Look Out all you Maryellen’s….I’m hurrying as fast as I can!

I don’t know how I worked all afternoon and evening on this dress and am still NOT finished with it! There were lots of little details, 5 sets of snaps to sew on, 6 buttons, netting sleeve caps, a faux bow, and that collar with the hand sewn on lace. I guess it makes sense when I see it all written down… details take extra time…plus…I’m making it up as I go along!

It’s going to be really cute I think and I hope you think so too.

I got the sweet collar made and because I didn’t have any pretty narrow ruffled lace, I decided to make the collar and attach the lace by hand just under the back edge. Then I added 3 pretty white buttons down the front.


Eden’s sleeves gathered up very nicely and went in wonderfully. I am loving this fabric. I think it’s pretty close to one of those Liberty of London Lawn fabrics that are pretty expensive. I may have to look for some more of these prints in this “tufted” style. It’s so fine and delicate and sewing with it is a real joy. I did add some netting to give the sleeves some extra pouf!


I made the bow so it’s already tied. On one side of the belt, I added a small piece of velcro…


On the other side I attached the pre-tied bow with another piece of velcro…


…when they match up in the back, you get this pretty bow effect, without having to tie it yourself.



I think I will have to make a special slip for this dress… one that is flat in the front and fluffy on the sides and back. I want the front panel to hang straight down as much as possible.


Here is a picture of it with an eyelet slip I use in my pictures sometimes. It will give you an idea of how it will look with a slip underneath.


Okay…so now all I have to do it hem it and finish the rest of the set… I work at the Food Pantry on Wednesday’s so I might not get much done today… but I’ll try!

Oh…don’t forget that Patsy’s dress set ends this evening on Ebay… You can see it HERE.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, the dress is just adorable! It works perfectly for the 50’s, and I love that you fixed the bow so that it is permanently tied! I come from a family of 4 girls, and my mother had us learn to tie each other’s bows in the back of our dresses. It was enough for her that she had to wash and iron them all, I guess!

    The slip does make it stand out, but I don’t think I would want it to go out that far, so like you said, a flatter front would work better. Of course, the hemming needs to be done, so that will make a difference too. It’s funny, but the pattern shows the length of the dress to be about halfway up the thighs, which in my opinion, is way too short for a 9 or 10 year old. I think I wore my dresses at that age in the middle of my knee, or slightly below.

    I can’t wait to see what shoes and socks you pick!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Linda,
      Eden is liking the dress pretty well too! Your mom was smart teaching you and your sisters and you to tie each others bows… :o)
      I know it’s standing out too far…it was just the only slip I had to use. I thought the dress on the pattern front was a bit too short and decided early on that my doll dress wouldn’t be that short… even if it was correct for the 50’s. But to me, that looks like a toddler length.
      I’ll get it finished soon… but it didn’t happen today… because everything else did! :o)
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Linda’s definitely right about the length in the pattern picture — skirts didn’t get that short until the 60’s. I’ve noticed that when you sew for Maryellen, Kit, or Molly, you put the hemlines where they belong. Several of us hoped to see a big fluffy bow and it’s hard to get one tied so that the right side of the fabric shows everywhere. This was the best solution. The lace on the collar is so neat and perfect. Developing a flat front slip may take you an extra minute but will definitely be worth it. This is a darling dress and I’m so pleased that you love feel of the fabric when you are working with it — that means the buyer will love it too. It sounds like you remember where you got it and they might have the same fabric in other colors or designs. It’s so nice when you use some and add 3 times as much to your stash.
    Linda, do you remember learning to iron? We started with my dad’s handkerchiefs. I think we still had a wringer washing machine then. My mom never let anyone else put things through the wringer — iron, yes; wringer, no.
    I’ve written about Laura Child’s tea shop books. In one I read recently, there was a recipe for Southern Corn Pudding. It was a near duplicate of Jeanne’s.

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Marilyn, yes I do remember learning to iron! I was about 8, in second grade, and of course back then, everything had to be ironed, so my mother had me learning to iron tablecloths, pillow slips, handkerchiefs, and flat things like that. Let me tell you now, I don’t like to iron one bit!!! However, I do like ironing doll clothes! They are so small, quick and easy to do.

