Ten Teasers for American Girl Kirsten’s Prairie Dress Set…

I really hate to keep teasing you about my doll dresses, but I’m not quite done with Kirsten’s blue prairie dress and I want to show it to you in a Full Reveal as soon as I get everything done. It was a good choice to use this blue instead of the lighter one I started with. I’m serious…I would probably still be fighting with that piece of fabric if I had kept trying to make it work. Just between you and me, I’m SO SO glad I gave up on it. A fabric that won’t cooperate is about as useless to me as a sewing machine that’s being contrary!

Okay, enough on that… I do have one favor to ask you before I share my pictures with you of Kirsten’s dress. I had a reader contact me and ask about the My Life As dolls. They are carried at Walmart and you can see them by clicking this link…

My Life As Dolls

I don’t know anything about these dolls, but I told her I had “readers” who probably would… and I would ask them…
So I’m asking, can anyone answer Amber’s questions? This is what she wrote me…

“We just bought my niece a “My Life As” doll (she’s 6, so expensive dolls for playing are out of the question, especially since this is her first really good doll) but noticed the joints are very stiff and hard to pose in a sitting position. These dolls have the vinyl chest plate instead of a full soft/stuffed torso. Do you happen to know if they have strung joints as well and any way to make them move a little easier? Since she isn’t stuffed all the way to the neck, there is not “neck string” to untie and take a peek. We can’t seem to get her to a full sitting position and don’t want to ruin her by forcing it, especially since she is brand new! Any insight would be greatly appreciated.”

If anyone has anything to comment on, you can do it below or send me a comment in the “Contact Me” section under the header on my blog.

Okay, now who’s ready for some pictures…well, some partial pictures? Just think of these as pieces of a puzzle and it will be more fun… Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up this time…

Oh, and you’ll have to get over the fact that some of my pictures look different colors. When some of them are taken further back and then cropped, they turn out a different color. Some of these look very washed out and some look very very blue. I would say the color is the most accurate in the picture of the growth tucks. It’s a pretty country blue…











Did you catch any surprises in there?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, what’s not to love about this outfit? It looks pretty finished to me, and I absolutely love it! I see how you “fixed” the high waistband with a wider strip of material and buttons! Perfect! And it makes it so the dress can also be worn without the apron, and still look “fancy”! Oh my, that bonnet! The lace around the brim makes it so special and dressy, along with the flowers and pearls on the side. Now, wait, did you change the lace to go inside, or is it outside the brim? I didn’t catch that at first! I guess I will have to see what you show us tomorrow. And the shawl! So nice to have when going out visiting in the chilly weather!

    Yes, I am getting 2, maybe 3 different blues on my monitor, but will take your word for it that it is a nice, country blue.

    I’m sorry, but I know nothing about the “My Life As” dolls. I do recall seeing threads about them on Playthings, but since I don’t have any, I didn’t read them. Maybe I can go back and see if I find anything out.

    • Thank you for your sweet compliments on Kirsten’s dress set. I’m glad you like the new waist now…I do too.
      You guessed it the second time you commented..yes, there are 2 bonnets…one just a little bit fancier than the other one.
      I did have a few ladies email me about the dolls so I’ll pass it along to Amber…thanks so much, Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh, now, I just saw that maybe you have two different bonnets?

  3. If it is not the birthday yet and they have not shown it to their grandchild yet and still have proof of purchase..then push it to see if it will sit. If something happens then return it and go to Kmart and get their brand. These dolls are by Cititoy and made in China. (even the AGs are) They replaced the better made Madame Alexanders that Walmart used to carry. They are put together in a similar fashion as the AG but you have to remove the stitching in the back to access the insides by removing the cotton and then dig down to the leg joints. They are probably just stiff and need some moving …. It is a case of you get what you pay for. If there is a toys R us store nearby, they have the Journey Girls and they are nice dolls .

  4. I don’t know anything about the My Live As dolls either, but there is a school desk, so the doll must be able to sit. There is a blog — I just went looking — called Living a Doll’s Life, and someone there might know. There is a feature on the My Life As boy dolls.

    Either you changed the bonnet or Linda is right, there are two, one with the lace inside, one with it outside, one with a blue bow, one with white, and both look beautiful. It looks like you had a very productive weekend. I got more done than sometimes and was given a ride through the mountains to see the aspen, which is turning fast — some is green, some yellow, some gold, and some copper. It’s turning earlier than usual — it’s been cooler here than some years.

