

      I’m sorry you are losing your comments and other things on your computer. That’s frustrating and I hope you figure it out soon. Maybe you can schedule your updates for the middle of the night so they don’t interrupt your time on the computer… just a thought.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Linda Doyle says:

    Yep Jeanne, all that has happened to me too—-and more! So frustrating, but for you it is just a blip, for me it’s a roadblock! I don’t sew all that much anymore, so when something like that happens, it doesn’t make me want to try again too soon. I had enough fun with Felicity’s Brown Church Dress!

    Well, yes, now that first selection of material was so soft and delicate looking, and the hankie was just so precious with it too. But it looked very washed out on my monitor, so the second one looks much more vibrant, more like what a little girl would like.

    Is that a new Kirsten? She looks newer and has more coloring than the older pictures have, or maybe it is the photography. Anyway, I think she will look adorable, and good luck in the second try!

    • HI Linda,
      I was thinking of Felicity’s brown dress last night…wondering if you would have thrown it away when you first got frustrated…. this was impossible to make any progress on and it was so ravely I was getting nowhere fast. I decided to just start over and I’m glad I did.
      I have been gone with my mom all day, so I haven’t actually gotten anything new done on the dress, but I’m sure it will go quicker than the other fabric. The first fabric was lighter in color but it was beautiful in person, next to Kirsten’s skin. I’m really sorry it didn’t work out, but maybe it will make nice dust cloths!!! :o) I’m never sewing it again… ever!

      Yes, this is a newer Kirsten… the pictures of my Kirsten dresses were all taken on my older doll. She was a PC Kirsten and she photographed pretty well, but in person, her skin was really yellow. My new doll is a PC Kirsten too, but she was one of the transition dolls. She has a sweet face but it is different than the first made Kirsten dolls.
      Thanks for your comments Linda… I hope the second go around is much better…and less stressful…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Bravo! Dump and move on. I wonder what the content was in that fabric? I too like the brighter blue of the new fabric.
    On another note, I’ve been shoe shopping. Not for me but the dollies. I get them from Debs and other places on the bay. Recently, I ordered from a place in Hong Kong. Very cute shoes for the Little Darlings, but takes a long time for shipping. Any places you have found for shoes? Too bad they don’t all wear the same size. 🙁

    • Kathie Welsh says:

      Hi Joy 😀
      I’ve ordered from Dolls Parts many times and when you order a dozen pair (you can mix colors and styles and sizes) they are very reasonable. Pretty nice quality too.
      Nothing like shoe shopping…different styles may have different size designations…probably because from multiple suppliers
      Good luck!

    • HI Joy,
      I like your attitude… “Dump and move on!” That’s just what I did! The new fabric will be just as nice as the first one…I’m sure!
      I have gotten shoes from Deb’s too, and Juju’s Dolly Mall, and a place in Hong Kong called Releaserain. They do take longer there, but the styles are so cute. I’ve also ordered from Audrey’s Dolls from the Kemper company. I’m sure I’ve ordered from other places too, but those are the ones that come to mind..
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Kathie Welsh says:

    Good old common sense took over…love that. No sense being frustrated Throughout the whole process ….but what an odd way for your fabric to react on your machine which is so reliable?
    I guided a nice new person to your blog..Katie J . She will love it and you😊Enjoy your weekend and your ‘day off’

    • HI Kathie,
      Yes, I guess it was common sense that made me throw those scraps in the trash.. BEST DECISION EVER!… I should have done that with that silver dress for Nyssa. What a nightmare that was!
      I’m not sure why this fabric reacted the way it did. My needle just would not go through it without jamming. It was the strangest thing.
      Oh goody…a new reader… thanks so much. I hope Katie has a wonderful time reading what I chat about.
      I am looking forward to the weekend and then that new found time on Sunday is a real blessing.
      Thanks so much Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Anne Johnson says:

    That’s it, Jeanne– have a plan, but be flexible. You are nothing if not resourceful, and I’m quite sure you will have success in the end. Gives us less skilled sewers courage, too. Reminds me of a seamstress’ motto I read once, “If at first you don’t succeed, sew what? Sew again!” I did like the soft blue of the first fabric, like antique porcelain, but I like the new fabric with it’s dainty flowers and hatched background. It will be very sweet on Kirsten. Wishing you smooth sailing (or sewing!) in completing this one, and will look forward to another lovely Jeanne Marie original.

    • Thank you Anne,
      I was so disappointed that the first fabric didn’t work out… like you said, it looked soft… It was a very soft look on Kirsten and it would have made a lovely dress, but it just wouldn’t cooperate with me… I’m really puzzled at it… but I’m not going to worry about it. I have a new fabric and will move on.
      Thanks for the wishes on the new choice… it will be fine, I’m sure.. now to get to it…
      Thank you so much Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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