Ten Ping’s new black shoes & my Vintage pattern collection…

I worked at the Food Pantry today and didn’t get home until almost 4:00 this afternoon, so needless to say between getting dinner ready, walking Reuben, and making a new pair of black Mary Jane’s for Ten Ping, because I got a last minute bid, I didn’t get anything done on my “surprise” dress that I teased you with yesterday.

I hate to show you another picture of Ten Ping’s shoes, but I’m going to… these are first ones I made. How in the world did I ever think I could sell Ten Ping’s dress set with these crummy little black shoes? They are horrible when I look at them now!

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


I went from these…stitched on the machine…poorly…



…to my “clodhopper” pair…


…to these… I knew I HAD to make another pair…




It feels good to know I’m sending the winner of Ten Ping’s dress set a decent pair of shoes…

Now for something completely different. I have a small vintage pattern collection that someone brought to me when I sold my American Girl doll clothes and little girls dresses at my local Farmer’s Market. They thought I might enjoy these old patterns and while I don’t think I’ll ever use them, I don’t want to get rid of them. They are part of my past…they show me how far patterns have come and what it used to be like when these were in style. Also look at that price on a few of them… .15 cents! I don’t think you can hardly find a pattern today that’s not $15.00!! What a difference!!

These 2 Hollywood patterns are the oldest of my collection…I can’t find a date on any of the patterns but one…


Look at how they are… wouldn’t that just drive you nuts without any writing on them? You’d really have to pay attention to the directions…


Can you find the pieces I showed you?




I think this one must be a 40’s pattern. It looks like a “Molly” pattern to me…




My sister, Cindy, found these doll patterns out in PA and sent them to me… I like the pinafore on this one…


I looked inside the pattern and found this collar piece still pinned to a piece of fabric. I don’t know what kind of fabric this is… it has a cotton feel, but it might be some kind of dotted organza maybe. It’s very sheer and very loosely woven.




The pattern on the bottom of this next set of patterns is the only one I could find a date on. It is a 1966 pattern…it’s 50 years old…


All of the patterns are pretty brittle and I keep them in a zip lock bag so they don’t shred completely.
Does anyone remember any of these patterns? Just wondering…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, I probably am one of your “oldest” readers, (what a distinction!) but when I started sewing doll clothes when small, like 7 or so, I never used a pattern! My grandmother taught me to sew, and she too, hardly ever used a pattern. She was quite a seamstress, even sewing dresses for debutantes at St. Louis’ Veiled Prophet Ball. Most of my doll clothes were just a simple ruffled skirt and tops with or without sleeves, but were embellished with various laces or rick-rack. Also it was all hand sewn. As I got older, I started using patterns, and many of them look just like the ones you have there, but of course, for older girls. The drawings are so similar, and the price too!

    Something jogs my memory of patterns that had no writing on them, like the one you have pictured above. Maybe it was from my Home Economics class where you really had to pay attention to details to get it right. I don’t know, but I do remember certain patterns were more “user friendly” than others, and some were very exclusive patterns made just for pros..

    Yes, that one is a Molly dress for sure! And the smocked one is so cute too! I have no clue as to what that material is, but it is so pretty!

    Congrats on those cute shoes for Ten Ping, they are adorable!

    • Hi Linda,
      You might think you are the oldest of my readers, but I think you have one of the “youngest hearts” in the bunch! You certainly don’t “sound” like someone who is “old!” I think it’s the dolls that keep us all young…right?

      My first doll outfits were just cut out of the fabric too…no patterns in the beginning. It wasn’t until after I’d been sewing for a few years that I started using a pattern.

      I can’t remember ever using a pattern that had no writing on it…but I may have. I’m glad there is writing on them now…

      I thought that pattern looked like a Molly one for sure. I like the pattern piece for the collar and might have to check out that pattern for the way it’s put together…

      Thanks for the compliment on Ten Ping’s shoes… finally done!!!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Oh me, they bring back memories. I never took home ec. My mom taught me to sew. Her mother designed dresses and taught her basics. Some of the doll patterns have probably been re-released in slightly updated photos and of course more instructions on the pieces. There is company on Etsy that takes the older out of print patterns and converts them for use on the 18″ dolls. The styles then were so much more girl friendly. I do not like the stuff now as it is too grown up for the little girls you would love to keep in frills a little longer.

