My 50’s dress for all those Maryellen’s out there!

I worked and worked and worked trying to get my new 50’s dress finished, but it’s time to call it a night and finish it some other time. I did give it my best shot and got a lot done, but I had a few setbacks… Oh yes, we seamstresses have setbacks! In yesterday’s post I showed you the pattern that inspired me to make my first 50’s dress.


Then I also showed you 3 trims that I was going to use for the little tabs around the bottom of the skirt…


W-E-L-L… I have this thing for black and white with just a touch of red…so I experimented with some little tabs done in a tiny red and white polka dotted fabric…and I decided to forego the ribbon trims and make my own tabs.




I will give you one hint about this pattern: KEEP THE PATTERN PIECES PINNED TO THE FABRIC PIECES UNTIL YOU USE THEM! Don’t even ask me why I’m telling you this! There are 10 pieces to this skirt but I cut my front panel on the fold so I wouldn’t have a seam down the front, so I only had 9 pieces. Those little notches on the pattern are there for a reason! *sigh* I saw the notches and they were just slightly off, but I was sure I had #3 instead of #5! *she sighs again*

As I was sewing the skirt pieces to each other, I measured up from the hem and inserted my tabs as I went, making sure to keep them straight. Then I sewed on the little black buttons with red thread… See I told you I have this thing for black and white AND red!


I wanted you to see all the tabs so I put a puffy slip underneath her dress to show you what it will look like with a slip… of course it will look better than this… I was in a hurry to show you…


Okay, next I had to cut down the top of the jumper because I wanted mine lower…somewhere between just under the bust and above the waist.
NOW…this is for all you “eagle eye sewing hawks” out there…What’s wrong with this next picture? Any guesses? Can you see it? You might have to click on this picture to enlarge it to really see it…


I has something to do with the red part… Okay I’ll tell you. I cut the band that I wanted to use on the top edge of the jumper on the bias, but when I sewed it on, my polka dots were crooked… they look like they are in a swirl. I asked Rebecca to look at it and tell me what she saw… she immediately touched the red band and said, “you mean this?” and took her finger and made like a half moon motion… SO… guess what I ripped out next? Yep…the whole band came off. This time I cut it out on the bias, but I followed the dots this time… and when I added it back on it was much better…Don’t you agree? Can you hear me *sigh* again?


I worked on her blouse and got it almost finished… I still have to finish the back, the hem, tack down the collar in the back, add the snaps, and buttons and bow in front… Oh my, I thought I was almost done… *she sighs for a fourth time*



I was very careful about making my seams just as Eve had marked on her pattern, but I still ended up with some excess fabric at the back of my jumper.


Maybe my fabric stretched as I pressed it… I’m not sure, but I’ll have to make a facing or turn it under somehow to finish it off.


So I still have plenty to do… finish the blouse, fix the back of the jumper, probably make a pair of socks, make a slip to hold it out, make something for Eden’s hair or a hat… take pictures, list it on Ebay and then I might be able to B-R-E-A-T-H-E!

Our church is having a Welcome Back Students picnic tomorrow evening and I’ll be cooking most of the day, so I won’t get back to this right away, but I’ll get it done as soon as I can!

Oh…don’t forget…Molly’s green jumper ends tonight on eBay! Click on the picture at the right side bar and it will take you to the listing, Thanks!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, that’s a darling outfit, Jeanne! I love the colors too! I do remember wearing outfits like that, but my grandma did most of the sewing that we girls wore in “real life”!! I doubt my mother would let any of us wear anything we made out in public!!

    I feel better now, knowing that even an excellent seamstress like you has problems with figuring out patterns and sewing, although I must say you certainly figure them out better than I do!

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your kind words about my new 50’s dress. I’m liking it so far…

      It’s funny to think back on the things that I made in my early years… probably some of my stuff wasn’t “public worthy” either, but I did it anyway.

      Probably the reason I might solve my sewing problems easier, is BECAUSE I’VE MADE MORE MISTAKES THAN YOU HAVE!!! I’ll get back to your Felicity dress ASAP…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Just adorable! And I know(from my own experience) what you mean about the pattern pieces for the skirt!

    • HI Kathy,
      Oh good, I’m not the only one who’s put the wrong pieces together! That’s comforting to know!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. M't aureen says:

    Love the fabrics/color combination – it’s perfect for back to school!

    Ah, the trials and tribulations of seamstresses – certainly keeps the gray matter alive and well.

    Can’t wait to see the finished outfit.

    • Thanks M’t aureen,
      I think this is your first time to post a comment…so thanks for joining in…and welcome to my blog.
      I’m glad you are liking the dress so far. I can’t wait to get it finished and see the final results myself.
      Yes, the problems we seamstresses face are just like everyone else…
      Thank you again,
      blessings, Jeanne

  4. I feel your pain. When things like that happen, I usually need to step away from the sewing machine and find something else to do, no matter how much I want to sew. From past experience, it just ends in absolute frustration and me questioning why I ever picked up sewing to begin with when I was 8! LOL I still love sewing, though, and now I have a new dolly to sew for. My first LD came yesterday and there is a picture on my blog. Hopefully, all the frustrations are over for you and it will be smooth sailing when you get back to it. 🙂

    • Hi Christine,
      Yes, sometimes stepping away from the problem makes it seem easier to fix when you do get back to it later.
      I looked at your blog and your Little Darling is just precious! She is very pretty and I’m sure I know who you’ll be sewing for next! Have fun with her. I love to sew for my 3 girls…and you will too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Eden looks perfect as a 1950’s girl. The dress is adorable on her. It does make us novice seamstresses feel better to know that experienced sewers have difficulties as well. After all these years of waiting a hoping for AG to make a fifties doll collection, I must say I’m not thrilled with Maryellen. Her bangs look funny to me. My mom was a pre-teen than and thinks Nellie or Samantha or many other dolls can pull off the “look” just as well and my mom made my daughter and doll matching poodle skirt outfits years ago ( the doll one still fits of course 🙂 I want to make it to AGP sometime soon after her debut to see the collection in person for fun, but I doubt we’ll get her because I have another doll on my radar at the moment. I assume your not getting her either now.

    • HI Laura,
      Thanks for thinking Eden will make a pretty 50’s girl. No, I don’t think I’ll be getting Maryellen either. I liked the first prototype much better and was thrilled to think I might be getting her, but when they changed her bangs, I decided I would probably pass. I think they look like she has a cowlick in front… sorry, just my opinion…
      I think Nellie would make a great 50’s girl…but I sold my Nellie a while back. However I have been looking at her again…. oh dear…
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Jeanne, I love the little red tabs between the gores. What a good idea!

    • HI Jevne,
      Well, it wasn’t my idea, but someone in the 50’s beat me to it… glad you like the tabs.. I do too.
      Have a wonderful Saturday…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. . with the points would be a disaster for me. How to get the points to turn into points?
    This is difficult on pointed collars also.

    • Hi Jan,
      Thanks for your comments. Yes, points can be a challenge… you have to trim closely but not too close and then push them to the point but not too hard or you’ll punch a hole in the end of the point…
      Thanks for “liking” my points!
      blessings, Jeanne

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