Some of my earliest Story Lines or Scenarios for my American Girl doll auctions…

A few posts back, on October 12th, I showed a page from the notebook where I had all the information written down when I sold my first few American Girl Felicity doll dresses. (I still have all the notebooks, with all the items I’ve ever sold on Ebay.) At the very bottom of that notebook page, a little paragraph was partially shown that looked like some kind of story. One of my readers, Paula, asked what that was…

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Well, Paula, when I first thought about selling my doll clothes, I wanted my listings to be different than the ones that just went something like this:
“Molly is wearing a blue dress with white flowers. It has short puffed sleeves and a Peter Pan collar.”
OR
“Up for consideration, you’ll find Felicity in a pretty Colonial gown made from a beautiful pink….”
OR
Let me introduce you to Samantha’s dress, which is made from a red plaid with a black velvet ribbon tied around her waist…”

I wanted to introduce my dresses with a little story line that tied into the outfit I was about to describe. It’s funny when I think back on it now, but this was the one thing I was terrified of… what if I ran out of story lines and scenarios? What if I just plain ran out of ideas? My sister, Cindy, was the one who convinced me that I wouldn’t run out of things…that things would always pop into my head, but I still was terrified when I started, so I made a list of topics to get me started for the first few weeks… by then I was hooked and I wondered what I was ever scared of in the first place.

I thought I’d share some of earliest story lines with you…. the beginning ones don’t have any pictures to go with them anymore…somehow they got deleted.

This was the story line for my very first Felicity dress called Spring Splendor.

Felicity was so excited as she ran inside, “Mother, the roses are blooming!! I’m so glad Spring is finally here. I’m tired of wearing heavy cloaks and wool dresses!! I’m ready for something light and breezy!!”

This was the opening story for my second dress called Blue Beauty.

“Lissie,” Mother called, “could you take these vegetables over to Mrs. Murphy? She hasn’t been feeling well and I thought Clarissa could make her some soup from them.” Felicity started off in her pretty blue dress carrying the veggies that her Mother had packed in her basket. She loved it when Mother sent her on errands in the town. Maybe she would even have time to stop off and see Father at the store before she came home.

Here are a few more…

“Lissie,” said Mother, “Miss Manderly is expecting you this afternoon for another Tea lesson. Please pick some daffodils on your way and give them to her.”

Molly had the big Spelling Bee today and she was so nervous. She still couldn’t get “celebration” down. She wanted to spell it C-E-L-A-B-R-A-T-I-O-N…with an “A” instead of an “E.” Mother was helping her as she cooked some breakfast for the family.

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Felicity couldn’t believe SHE had received a package from her Aunt Mary in England. What could be in it? As she tore open the brown paper, the loveliest blue and cream dress emerged. It was so beautiful it took Felicity’s breath away for a moment! As she ran to her room to try it on her heart was racing. She had never seen anything so fine. When she returned for everyone to see, she felt like a princess in her royal palace.

“Mother, it’s been a long time since Elizabeth came over for tea. I saw her at the store and invited her over this afternoon. Tea time will give us a chance to practice again what we’ve been learning from Miss Manderly.”

Molly had gone down to the Drug Store to get ice cream but she was having a really hard time making up her mind what flavor she wanted. She didn’t want to drip anything on her new blue dress.

It was only 7:30 but Molly was up and already dressed. Today was Kathryn’s birthday party and all of the girls from the neighborhood would be there.

There was a black and white kitty that had been hanging around Molly’s back door for several hours. She thought maybe he was lost, so she scooped him up in her arms and went to all the houses in the neighborhood until she found his owners. They were so thrilled to have Midnight back, they gave Molly fifty cents to spend on ice cream!

Samantha was so excited and could hardly wait for Nellie to get to Tyson’s. She had received a new doll and wanted to show Nellie how pretty she was.

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Molly had a bad habit of biting her fingernails. She wanted to stop but just couldn’t seem to do it on her own. One day when Molly and Mother were out shopping, Molly saw this gorgeous pink poodle in the window. When Mother noticed how much she liked it, she made a deal with Molly: “If you can go for 6 weeks and not bite your nails, I’ll buy it for you!” Molly knew she could do it!! Did she?

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Molly was walking home from school when she heard a faint chirping sound. She searched all around and finally found a tiny bird’s nest with two baby birds on the ground. She guessed it had fallen out of the big oak tree. Her mother would know what to do with them, so she scooped the nest and the baby birds up and quickly skipped home.

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“Mama, Mama,” cried Kirsten. “I found these flowers blooming down by the creek. Do you think Spring is almost here? Oh, please say yes!!”

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Kirsten was so excited!! This morning, she and Mama were going to make a surprise apple pie for Papa, Lars and Peter while they were out doing their chores. It was her family’s favorite pie in Sweden and she knew how much the “boys” loved it. Kirsten remembered how she dreamed of apples when she was on the Eagle, the ship that had carried them to America. This was going to be a great day!!