    • HI April,
      I used to say my mom taught me how to sew, but she tells it like this: “Jeanne taught me how to sew!” However it goes, I’m glad I know how…
      I have a pattern from that Etsy seller and it’s nice. I like to look at the old patterns too… the dresses… that was mostly all there was…
      Thanks April,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. They are all new to me, and what fun to look at. I LOVE vintage illustrations. I have a few vintage patterns too, though none as old as yours. I can’t believe those early ones had no markings on them, very confusing indeed. I’ll need to photograph mine someday to share with everyone; they are so great to see all these years later.
    BTW, I cannot find one itty bitty thing wrong with Ten Ping’s new shoes. They look absolutely PERFECT to me. Your persistence is an inspiration to me, thank you Jeanne!
    Have a great day!

    • HI Cindy,
      I like vintage illustrations too, and I should have taken these patterns out of the envelopes and made a collage or put them in a shadow box to preserve them.
      Thanks for the kind words about Ten Ping’s shoes… Now I’m itching to make a few more pairs in different colors.
      Also HUGE congrats to your blogging…is today # 15? I think it is… way to go! See, you can do it, and I haven’t seen one post that was boring… you have plenty to share with us…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I have a few patterns that cost 50 cents that were used for a layette or toddler clothes for me, so they are from the late 1960’s/very early 1970’s. My mom had some older ones I believe. I need to have her look through the stash.
    I love the vintage illustrations. So innocent and sweet.
    My grandmother sewed many things from home decor to clothes. She could tweak a pattern on the person and make it fit. I would spend a good chunk of my summer vacation there each year and she made me doll dresses and other doll things. When my mom was little she sewed the majority of her school clothes and costumes for plays.I love looking at those things and enjoying the vintage fabric as well. I even have doll clothes that she originally made for my mom, but that I and my daughter played with as children and that is very special. I also have many quilts and crocheted dresser scarves and doilies she made. I am glad she taught me skills that are being lost today except for those who learned from someone else.
    That fabric looks similar to the dotted swiss I have on a doll dress with the loveliest flowered trim. The fabric is a solid rose pink though.

    • HI Laura,
      You are just like me… you came from a mom who sewed and who passed it on to her daughter. I’m like you, and so glad that I know how to sew… it would be weird to think that I didn’t know how. I get so much enjoyment out of it, as I’m sure you do.
      Thanks for sharing Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. The old patterns are neat- I love the pictures and the designs of the little girl clothes on the packages/folders. Most of te little girl clothes remind me of Molly outfits and a bit of Mary Ellen’s clothes designs. Love the style.
    My sister made a dress for one of my AMG dolls, one who belongs to my 50’s girls. We found it, literally in an attic, as many stories go about old treasures. It wasn’t in the greatest shape but my sis managed to cut and carefully wash parts that she could salvage. It reminds me of the material attached to the pattern piece. I will send pictures to you to compare as I know nothing about material.
    Jeanne, your persistence with the shoes is truly YOU. Ten Ping’s shoes are adorable and they show your progression on making them perfect.
    And on top of all the volunteer work you do…..you are simply FABULOUS!!
    Love you!

    • HI Paula,
      So your sister found a doll “dress” or she found a “pattern” in the attic and made you a doll dress? I’d like to see your pictures…
      Finally I can say I have a pattern that I’ll use for the next pair of shoes… I might tweak the back just a bit though. The heel on Ten Ping sort of curves in so I need to adjust my pattern there.
      Thanks for your sweet words Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Jeanne your little shoes are the cutest! Quite an accomplishment for something so tiny. I love your persistence! Thanks for showing us the vintage patterns. Love seeing the things you share with us.
    God Bless

    • HI Marsha,
      Thanks for your compliments on Ten Ping’s shoes. I feel like I deserve a medal after getting the pattern to finally work out. Let me tell you, it has certainly been a long time coming!
      Thanks Marsha, and I’m glad you enjoy my posts each day.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Hurray for your food pantry volunteer work!! You are truly a worker bee. I would love to see some Ten Ping shoes in floral print, now that you have them perfected. Maybe with stabilizer? I have quite a few vintage patterns myself. They are so fun. However, the “old” one from 66 really dates me. 50 years already? I like the 40’s patterns best. Looking forward to the surprise dress.

