Lian’s Smocked Dress partially revealed…

Well, what do you know…I found some sewing time today and it felt really good to be back in my sewing room again!!! I think Lian had given up on me ever finishing her smocked dress. I managed to get the dress all done…(I think) unless I add some silk ribbons to the sides… I shortened the bodice so I could have the smocked design hit in the right spot…

[If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.]


Sweet and tiny puffed sleeves have a pretty cotton lace added to the edge with elastic running through the casing.



I let out the pleater threads and you can see the set in pleats below the smocked design. You might also notice I added a few more silk flowers. The design across the front seemed a bit too zig-zaggy to me…they filled in the space a little better.



A pretty white batiste lace was added to the hemline for a finishing touch.


In the back, I sewed the pink buttons on with my “flower” method…it was a 2 hole button, so the flower is just on a stem with no leaves this time.



Lian has already picked out her “accessory”…a bright Apple/Lime green bear. I tied a ribbon around his neck so he’d match Lian’s dress.


Underneath the dress is a sweet tulle slip with a stretch lace waistband. It just slides up the dolls legs.



I still have to finish a hat for her…and I’m hoping to get it ALL finished tomorrow… I may make her a new pair of thigh highs too… Lots to do, but I wanted to show you I hadn’t forgotten how to sew!!! :o)


Surely with this Spring dress, warm weather will come soon…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Awesome love the silk ribbon embellishments. Need to learn to do this myself..

    • HI Lynne,
      Yes, you should give Silk Ribbon Embroidery a try…it’s very fun to just start and see where it takes you…
      Thanks for your compliments…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Love it, Jeanne! After a day of TRYING to finish Felicity’s dress, I now have such enormous respect for you and your sewing! All the little mishaps and mistakes a person can have just trying to get a very soft thread into a needle eye—-I had it! Then, after sewing one whole side of snaps on, I realized that they were upside down! Then losing the needle every once in awhile, or the snaps or the buttons—well, you get the idea! Now the front of the dress doesn’t lay right when closed! Good grief! It’s on her, but I am giving up for a while. From a distance it looks pretty good!

    Lian’s dress is so completely adorable, and the smocking makes it so, with the beautiful ribbon roses. And oh, the back, with the flowers sewn into the button holes! You take the cake Jeanne!

    And one more thing, I wrote back to you last night saying how beautiful the necklace was that I received yesterday, and mentioned it was for Josefina! No, it’s for Felicity! I think that sewing I did yesterday has messed up my head!!

    • Oh Linda,
      I feel for you…I’ve had days like yours when nothing seemed to go right… maybe tomorrow will be a better day… although tomorrow is Saturday and it’s supposed to be pretty. I envision you outside in your yard if it’s warm enough.
      I guess I should hire myself out as a “snap-sew-er-on-er!” Then everyone could send me their “almost” finished projects and I’d finish them up with sewing on the snaps! :o)

      I knew you mentioned the necklace was for Felicity… yep…it’s those snaps fault!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Regarding Kristoffer’s sesame chicken, when the chicken is dipped in cornstarch just once, it is for an honored guest. Dipping it twice or more, heaven forbid, as Americans are used to in Chinese restaurants and think is fine, is a method of stretching the meat in the dish. I learned this from Japanese people who were in a Japanese-American group originally formed in 1947 to improve their English skills and community relations after WWII whom we were honored to host during a three-year tour in Japan in the early 80s. Good for Kristoffer.

    Hi, Laura. I am also finally finishing a project: A St. Patrick’s Day outfit, a dress and fitted coat with lacing in the front for Felicity, having made a pattern following the design of an adult Halloween costume, Simplicity 2834. Rebecca kindly sent two brass shamrock charms for the ends of the ties, but I found six more on eBay so Riya, my six-year-old granddaughter, could have her three shamrocks down the front of the ruffled jabot on the dress as she envisioned it. These sewing projects do take time as I started this in the middle of January and set it aside several times to regroup. Hate sewing on snaps but it’s getting easier with Jeanne’s tips. The pattern did call for grommets which I learned to put in. So many techniques! On to smocking with a 16-needle Pullen smocking pleater I won on eBay!

