It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the right fabric…

I didn’t get started on Kirsten’s dress until after dinner, but things zipped along pretty quickly and I do have something to show you. This fabric turned out to be a really nice prairie look and Kirsten has already told me several times she likes it. It is however lighter in my pictures than it actually is. I’m hoping when I take the pictures for Ebay, I can get my lighting figured out and show it fairly close to the what the actual color is. It’s a nice pretty denim blue with darker blue flowers… and it feels very nice too. It’s not a stiff cotton and not a polished cotton, but has a bit of a slick, cool finish to it, making it a very lovely fabric.


I think the color looks nice on her and hope you like this fabric just as well, if not better than the one I had intended to use…


There is something I am going to change though. I cut the pieces out according to the School dress from the original patterns by American Girl but I think the middle sash is a bit too high waisted.


I’m going to take it apart and add a wider band something like this… I just have a little bit wider piece of fabric pinned to the dress mid-section for you to see what I mean. If I were making a pinafore, I might leave it the way it is, but I’m going for a different look, so I’ll get out that seam ripper of mine and get to work…


The pretty embroidered hankie will dress it up a bit if Kirsten likes.


Don’t forget: Ten Ping’s dress set ends Sunday evening. You can check it out HERE.


I hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

See you Monday,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Anne Johnson says:

    Wonderful progress, Jeanne! Your skill has brought this fabric to life, and Kirsten looks very sweet in it. The addition of the vintage hankie apron will make this “school dress” something special, and Kirsten’s eyes show her excitement. 😉 It will be a charming prairie dress when it is finished, but you’ve left just enough to our imaginations until Monday. Looking forward to all the details. Enjoy your weekend, Jeanne!

    • Thank you Anne,
      I hope to get some more done on Kirsten’s dress over the weekend. It was a dream to sew on this fabric, as opposed to the first one I picked. I almost tried it again last night to see if I could figure out what was wrong, but decided why ruin my evening!
      There are lots of details still to do, so I hope I get them right!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. What a lovely sight Kirsten is, Jeanne. The fabric is so pretty on her and as Anne said, your skill has brought the fabric to life…as has Kirsten. I look forward to seeing the outcome. Thanks again for sharing your work and process with us.


    • Thank you Becky,
      Kirsten does look happier now… I think she was a bit miffed at how slow the progress was going on the first dress. Oh well, now I’m moving along…
      I’m glad you like it so far…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Very nice pioneer look for Kirsten. Can you imagine sewing a dress back then, all by hand? We are so lucky to have our machines now.
    Have a nice weekend. Going to be very hot here in northern CA. Ugh

    • HI Joy,
      I need to be thinking of my story line for Kirsten this time… I wish I had one of those covered wagons from Queen’s Treasures… I have some baskets… wonder what I could do with them…
      Yes, sewing a dress by hand long ago had to be super slow going. Unless they had some tricks they could teach me, I’d be the slowest one in the bunch…
      Thanks Joy,
      blessings, Jeanne

      • Wagon only 169.00. And then you would need horses or oxen too. Of course, I immediately started thinking of how to make a wagon from a box. I’m a cardboard kind of person. I’m sure there is a something online that tells how to make one. The accessories, like the tin dinnerware are adorable too.
        I like Linda’s family get-together idea. Everyone bringing covered baskets of food to share.

        • Hi joy…it’s kind of like buying the ball jointed dolls..first you get the doll…but then you have to buy eyes, wigs, and shoes. I was just looking at the Little House stuff… it’s cardboard for me too… it’s too expensive for me…

  4. Linda Doyle says:

    Very sweet, Jeanne! I too thought the waistband was a bit high, but I trust you will fix it for sure! The hankie apron will be just the perfect touch! Will she have a prairie bonnet to match?
    This dress will go just as well for school as it would for church. Who knows, maybe Kirsten is going to a family get-together! They lived a simple life back then, and as Joy above says, imagine sewing everything by hand!

    Enjoy your Sunday!