    • HI Joy,
      Well, I guess I jumped the gun on the 1966 pattern by one year… so not quite 50 years old… just 49!
      I might have to make a pair of floral shoes in the future… that would be pretty cute.
      I think everyone who sews has a vintage pattern or two in their stash!
      Thanks for your comments, Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    The prices on your patterns remind me of the prices (that used to be) on books — there was a time when you could go into B Dalton’s with $5 and come out with 4 books and change. I still have some of the books — like the patterns, they have grown brittle, but the plots are still good.
    I’ve seen a new set of dolls — I noticed that Eve Colman, who sells her own patterns on Etsy, had two outfits to sell. When I looked twice, I realized that she had adapted two of her AG patterns for a 16″ British doll called A Girl for All Time. Each doll represents a girl from a different generation of the same family. I think there are currently five — Tudor, Georgian, Victorian, WWII, and the upcoming 1960’s girl Some are available on Ebay, others through an American online shop and a few Eastern stores.
    If they take off, they’ll be a whole new market for you because the clothes are not up to AG standards, let alone Jeanne Marie standards, and I would think collectors might be looking for lovely period clothes.
    Someone on your list probably knows a lot more about them than I do.

    • HI Marilyn,
      Yes, I think .15 cents for a pattern is about what you might pay if you went to a yard sale…

      I’ve seen Eve’s A Girl For All Time on Etsy too… and a few things for the dolls on Ebay.
      I’m swamped with the dolls I do sew for, so I might not get into that market…at least just yet.

      Thanks Marilyn,
      blessings, Jeanne

  9. To graduate from Jr. High we had to take a year of sewing, the awful apron, and a year of cooking. I can still see the precise movements our foods teacher made when shecarefully measured one cup of Crisco. When I started sewing Vogue was the only pattern company to not have printing on the pattern pieces. you learned to read the holes in the pieces. They were thought to be the most difficut styes to make. Who remembersthe gusset under the arms? They helped to made a great fit.

    • HI Jan,
      I had years of Home Ec and so when I started college it only seemed natural to major in Clothing and Textiles… of course I had to take the cooking classes too…not my favorite, I wanted to sew.
      I know what gussets are, but I don’t know if I ever sewed one in a garment or not.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I think I’ve used at least one pattern without printing–the different patterns of dots stand for different things (such as “place of fold,” or a dart); once you have it set in your head what those patterns stand for, it’s not bad.

    If you’ll notice on some of those 25¢ and 35¢ Simplicity patterns, the word “printed” is in red, to highlight the fact that these pattern pieces actually had the marks PRINTED on them, and you didn’t have to read the dots any more!! In fact, the word “printed” stayed on the pattern envelopes for many, many years–just in case, I suppose, that you didn’t know they were printed! LOL

    I think I may have one or two of those doll patterns. It wouldn’t be surprising, since I’ve been sewing since 1956!

    As for the fabric, my first thought would be dotted Swiss, but it could be a flocked voile, too.

    Your newest shoes for Ten Ping have turned out very well! My new Gigi has been looking on with some lust in her eyes. It seems her momma isn’t the only one in this house who loves shoes!! 😉


    • Hi Charlotte,
      Thanks for the information on the patterns…I didn’t know all that.
      You better keep Gigi away from the computer or she will be on a shopping spree for shoes!
      Thanks Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. I had pattern 3843 for my girls so it a was late 60’s.So cute The one marked Hazel is my favorite.
    Wouldn’t the one for the Alice doll ( dress with pinafore) be cute for Maryellen?

    • Ho Kathie,
      I thought someone might remember some of them…yes the Hazel one is a cutie.
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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