I LOVE to copy doll dresses from old catalogs…

One of my very favorite things to do is to copy the dresses out of old catalogs for my dolls. There’s just something about trying to get it right and making it look as much like the picture as possible, duplicating the fabric if I can. One of my very favorite copy cat creations was a dress I made for Molly back in April 2011.

It was made from a red and white polka dot print and there was baby blue rick rack accenting it. I thought you might like to see a few of my pictures of it.


This is the description from the 1946 catalog…


Here’s how mine turned out…



Here are a few details and closeups…








Well, do you think I succeeded in duplicating it?



This was just one of MANY doll dresses I’ve made for Molly. If you’re looking for one to add to your collection… I have one ending this evening on eBay. You can check it out HERE.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

Please spread the word!Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPrint this pageEmail this to someone


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    You did a GREAT job with that dress, Jeanne, making it so close to the original! What little girl in the 40’s, or even now wouldn’t want it? Loved the description about the dress being “flares full as the law allows”! Can you imagine that kind of description being used today?

    That’s another dress that could be used with your newest slip! And don’t worry, about missing getting mine in the mail yesterday. It will come soon enough. Right now Molly is dressed in her riding habit, since the Kentucky Derby is this weekend!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I liked the line that said, it’s “just the thing for cutting hi-kinks at a party…” wow…how things have changed!
      Well, Molly will have her new patriotic slip very soon… the PO lady said maybe tomorrow you’ll get it…if not it should arrive Saturday…
      Again… congrats!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Karen D says:

    I’d say you designed your dress “spot on” to the vintage illustration. I remember reading somewhere that during the war, one’s dress hem couldn’t be larger than a certain circumference. I guess that’s why during the more prosperous 1950’s, the dresses were so full and hems were often full circles or more!

    Keep on copying those vintage illustrations! I enjoy attempting to do the same. 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Karen,
      You are exactly right… during WW11, women’s skirt circumference was reduced from 81″ to 78″. I don’t know a child’s dress was reduced to. I know I’m not always accurate…as I don’t like skimpy skirts…
      The 50’s had the fullest skirts next to the Civil War era… I guess nobody was going to tell them how big around their skirts could be…
      Thanks for your nice compliments Karen,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Paula F. says:

    How darling! Molly’s dress is a perfect rendition of the catalog dress. I like the material too.
    I often wonder what that feels like, sitting down at a sewing machine and creating beautiful clothes or other items. It must be so rewarding to be able to create like that, especially if it’s an outfit that’s the latest expensive rage.
    I agree with Linda…the descriptions back then…times have changed.
    Thank you, Jeanne, for always sharing. I just love your blog.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Paula,
      It’s a wonderful feeling to re-create something that was once popular. I often imagine how many of these dresses sold… who bought them… were they a favorite among little girls?
      It is very fun for me to try and duplicate them… I know enough about pattern design to look at something and know how it’s supposed to go together or what kinds of pieces I’ll need to make it…
      Thanks so much Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. What a beautiful rendition you made, Jeanne, of that lovely 1946 dress. It is just so fun to see your work.

    When I first saw the drawing from the 1946 catalog, it reminded me of a dress I made way back when…late high school/early college. It was a very similar style of the one in your catalog (but this was in the early 1970’s). I’d bought some fabric that was a bandana print on a straw gold background/black print (some white in it some where) and I highlighted it with black rick rack. Boy, did I feel special when I did some square dancing in it!

    Thanks for the memories and certainly the viewing of your pretty dress that Molly models.

    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks so much Becky,
      It’s fun for me to look at pattern books from the 70’s and reminisce about the patterns I remember and think of the dresses I made. I LOVE doing that.
      I’m glad you enjoyed today’s post…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Adorable dress. Thanks for sharing from your archives. That dress would be perfect today for Cinco de Mayo too.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Joy,
      It’s as much fun for me to dig around in my archives as it seems to most of you… I’m glad you liked what I picked for today…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Enjoy the information very much!!! Love the dress and the history!!
    Have a great day!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks so much Robin,
      I should take a count of how many dresses I’ve made especially for Molly. She’s a real sweetie to sew for and I enjoy making things for her…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Linda Doyle says:

    Sorry to bother you on Jeanne’s blog, but I can’t get my email to you. It keeps coming back. Could you please email me again?
    Sorry, Jeanne!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      If I don’t see that Susette’s answered you here in a few hours, I’ll email her again and let her know…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Marilyn says:

    That’s a wonderful dress. I especially like the neck and all the pretty details. You could remake this in another color and make a buyer very happy. Your archives are a wonderful resource.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      I’m glad you like Molly’s dress today. It’s a good thing I’ve been sewing as long as I have so I have LOTS of pictures to pick from to show you all!
      Blessings, Jeanne

Speak Your Mind