    • It’s for Linda, not Laura. Sorry.

      • Linda Doyle says:

        Oh Susette, that’s quite alright, Laura can read it too, plus anyone else! But I am with you on the snaps, not fun!!

        • Hi Linda and Susette, Sure, no problem. Glad you’re making some progress with dresses for Felicity. Linda, are you making Felicity’s brown church dress from her books. I think that would be lovely, brown seems to be gorgeous on her. Susette, Felicity will make a lovely Irish lass what with her red hair and green eyes. Have fun with the smocking, that’s will really set it apart.
          My PLAN was to make Felicity a dress this winter as well, but I’ve had no time to even get to looking for patterns. I’ve decided to wait since Felicity has a full PC wardrobe and now try to get my renamed Marie-Grace and Caroline Civil War dresses made instead as the poor dears have no clothes whatsoever since I sold the meet dresses. First dolls ever I’m completely changing- names, time period, personalities and clothing and I think it will be a great creative outlet.

    • Hi Susette,
      When Kristoffer made his chicken and took it out of the deep fryer the first time, I told him it looked so light and delicate and that was enough coating for us. It proved to be just perfect! I figured the double and triple dipping was to make it crispier and stretch it farther…

      You and Linda have been busy with your sewing projects…and now you get to learn a whole new craft…smocking! Congrats on your new pleater…have fun learning how to smock!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I do love the ‘flare’ you get with the smocking. Is there a ‘rule of measurement’ for how much to add to the skirt?
    the sun is shining – after our snow storm. Hopefully, we get lots of melting today!

    • Hi Mary,
      There probably is a rule of thumb for how much fabric to use when going around the dolls waist, but I only had a fat quarter in my fabric, so I had to make my smocking just from side seam to side seam. Normally, I pleat up the whole width of the fabric and smock it so it goes around to the back of the dress.
      Our snow has all melted but it’s still on the cool side… upper 30’s.
      Have a great day Mary,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Marsha Trent says:

    I love it Jeanne! Truly a beautiful work of art. Love the fabric, smocking, embroidery, etc. Whoever gets it will treasure it. You have enabled me to try some smocking. I purchased an Amanda Jane pleater and the book you recommended. The pleater also came with a very useful CD on using the AJ pleater and projects made with it. I love learning new techniques and I really love new tools! Having fun pleating lots of things to use on my sewing and not just for smocking. I had no idea a pleater would be so easy to use. I even got brave and took off the roller and moved some needles. Thank you bunches and bunches for all you share with us.
    God Bless

    • HI Marsha,
      Thank you so much for the compliments on Lian’s dress… if it hadn’t taken me so long, I might have gotten another smocked dress made before Easter, but I doubt I will now…
      I’m thrilled that you got a pleater and I hope you have fun with learning to smock… My aunt just emailed me and told me she bought a pleater too…now she wants me to help her get started. She’s pretty crafty so I think she’ll learn quickly.
      Thanks for your thoughts Marsha… I hope you enjoy pleating things… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Simply gorgeous, Jeanne. I love the silk ribbon on the smocking. I’ve seen lots of embroidery on smocking but never silk ribbon, what a good idea….you’re just full of them! I’ve always smocked halfway up the armhole, next time I will try smocking just below the armhole like you have done to see if it makes construction easier.