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So those are a few of my story lines… I’m still thinking of new things today to use in my listings…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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Comments

  1. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Wow! That was a lovely trip through some nice memories. Looking at these beautiful pictures could provide inspiration — if you needed it. I loved Kristen’s peplum and Molly’s pockets that she could really get her hands into. Linda and I had matching navy dresses with white polka dots. If we’d only thought of the red rick-rack.
    I’ve always wondered if you kept track of prices and winners — you kept much better records than that.
    Here’s a new question: Which comes first, the design or the fabric?

    • HI Marilyn,
      Thanks for your thoughts on my dresses…and my story lines.
      I’m probably the only person who has kept all their listings on Ebay in notebooks, but I can’t tell you how many times I refer to something… when did I get Molly, or when did I sell those fabric scraps and to whom, what was the name of that Ebay seller that sold me those long white boxes. It comes in pretty handy to look something or someone up… I have them dated on the outside of the notebooks too, so they are in order, from first book to the one I’m using now.
      Which comes first, the design or the fabric? hmmmm…. good question. I think most often it’s the fabric first and then I find a dress pattern to use for it. For Kirsten, I gather up about 5 or 6 coordinating fabrics and lay them out like a dirndl would be and go from there. Most of the others, it’s fabric first, then I find trims and then the pattern comes along. When I buy fabric, I generally have a doll in mind when I see it.
      Thanks for asking…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Another question. When I tried to pull up your blog this morning at about 6:40, I got a black screen. Does that mean you were working on the blog and so it was not available? I did see the title of the new post at the bottom of the page, where it tells me what I’m waiting for.

    • I don’t know what the black screen was all about this morning. I was awake at 5:15 and grabbed my ipad beside my bed and checked to make sure the post went on as scheduled at 1:00 a.m. this morning. It was all okay then… must have just been a glitch or something…
      That’s strange though…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. I love the little stories you make up for your listings. It make a cute connection and shows the purpose of the outfit. I always made up elaborate backstories for my dolls as a child and am doing it again for my renamed Nellie even though I keep Samantha and Felicity canon.
    The little extra accessory you add to each listing really completes the story line and the extra props like benches etc. that you don’t include enhances the scene. Did you ever buy any of the PC accessory sets? Some that I’ve acquired are just incredible. Setting up little scenes is a lot of fun. It better than than stuff in a curio although I have things I inherited from relatives that I love to bring out each season.
    Yesterday after church we took a nice long walk and I rescued a dog that accidentally got out while our new neighbors were finishing moving in. The dog had her old phone number on her tag which was disconnected but, we managed to find her house. The main problem was I didn’t know where she belonged because she was a street over when I found her. At least she got back home and the owners were so grateful I caught her since she would have gotten really lost.

    • HI Laura,
      I’m glad you like my sometimes silly little stories that go with my doll outfits. I’ve done it for so long, that sometimes I’ll show my hubby a new dress I’ve finished and he’ll say, “I think she looks like she’s going to grandma’s house to bake cookies,” or “is she going to a dance?” or “I think you call that Red, White and Blue-mers!”

      I decided long ago that people like to have what’s all in the picture, so if my doll is holding a basket of flowers, or a doll, or a puppy, why not include it. That way I can always be looking for new things. I do have a few things that are sentimental that I only use as props but most of the times, what you see in the listing is included…except the shoes usually.
      What a lucky little dog to have run into you at just the right time. I’m glad you were able to get her back to her rightful owners.
      Thanks for sharing Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. What sweet stories to introduce your dresses, Jeanne. It says just enough to entertain as well as draw attention to the very dress mentioned in the story.
    And speaking of dresses, what beautiful outfits you’ve shown. Love Molly’s green dress and wonder how her mama was able to help Molly with the baby birds.
    Also Kirsten’s dresses are so colorful and pretty. Love the ruffle around the waist on the last dress and her crisp white apron. The lace on Samantha’s dress is beautiful and apparently Molly in her bright pink dress, got her poodle. Molly conquered her nail biting!!
    Some of the doll collectors I knew back home, often had short little stories about their dolls, sometimes ongoing stories. Some very comical. It’s neat to see how creative people can be about their hobbies or collection.
    Your talents are wonderful and not only do I look forward to seeing which dress goes on Ebay, but I love reading the stories too.
    Hope you are feeling better ! Remy must be taking good care of you during the day.

    • HI Paula,
      I’m so glad you asked about the story lines. It was something I did and never really thought about until you mentioned it. I’m glad you enjoyed the stories and the pictures, Paula, and thanks for asking…
      Whenever I proposed a question or there was something happening in the story line, I always tried to answer it at the end of the action… Yes, Molly did get that poodle…Yes, Molly learned to spell Celebration the right way… Yes, Addy, sang her solo perfectly in the church choir…No, Molly didn’t get to keep the stray dog that showed up at their back door, etc.
      Thanks so much for your kind words Paula. It was fun to break down this little thing that I do and share it with you all.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Jeannie Brandon says:

    Jeanne, I love your stories too ! It’s a walk down memory lane when I read through your post for today. Sort of a warm feeling on a wet and chilly day here in north Texas. I remember these dresses so well. Molly and Kristen are my favorite by far. Love those puff sleeves.