    • HI Linda,
      Yes, the midriff band was too high, but I didn’t catch it until it was all put together. It will be worth it in the end to fix it the way it should be.
      Oooo… I like the idea of a family get-together… I’ll have to think on that… :o)
      thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Anne Johnson says:

    Jeanne, I’ve been pondering and pondering that lovely, frustrating fabric from yesterday and wondering what was causing the problem. Could it be the weave, the fiber, a combination of the two, or something else entirely? Now, I certainly don’t have anywhere near the experience you do, and I truly don’t mean to offend or insult your talent and expertise, so please know that I think the world of you and your skills, and I only pass this along as a last resort to saving some of that beautiful blue fabric! My research lead me to a website by Mellissa Mora called If you put “how to sew fancy fabrics” into the search box on this site, you might find some suggestions that are helpful (although I know you tried many of them). Instead of paper backing, I’m wondering if you iron the fabric first, then use tissue paper or fine muslin to “sandwich” the fabric, cut, hand baste, and then machine sew with the fabric still sandwiched, if it might work? Might be worth a try on a scrap piece. And if it all else fails, maybe you can salvage the bigger scraps for a craft project that doesn’t involve sewing, but only gluing? A sachet, or pin cushion or ??? Hope something works! :0) Blessings!

    • Hi Anne,
      I’m guessing the fabric has some silk in it. It is way too slippery for just a rayon fabric. I tried lots of different things and decided it’s just a piece of fabric…I don’t need the aggravation of it…there are lots of other pretty fabrics in my stash so I’m giving up on it and don’t even feel bad for putting it in the Thrift shop box.
      Anne, I do appreciate all your comments and will definitely look up the website you told about. Thank you…
      I’ve been sewing on Kirsten’s new dress and loving the fabric in it!
      Thanks so much, Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I thought of that too, Anne, just for the bodice and very tops of the sleeves: The lightest weight Pellon. I love the hankie aprons and hope to make one someday. I’ll look at your past dresses for ideas.

    • Hi Susette,
      I appreciate your and Anne’s concern over the first fabric I was going to use. I don’t think the fabric is worth all the bother. It was just one I was planning on using but it didn’t work out.
      I just finished the apron for Kirsten’s dress. The whole set is coming along nicely.
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I bought some of the boxes like you have in your sewing room — nice fall colors from JoAnn’s. One says something about Harvest Home. Do you suppose that Kirsten and her family are going to a community harvest dinner? I have a cookbook that has a fall dinner with pickled beets and eggs, corn pudding, buttermilk biscuits, 3 bean salad — nice fall food — maybe a tomato tart? There’s a recipe for spiced cantaloupe that really surprised me, and one for spiced nuts. Someone here probably knows some Swedish celebration recipes that would be more like Kirsten’s family would make. I have friends whose Norwegian families make lutefisk, which some of them declare a hazardous material, and potato lefse, which a friend says her mother’s friends love with a little sugar and cups of coffee and lots of childhood memories. But Kirsten is Swedish, so they probably had something else.
    As for the evil blue fabric, it may yet find itself in a dirndl skirt, neatly hand gathered, with no curves at all.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Your talk of all these exotic foods is making me hungry right now. I’m not sure what Kirsten might bring but I’ll think of something. I have a basket and could just put fruit in it but thought surely I could come up with something better…
      The “evil” blue fabric “has” found a new home…in the bag going to the Thrift shop. I won’t miss it one bit.
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Charlotte Trayer says:

      Oh, Marilyn, you’re making me hungry!! Corn pudding…it’s been ages since I last made it; will have to dig out the recipe. Mine (from mom) includes sliced, stuffed green olives! Yummy.

      And Lutefisk is most definitely Swedish, too!! (And *I* am full-blooded Swedish, although 3rd-generation American-born, so I do know and LOVE Lutefisk!!) Lefse, however, is specifically Norwegian (although I like that, too.)

      Jeanne, I do like the idea of the wider waistband–it looks a little more “balanced” somehow. My Kirsten’s favorite colors are pastel pink and pastel blue, so I thought about her when I saw the fabric you are currently using. In fact, I do like it better than the other fabric–I think that was a little too pale. This looks more “Svenska”!

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