Nora is looking very Victorian…

I hope you weren’t expecting to see Nora’s dress completed… because if you were, you’ll be sorely disappointed… I am disappointed too! I had high hopes for today but they just didn’t materialize. I have 3 pictures to show you and trust they will be enough to get you through the day… I probably have the most time consuming part of her dress done… and I think you can start to see the style of it.

I showed Rebecca the necklace part I had and she’s pretty sure she can help me figure out a way to make it work…

This sleeve turned out perfect, but the other one I’ll be taking out and redoing it. I caught too much of the lace in it and they aren’t the same width and I noticed it right away…

There’s going to be a peplum and black lace will be on the edge of it.

I wanted to show you the pattern I found on Pixie Faire… (HERE) It’s a Dolls at Heart Designs pattern. Not knowing what direction I wanted to take Nora in, sometimes all it takes is looking at other patterns to get inspired… I was just scrolling through the dresses and all of a sudden a saw a new pattern I hadn’t seen before. I tried to go on and look at others but I just kept thinking of this one… so I went back to it, looked it over, envisioned Nora in it and hit the “buy it” button.

It’s a really nice pattern and was a pdf so I received it as soon as I downloaded it. I like that you don’t have to wait for them to come in the mail. Here’s another view of the pattern…

I cut it out just as the pattern said and sewed my seams at 1/4″ as stated, but my back barely meets, so I’ll either be putting loops and buttons on the back or adding an extension…

I think it’s a really pretty pattern and just might prove to be kind of versatile for a few different eras.

Well, I better get to bed… it’s been a long day…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Nora is looking beautiful in your creation, Jeanne. The fabric and style is going to make her a knock-out. Your creations are luscious and inspiring. It’s always an honor to view your work.


    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Becky,
      I think Nora looks very pretty in this too! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make for her, but when I saw this pattern, I knew instantly… I hope I can get more done on it today!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Marilyn says:

    That’s the pattern I just downloaded too. It’s good to know that it might not be exactly the right size, depending on the doll — it’s the very best photo I’ve ever seen of Marie-Grace. Have you considered sewing the necklace piece to the dress so that it hangs just where you have it. If it were mine, I wouldn’t mind a bit that it was attached. I wonder if anyone else on here would agree with me. Maybe we’ll find out.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      So far the dress has gone together and fits nicely except I would add about 3/8 -1/2 inch to the back piece. It would allow for most size doll bodies. Plus it’s just easier to dress when it’s not so tight. Her cover picture of Marie-Grace is very nice… I have to agree.

      Why Marilyn, sewing it to the dress shoulder seams was exactly what I had in mind! You guessed it! Rebecca was going to add a few black beads or something else to extend it about the 1/2″ or so that I need to have it lay where it is when it’s pinned on her.

      She said she needed to look through all her beads and findings to get the right look.
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Charlotte A. says:

    The bodice is looking beautiful. I agree that you could stitch the neck piece to the bodice. It might be annoying if the dress was for an adult person since we would be washing the dress more often. The pattern looks beautiful. I think Nora will be an even prettier model though.
    Hope you have a good day.
    Take care –

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Charlotte,
      Well, Marilyn guessed it and you seem to agree… I was planning on stitching the necklace to the dress… so it would stay in just the right spot.
      The pattern is very pretty, isn’t it? I loved it the moment I saw it… I’m a sucker for peplums!
      Thank you so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Love the pattern. The necklace piece is just the right length with the pins.(Ouch!) Maybe sewing it on like Marilyn suggested is possibility. The black lace is a smashing addition.
    With your mom, I still suggest she take a vacation at one of the assisted living facilities near you. My grandmother tried several and quite enjoyed the newby attention. Ended up moving in with my parents for her last years. Probably not what you want to hear, and I would not suggest it. A very heavy toll on my mother.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      I’m glad you like the pattern… it has quite a few pieces but it has gone together pretty nicely… except, like I said, I’d add a little more to the back center seam. I think the black lace looks very nice on this print too… I think white might not have worked as well.