      We didn’t have a wringer washer, but my grandma did. We had a newfangled Maytag automatic washer!!

      • Jeanne W says:

        HI Linda,
        I think ALL little girls must have started out ironing hankies for their daddy’s. :o)
        blessings, Jeanne

    • I remember my mother’s mangle iron. You sat in front and put the sheets or whatever over the roller, then the through the iron. I was scared to death of that thing. It appeared that you could catch your hand underneath the metal plate as it rolled the clothes through the hot part. No, I never was allowed to use that, fortunately. I too remember ironing handkerchiefs.

      • Jeanne W says:

        HI Joy,
        Wow… that mangle iron sounds really interesting. I might have to look in some of my old McCall’s magazines and see if I can find a picture of one.
        I’m glad you weren’t allowed to use it when you were little!!!
        Thanks for your tidbits about this Joy,
        Blessings, Jeanne

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      I didn’t want to make the belt just a folded over piece of fabric and then stitched in half. I remember the belts being fairly wide with just a narrow edge hem in them and they came to a point at the ends.
      I think the flat front slip will work perfectly with this dress. I do like this pattern…
      I really DO like the way this fabric feels…it’s been wonderful to sew up and I especially love the tiny gathers it creates when it’s shirred up.

      I remember ironing my dad’s handkerchiefs too… we got a nickle for each one ironed. Those were the days, weren’t they?

      Thanks so much for your sweet comments Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Beautiful, Jeanne. It’s always a pleasure to see your detailed work.

    Take care.

  4. I do love Liberty of London fabrics. Eden’s dress is just so sweet. What a great way to do the back bow. It looks so perfectly tied.
    So glad you volunteer at the pantry. Know they must really appreciate your time.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      I once visited a fabric shop down in Nashville Tennessee and they had Liberty of London fabrics. If I had only known to snatch up as many as I could… silly me!
      Thank you so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Marilyn Grotzky says:

        If you’d snatched up as many as you could, you’d still be paying for them. They are beautiful, but expensive.

  5. I like the way the dress is turning out. You did a great job with the pattern. The pre-tied bow is a good idea as the sash ends often get kind of limp between wearings, and I have to press them before I can get a nice bow tied.

    Marilyn, I also was taught to iron on my dad’s handkerchiefs! All of his work clothes had to be ironed, and I eventually graduated to doing those too. The pants were dried on a stretcher, but they still had to be ironed.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      I’ve added a few “pre-tied” bows to some dresses in the past, and I’ve never had anyone complain that they missed tying their own bow!

      Boy, we have quite a few among us who must be excellent at ironing hankies! :o) It seems we all started out ironing them…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Love the dress and especially the fabric. Is it Liberty of London fabric or can you see the brand in the selvage? I can just see the little tufts going diagonally, right? Molly wants a dress like this. Very clever on the bow. Yes, don’t get near the wringer on the washing machine. I remember watching my mother poking with the stick to find the last baby sock?

    I have to brag on my Christmas gift choice for my daughter-in-law, Suemae, because it was made by Jeanne and Rebecca, a green/blue/lavender scarf made to order. The family is on a decision-making trip to University of California campuses at Santa Cruz, Davis and Irvine with my grandson who has received admission letters and she wore the scarf every day with different tops. (Bragging again?) The scarf is in all the pictures they are posting. So I can vouch for the pretty scarves.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      No the fabric isn’t Liberty of London but it sure could pass for one of theirs. I got it at Joann’s but don’t know if they still have it or not. I got it a while back, and only got a half yard, so it’s pretty well used up now… :o(
      I can remember seeing my grandma poke at her washing machine with a pole to get something unstuck… boy, have times changed.
      Thanks so much for the sweet compliments on Suemae’s scarf. I’m glad she’s enjoying it. It’s getting warm enough, I probably need to pull the inventory in our Etsy shop… after all, it’s Spring now!
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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