Nyssa, my Kaye Wiggs doll, can’t wait to show you her Christmas dress…

Thank you for all your encouraging words and compliments on my “cleaned up” sewing room… well, at least the half that you saw! (If you missed the messy post, you can see it HERE.) One of my subscribers, Jane, emailed me and said she didn’t see any sewing machines… I told her they were in the half that wasn’t totally cleaned up yet… but I would be showing it soon. The half that still has to be finished isn’t nearly as bad as what you’ve seen so far…(If you missed the REALLY bad shots click HERE.)

Linda, another subscriber, asked why my shades were pulled down instead of letting the light in? Well, that’s because it was 11 p.m. last night when I finally got the half of the room cleaned up enough to even take a picture! But this afternoon when I walked in there and “focused” on the “good” half, I took a picture so you can see it with the blinds up on the window and the door. I do get lots of light in there when the blinds are up. That door goes out to a porch…


I was going to clean in there today but I decided to do some sewing on Nyssa’s dress instead. I looked at the calendar and have approximately 35 days to get the rest of my doll dresses made… YIKES! 12 dresses (or 13 dresses if I can get Kit’s “ravioli” face fixed!) in 35 days. I guess it’s going to be a sewing marathon for me! Just for a heads up… Eden, my 50’s girl, will be up next!

After hem-hawing back and forth about which fabric to use for Nyssa, I just decided to pick the silvery one and got started on it tonight! I’m now wishing it had gone for the blue velvet… as this fabric is a “royal pain” to work with… it ravels and is so hard to gather up.

I chose one of Magalie’s (MHD Designs) patterns and it’s a pretty dress, but it’s not for ravel-y fabric! I’ve made it only once before and it is nice and flattering.

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


The pattern has all these little gathered sections (BIG MISTAKE!!) where the skirt is attached to the bodice… and I’m sure I could have made 2 dresses in the time that it has taken me to cut this one out and do what I have done so far! There are LOTS of little pieces to this dress! But I think I’m past the hard part now, so maybe it will be smooth sailing from here on out!




Fortunately the top half is lined, so none of those raveled and zigzagged edges will show.

I changed Nyssa’s wig to a dark brown one and it looks MUCH better now. I’m not positive this is the one I’ll use in the end, but it’s a pretty nice look with the dress. Here’s what I’ve gotten done so far…



…a bit more shimmery of a picture…


…and what it looks like next to Nyssa…


…and here is the back side of the dress…


Well, that’s it… I told you it was slow going because of all those gathers… next time we meet, I’ll have more done on it…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, so much better, Jeanne, with the light streaming in! It really cheers things up in there!

    Oh, that material for Nyssa’s dress is something like I have been dealing with for Felicity’s dress. You know how the seam allowance isn’t all that much for doll clothes, and then when the material starts unraveling, well, that makes it hard to sew and fit right. I completely understand, but it looks like it will be a lovely dress. And Nyssa looks SO much better with the dark wig!

    • HI Linda,
      Thanks… the light really does help. I just noticed something when I took this picture… I need to paint my door. George has it all taped up so the air doesn’t come in, so he’d have to put weather stripping on it if we take the tape off it… guess that painting job will have to wait!

      I wondered if Felicity’s dress was like that…it is NO fun to work with… I am totally with you on that one! Did you get her dress all the way done?
      I had internet troubles today so I haven’t gotten to Nyssa’s dress YET…. but there is still time….:o)
      Thanks so much Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Linda Doyle says:

        Jeanne, the dress is almost finished, but I have been so preoccupied with other things, it still needs a few stitches here and there. At least she is wearing it!

  2. Aww, Nyssa is going to look so cute when it’s done. I completely understand about the tiny gathers with fabric that shreds when you look at it. 🙂

    • HI Christine,
      I take it you’ve had “experience” with fraying, ravel-y fabric? I hope I can get this finished soon so I can move on to something smooth and cottony…
      Thanks Christine,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Despite the issues with the fabric Jeanne, the dress is looking great…as is your sewing room. You’re doing marathon work with a partially healed foot. Take care.