    • HI Jevne,
      Thank you so much for all the sweet things you’ve said about the dress. I do like embroidering with silk ribbon… I’m still trying to get my bullions perfected… like Cindy Rice’s. Until then.. I’ll just do stems…
      It is easier to put the dress together with the smocked part just below or right at the armhole. It’s less scary too…if you cut off the armhole and it comes unraveled, you’re sunk… :o(
      Thanks Jevne,
      Have a wonderful weekend,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I’m sure Lian thinks that her dress was definitely worth the wait. It is simply beautiful with the ribbon embroidery, the lace on the sleeves and the sweet flower buttons. It will be a lovely Easter dress. for the winner. I can’t believe easter is just a little over a month away being so early this year.
    We finally have a craft store in town. My town is smaller so the only thing we had was Walmart for some fabric and sewing things nine miles away. The nearest JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby is 45 minutes away. 🙁 The craft store is now 2 and a half miles from home, right beyond our historic downtown. It is called Pat Catans’s and is family owned. I think they are only here in Ohio, Michigan and in Pennsylvania. Maybe your sister knows of them. I did a cursory run through on Friday for the Grand Opening and they have a lot of things- yarn, ribbon, embroidery floss etc. I have to check out if they have fabric and patterns next week- I hope so.

    • Thank you Laura, for the sweet compliments on Lian’s new smocked dress. I need to think of a name for it… It will make a lovely Easter dress… and would have been a pretty Valentine’s Day dress…if I just hadn’t been so busy.
      Congrats on the new craft store in town…If I lived closer, we’d go “exploring” together… Have fun checking it out!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Yesterday makes up for a lot of days that didn’t go just right. Congratulations on a beautiful new outfit. I especially love the buttons, and I always love smocking and ribbon embroidery. The pink shoes go with the roses and the teddy bear goes with the leaves — everything is in harmony and perfectly lovely.
    The sun is shining here and I’ve made the appointments I’ve been putting off. From the comments above, it’s a good day for everyone.

    • HI Marilyn,
      I love the line in your comments… “everything is in harmony…” that made me smile! I didn’t know when I was ever going to get it finished, but the day finally came. Lian is so photogenic and such a very pretty doll. I wonder if anyone noticed, I flipped her hair back just a little’s probably too hard to see in my pictures since it’s black, but instead of cupping it under, I flipped it back… in person it’s sweet!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Oh, Jeanne…how can you let this gorgeous dress leave your house??? I think it might be the prettiest I’ve ever seen. Every little detail is simply perfection and of course no one could model it better than Lian! Love it SO much!!!

    • Thank you Bobi,
      Sometimes it is hard to let the doll dresses go, but I have to…
      I think of the joy the person who will win it will get..that helps… Thank you very much for your kind words…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Lian is adorable in the new dress. Keep up the good work.
    Stove still on the fritz. Repair man had ordered two replacement boards for our model, and wouldn’t you know, it was another. So a few more days until the part arrives. Think bill will be about 3/4 of your crown but way less than purchasing a new model. Just a freak think. Wire fried. Unit made out of the country as are almost all appliances now. 🙁

    • Thanks Joy,
      Oh, I’m sorry your oven didn’t get fixed… bummer!
      I guess it’s cold cuts and microwave soup for dinner! :o)
      Thanks for the compliments on Lian’s new dress…
      I just got it listed on Ebay and it will be on there this evening…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Oh she is just the cutest thing! Her dark hair and the pink and white fabric are so perfect
    The smocking is so perfect on little girls …or little dolls?

    • HI Kathie,
      Oh, I couldn’t agree more…there’s nothing sweeter than little dark headed girls with coal black eyes, in pink dresses with lace and especially ones with smocking… melt my heart! :o)
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Beautiful Dress and Doll!!! Everything about it is so sweet. The Doll, the dress, the slip. You do such a great job. From soup to nuts! I get tired just reading everything that you do!!! Wish I had half the energy that you have.

    • Thank you Sylvia,
      I appreciate all the nice things you said about Lian’s dress set. I don’t know if it’s energy or adrenaline…but it seems to always get done…
      Have a wonderful weekend Sylvia,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Dear Jeanne —
    Yes. I noticed Lian’s hair and thought it was different — a little more casual and very becoming. She looks as if she likes it a lot. I certainly do.

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