      Oh Joy, we’ve been to the place we want her to go to at least 5 times… or more… she just doesn’t want to go… says they are for “old people.” We had the the director hold a 2 bedroom apartment that just came open for us until the end of the month.. In that time we are hoping to convince or God convince her that a move to a smaller place is better and safer for her… My mom has been a widow since my dad died… she was 38, and she’ll be 83 in December… Independence is the real issue here… :o(
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Does the perferred placement have a trial or guest option? Like a week or two? Maybe in the reserved room? I’m sure you have already tried, but if you call it a vacation or guest stay, sometimes you can get the family member to agree but only for the trial/guest. Not saying she would agree, but if everyone is firm about at least giving it a try, maybe. She may be surprised to find that there are others exactly her age. I know the staff would put her at a great table and do all to encourage her to join in. They are so trained at the good facilities. And if she knows you or family will be coming by/visiting and perhaps taking her out for some activity? Some places don’t recommend visitors for two weeks so the guest can settle in. Last resort, there is the guilt trip. We are so worried about you. If you go for a vacation, we will be able to have some needed rest… When it came time to have my dad take his “vacation” I actually had to write out all I was going to say and practice. (Alzheimer’s group recommended that) And it worked for a very independent guy who had been in the same home for over 50 years.
        Know you have probably tried it all, but if you bring up the safety issue for home insurance and that the doctor recommends this. (or the big one, Adult Protective Services may have to step in.) None is easy for sure.
        Wishing you the best in this quest and my thoughts are with you.

        • Jeanne W says:

          Hi Joy,
          I didn’t see your comment till now, but if you read what I wrote to Anne, it’s about what I’d say to you too…
          Thanks, Jeanne

  5. What a great suggestion, Joy. I’d also recommend a visit with a gerontologist who may advise both your mother and the family regarding care options and, most importantly, the rationale for changing her living situation. Best to write down questions and answers for her to consider. This kind of visit is covered by Medicare, although finding a gerontologist may require a bit of research. Best to your Mother and all the family.
    What a great pattern, too. It may inspire me to sew again. Having trouble getting started.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      Oh, we know all about the facilities and which one we like and where is the friendliest, but it’s just my mom who won’t give in… She wants to stay in her house till she dies and it’s just not possible… This has been super stressful and has been in the works for over a year… we just have to find a solution soon…
      Sorry to hear you aren’t sewing as of late… You should maybe wait until I finish this dress and I’ll give you any tips for it and then maybe consider getting it… or just go to Pixiefaire and see if any of the other patterns grab you…
      Go to the top menu and pick “Patterns by doll” then choose “American Girl” and then you can narrow it down… I picked the “dresses” category. But you could pick something else that might be simpler just to get back into it.Three was a sweet shorts romper in a denim color with maybe 6 white buttons down the front and a red tie I think. It was very cute…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Invisible Zipper!.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI April,
      There isn’t even enough room for an invisible zipper… it just meets in the back… I will probably end up adding an extension… Otherwise the dress has fit very nicely….
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Linda D. says:

    My goodness, I haven’t even commented yet, although I know I read your blog early thins morning! I guess that’s what a day or two with grandchildren plus an overnight does to me! I’m feeling my age! I’m ready for assisted living NOW!!! :-0 Hang in there with your mom, maybe she thinks she will lose touch with all of you if she moves, even though it will be in the same town.

    I love the new dress for Nora! Love the pretty jewelry piece that will make it stand out from the everyday look, and it gives the dress something “special”. Maybe a pretty black straw tea hat with a couple of feathers to top it off and a pretty black feathered fan? I think this will be a knockout outfit for sure!

    The last dress pattern reminds me of AG Cecile’s Summer Dress, with the pink and green checked ruffles. So, is this the dress you are now making for Nora, or for some other time?

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I hope you maybe got in a power nap today and are feeling back to normal… kids can certainly wear you out, can’ t they?
      Yes, this is the dress I’m working on now…. and it will be for Nora. I have had that piece of jewelry for a few years and never knew what to put it with, but as soon as I laid it on the fabric, I just knew it was right. I like the idea of a black hat and a black fan… oh Linda, you do keep me thinking… I love it!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Nora is going to look so pretty. I just KNEW it was Victorian. I love Linda’s idea of a black hat and black fan. I was able to find a couple of the little jewelry wraps you used for Addy’s fan at Hobby Lobby last week. They were the last two as they were on clearance. I was hoping to go to look for the screen this week, but it didn’t happen. I like the pattern you’re using and see, there’s Marie-Grace, although that one has a wonky right eye. ( Oh, just saw Marilyn though she was perfect, all in the eye of the beholder I guess. ) MG is one you have to really search for a good one. It took me about four months to find a perfect one.
    This dress will be knockout one for sure. Can’t wait to see more!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      I didn’t know what I was going to make her until I saw this pattern…it just called out to me…
      I think it fits Nora just perfectly and she might not always be my Victorian girl but for now she is!
      I am pretty hard on the dolls when I look for one. They have to be almost perfect at least in their face for me to consider them. NO wonky eyes and no cut hair, no painted lips… (except in the case of my Kit!)
      I can’t wait to finish it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Marilyn says:

    I’m wondering about reinforcing the area under where the necklace will be fastened with felt. The necklace may be light enough that reinforcement would be unnecessary and you do line everything. I had never understood the appeal of Marie-Grace until I saw that picture, where she looks happy and spirited. I’ve heard that the new Felicity is pretty but I haven’t seen a picture of her that I liked either. I suppose if the pictures were perfect, people would expect the dolls to be perfectly beautiful instead of just appealing.

    I love the idea of a vacation at the assisted-living place. I’ve often thought Joy was a genius. What if there were something wrong with your mother’s house, making a vacation necessary while the house was being repaired? Plumbing might work nicely for an excuse, but I’ll bet George could think of something convincing in 2 seconds.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      I think that picture of Marie-Grace looks pretty because of the color of the fabric. I think that blue is outstanding on her. She does look pretty in it. I’ve never seen her in person, so I can’t vouch for how pretty she is in person, but Laura tells me she is a very pretty doll.
      I’ve heard the same thing about the new Felicity dolls too, but I’m like you, I haven’t seen one that appealed to me either.
      My mom isn’t that far “gone” some of the time, so she’d see right through that… It’s really complicated… mostly it’s just that there’s not really a place for her right now… she’s not fully incapacitated, but she’s there some of the time…and then some times she’s just as normal as always… but those times are getting fewer and fewer between. It’s just so hard to know that she’s safe when she’s by herself… and she doesn’t want anyone to live with her or check on her… somethings gotta give…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Anne Johnson says:

    Although I’ve barely just arrived in time for a bedtime snack, I want to tell you how lovely Nora looks in this new Victorian pattern, Jeanne! The leafy paisley fabric, beautiful black lace and regal teardrop neckpiece make an exquisite statement of grace and elegance, and I’m looking forward to all the details. Perhaps there’s even a title in there, too? “Victorian Elegance.” What do you think? 😉

    You are in my thoughts, Jeanne, as you work to find solutions for your momma in this new season of life. Maybe your sisters could come, and you all could go with your mom on several “day trips” to the facility to participate in some of the meals and activities with her, like “Girl’s Days Out.” If you all do it together, she might not feel like all the burden is on her to make all the adjustments (such as change her surroundings, adapt her schedule, meet new people, etc.) on her own. At the same time, you can make your “talks” more about you and your siblings, and how you wish you could make the time you have to spend with her really count, knowing that her needs are being well met. I hope she might realize herself that a care facility can actually help her maintain her independence by offering her access to an active and rewarding lifestyle so you and your siblings can spend meaningful, quality time together with her. May you be guided in your plans, and may your momma be open to possibilities. Love and hugs!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Anne,
      I did see your comment and most especially I’m glad I saw the title for Nora’s dress….”Victorian Elegance.” That fits the dress perfectly I think.
      As far as the place goes where we’d like to see my mom live, she’s been there, she thinks it’s nice, she’s been in the apartments, taken the tour 4 or 5 times, (which she forgets everytime she goes), she knows it’s 5 minutes from my house, it’s clean, the people are friendly, she can furnish the apartments however she likes, but she’s just telling us she’s not going…it’s for those old people.
      Rhe director called me the other day and told me she had a 2 bedroom one available in 2 weeks. I talked with my brother and sisters and decided we should hold it and do everything in our power to convince my mom by the end of the month. Cindy is coming from PA, Bob and Deb are both coming home too and they say…”she will be moving” but she is so stubborn I don’t see how that’s going to happen. Only the grace of God can change her heart and mind…we certainly need God’s grace for this situation…but it’s very frustrating…she can’t seem to see our point of view, but she really needs to be around other people and could really use some “eyes” on her every day.
      Thanks Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Anne Johnson says:

    P.S. Does the facility you are interested in have senior day care? That might be a gradual way forward for a few weeks after you and your sisters spend several days there all together getting to know the people and the routines.

  12. Ingrid B says:

    Hi Jeanne,
    My post just disappeared. I’m making this one short. Love the dress, love the color choice and really love the necklace piece. I’ll add Mom to my prayer list. I pray that a happy for everyone solution is found very soon.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Ingrid,
      We really appreciate your prayers…this is a difficult for us too, and my mom just can’t see how it is…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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