    • Thanks so much Becky,
      I hope the dress turns out like I have it pictured in my mind… if it does, I “guess” it will have been worth it… but it sure isn’t any fun sewing this stuff… I think if it were bigger pieces like the American Girl size, it would be much easier…
      Thanks for your comments,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Congrats on the straightening. The fabric for Nyssa would look great for a for a Steampunk outfit. She surely is that kind of girl.

    I am reading the Rosemarie Ionker book on your recommendation, “Fashions for Small Dolls,” before tackling my first dress for Ten Ping. I would like to know if you have ever used her technique before I try it myself: “My method of securing seam allowances is to draw a narrow line with a paper-glue dispenser all along the edge of the fabric before cutting. . . . It is more time-consuming because you have to wait until the glue dries completely before you can continue . . .” on Page 64. She IS talking about using the regular paper glue, right? The silver material looks almost impossible to work with on such a small scale without your experience and determination. Kudos, Jeanne, for your patience! Can’t wait to see it finished with accessories!

    • HI Susette,
      Thanks for the compliments on Nyssa’s dress. I hope you still think so when I’m all finished…
      I looked in Rosemarie’s book and took a look at the method she used with the glue. I had never seen that in the book before, but I wish I had done that on Nyssa’s dress. It would have saved me time and trouble I think… I may try it on the lining part… I’m assuming she means just regular school glue… like Elmer’s…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Happy Monday! I always like Monday…it’s always a fresh start.
    Your room is just so well set up. Everything you need…right where you need it!
    The silver dress is going to be beautiful! Your patience is amazing…I would have thrown it out on the highway by now…LOL!
    Have a good week!

    • Hi Kathie,
      Truth be known… I did throw one section of the dress away… it was just too tedious to pick out the threads and it raveled too much anyway.
      I hope it turns out beautifully in the end…
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    In the first closeup of this fabric a couple days ago, I thought it looked like wool for a beautiful 1950’s suit, but that was because it was so magnified. It is truly lovely and Nyssa is already looking lovely in it. I also love the Steampunk idea — definitely something to keep in mind for the future. Halloween is good.
    12-13 dresses in 35 days — you won’t have time to breathe. I can see you in the doctor’s waiting room, with your sewing machine going.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Yes, the fabric looks so differently up close…it’s a loose, yet tightly woven fabric… I guess what I mean is, it’s tight until you cut it, and then it’s like something knitted, it sort of unravels at the edges.
      I hope you think Nyssa looks lovely in it when I get it finished… :o/

      Yep, 12 dresses in 35 days… it might be a new record for me… I hope there are no more doctor visits!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I like Nyssa with dark hair. Her blue eyes really stand out. I believe she will look lovely in the tricky fabric you have chosen. And thanks for showing the pattern too. Very helpful.

    • HI Joy,
      Oh you got it right when you said, “the tricky” fabric… that’s just what it should be called! I knew Nyssa would look much better in a different wig! Glad you like it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Interesting post. Yes, take care of the foot and get to bed earlier for rest. I am confident you will meet your goal of finished dresses before Christmas. That fabric does look tricky. Hard to make a detailed pattern with the fabric and I am sure it will be beautiful on Nyssa. She looks really good in the brown wig too. I have just come in to rest after struggling with a sewing project. Almost all that could go wrong did. I started out with a machine that did not work because I asked my husband some time ago to pull the plug when under a severe storm warning. After connecting, I sewed a waist band the wrong way out on a top. Navy blue on navy blue in poor lighting. Now to lunch.

    • OH Jan,
      I feel your pain with the sewing troubles… they are no fun, are they? You’re sewing navy blue on navy blue and I’m sewing silver on silver… it is NO fun at all!
      I hope your project gets better tomorrow…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Charlotte Trayer says:

    That dress is really going to be beautiful! Even the the fabric is being ornery, I think it’ll be worth it in the end!

    I have to say, I never really cared that much for Nissa, but when you put that brown wig on her, it made Such a difference!! It really highlights her lovely skin tone and her pretty blue eyes!


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