    • Thanks so much Jeannie,
      I’m glad you walked down Memory Lane today with me today! I enjoyed reading some of the old story lines too… I had so many I had to just cut it off eventually but I have hundreds and hundreds of them…
      Thanks for your sweet comments,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I like Kirsten’s little embroidered bodice number so much. You should make another similar. Sure it would be a best seller.
    Love your little intros too.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Joy.
      I liked that little vest on Kirsten too. I will have to do it again…just because you asked for it. Thank you for your thoughts…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Kathie Welsh says:

    Those were darling dresses! The pockets are so cute…maybe they would be fun to do again? The navy and white polka dot really stands out too
    Hope the foot is healing a bit every day! Take care!

    • HI Kathie,
      I was going to do a dress like Molly’s again recently and discovered I had lost the pocket that I had drafted for it. I might have to look for it again and see where it’s hiding.
      The navy and white polka dot one was a bit tricky getting the rick rack to line up from the bodice to the skirt the right way.
      The foot is turning from blue to a lovely yellowish green… :o)
      Thanks for your kind thoughts Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        I like to use a product called Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It for holding rickrack in place. I measure carefully (sometimes mark with chalk), lay that ultra-fine line of glue down, and the rickrack onto it. I stab-pin thru the rickrack, fabric and into the ironing board pad, and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, until the glue is at least partly dry before removing the pins (and I’ve learned to put a finger on either side of the pin when I pull it up, so I don’t accidentally pull the rickrack up!). I let the glue finish drying before I take it to the machine. Works great!

  8. I wondered about the baby birds too. After not using ebay for yeRs, I was surprised by stories that introduced outfits. I am sure they enhance sales. A few were so humorous I would have my husband read them. As a child sewing doll dresses, I would make up stories as I worked. Later on, when I made a series of Sasha clothes to take to a festival to sell, I realized the stories had stopped. They must be part of the creative process.

    • HI Jan,
      Whenever I start sewing something I generally start thinking about what “accessory” I will put with this, or what I’ll call it in my listing, or what my story line will be. There are lots of things in my every day life that I can use… I used to bite my fingernails and a pink poodle was what got me to stop…just like Molly!
      It might not be everyone’s cup of tea to do their auctions this way, but for me, it was a little less stuffy and formal to start off with a story line…
      Thanks so much Jan,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Hi Jeanne,
    Congrats to you for keeping such good notes. It’s fun to go back, isn’t it? I love your stories. They are so sweet. I remember when everyone (no, a lot) wrote stories to go with their outfits. It was such a cute touch. I always wondered how it got started. You definitely have a knack for story telling. I enjoyed your photos too; most of these are new to me. Boy, you have made a LOT of outfits over the years!
    Hope you are doing a little better today.

    • Hi Cindy,
      I “have” made a lot of outfits and I “have” made up a lot of stories! You do the same thing introducing your sweet doll dresses too! I love to read yours as well!
      Today was slightly better…I have made dinner for the first time since last Tuesday…so that’s a start. I am going to make it into my sewing room as soon as I put up my foot a little while.

      I’m hoping to see if I can figure out how to use my left foot (or my elbow…Charlotte) and see if I can manage my sewing machine. I just have to get something going…even if it’s 10 minutes at a time…
      Thanks so much, Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. I like reading those story lines. They sound like they could have come from the actual books that go with the dolls. I have to say though, that I’m envious of your notes. I always have intentions of keeping good documentation of projects I’m working on, but I just don’t have the discipline to do it. I’m always ready to get going on the next thing. It would be so nice to have records like that for reference. Maybe that could be my New Years resolution.

    • HI Carolyn,
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading my story lines for the outfits I’ve made. It’s always fun when I come up with a brand new scenario, unlike anything I’ve used in the past.

      I started out doing my Ebay and Etsy listings this way and I don’t think I could change now if I tried. It is a nice reference book too. Sometimes I’ll be missing $16.57 when I balance my checkbook… I can go back and see the date and find I missed recording something I bought for $16.57…problem solved!
      Thanks for your comments Carolyn, you’ve got a while to get your page laid out the way you like it for your New Year’s resolution!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Charlotte Trayer says:

    What fun, to read your little stories, Jeanne!

    When I worked in doll shop (about 15 years ago), we used to sell a lot of AG-sized clothes. I would bring my own Molly in and dress her in an outfit from the shop, then write a little story to go with the outfit. We often sold the complete outfit right off the doll–and more than once, people tried to buy my Molly!!

    With a dressy dress, patent shoes and ruffled ankle socks, for instance, Molly might be in a piano recital. Pajamas, robe and slippers meant Molly was at a sleepover. And so on. It was great fun, and I often got nice comments from people about the stories.

    • HI Charlotte,
      The stories I make up now just seem to come easy to me… I sure was afraid I’d run out in the beginning though.
      What a nice thing to do to sell your doll outfits…make up stories… I think everyone loves a good story! It sure beats just describing the item… at least to me it does…
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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