    I like your choice of sturdy boots for Kirsten, to go with her sturdy, outdoor world, and her warm shawl.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      I will pass along your info to Amber. She can surely figure out something from all the help everyone has given.
      There are 2 bonnets with set…I just couldn’t decide which style I liked best…so what else? Include both!!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I don’t know anything about My Life As dolls either, I’ve only seen them in passing. You do get what you pay for. AG’s are expensive, but I have friends whose kids had A Life of faith and the clothing and accessories were outrageously priced. If she doesn’t want an AG doll< Madame Alexander has some nice ones. I still have my MA dark haired Pussycat doll and I had a Scottish one. If she's worried AG won't hold up, my daughter received her PC Kirsten when she was still five and Kirsten looks just as beautiful 22 years later. Even her hair is still great. The advantage is also unless it's a PC doll and you don't want to lose the German face and soft eyelashes or if you don't care, the doll hospital will replace parts or all. I think she could buy a used one on eBay and send it in for head, body, limb replacement and get a brand new doll for less than a new doll direct from AG.
    Kirsten looks beautiful in her new dress. I like the buttons on the waist. Does the apron attach to them? Yep, two bonnets is my call also. One for church and one for everyday. Her cozy shawl and pantalettes will keep her warm on the long walk to school.. Looking forward to the big reveal tomorrow. Your new studio is certainly working out well. You are cranking out dresses with great speed.

    • Thank you Lsura,
      Everyone has do much information. .I think I’ll just forward the link to this post and the comments to Amber.
      I’m glad you like what I’ve done with Kirsten’s dress. It is just as pretty plain or with the apron. It’s nice when that happens…
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. What wonderful features you’ve made for this doll dress! It’s so detailed and showcases so many of what makes your creation so special. Great solution for the waistband with the buttons and wider band. Which pattern do you use as the base for your bonnets? Love your innovations.

    • Hi Susette,
      I was wondering myself which bonnet pattern I actually used. I had 5 different patterns out…and I’m not sure which one I ended up using. It’s like the shoe pattern with Ten Ping the other night…I wasn’t sure which pattern was the right one to use.
      Thanks for your sweet comments Susette. ..
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Strange. I posted earlier. Had to type in my name etc. Then it didn’t show up.
    I am excited. Heard from Magalie Dawson that my first Little Darling will be painted in a couple of weeks. Yay!
    I know nothing about the My Life doll, but I do have an Our Generation from Target that I use for modeling sometimes. She has the stuffed body and neck ties like the American Girls. Think she was around 20.00 on sale.
    The two hat mystery. How fun. Love the perky white band collar and the tidy little blue bow underneath. Kirsten looks to be one happy girl.

    • Hi Joy,
      Oh how exciting to hear from Magalie that your Little Darling will be coming soon! I bet you can hardly wait!
      Yep…the 2 bonnet mystery…that’s what it is.
      I’m glad you like Kirsten’s dress set.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Hi Jeanne,

    I don’t know anything about the “My Life” dolls. I hope Amber can get some thoughts via your blog.

    Kirsten’s outfit looks as pretty and dear as any you’ve made. I’m surely looking forward to seeing the final reveal. Your outfits for Kirsten are some of my favorites.


    • Hi Becky and thank you for your sweet thoughts about Kirsten’s dress set. I’m sorry to say I didn’t get Kirsten’s dress listed tonight. No one is more disappointed than me…
      Thanks Becky,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I was feeling lazy last night and went straight to Ebay to look at Ten Ping’s auction. No luck under Ten Ping. No luck under “IdreamofJeanneMarie Ten Ping.” No luck under “IdreamofJeanneMarie.” Then I came back here and used your link and did find the auction. I don’t know if the outfit sold, but I do know that it would have been difficult for anyone to find it in order to bid. Next time you auction a Ten Ping outfit, I think some of us should try to find it the day after the auction goes up, because prospective buyers need to be able to see something so they can bid on it.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Ebay has changed things in the categories and they will only let you list things under the Ten Ping category or the American Girl IF your item is an authentic item of that company. If it is something handmade you can’t list it under Ten Ping or American Girl..it has to be listed under “modern doll clothes” and hardly anyone goes to the trouble of looking up things from the side menu at the left.
      I just did discover something last night…IF you type in Ten Ping DRESS, it will come up when you just type in Ten Ping. That’s the only way I’ve found that my things come up…just type inthe word “dress” along with the name of the doll…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Anne Johnson says:

    Such tantalizing teasers, Jeanne! Becky has described Kirsten’s outfit so well, pretty and dear. I love all the sweet touches like the little buttons at the waist and the winsome bow at the neck. The wider waistband breaks up the gathered bodice and full skirt very nicely, and together with the growth tucks will add months of wear to Kirsten’s dress. ; ) The woven linen is lovely as a shawl, and the embroidered apron lends a touch of old world charm. Add me to the two bonnet column: One with a straight brim, wide lace band and dainty flower accents, and one with a curved brim with face-framing interior lace–both with sheer organdy ribbon ties, one in blue and one in white. Enchanting, Jeanne, and just the special touch we’ve come to associate with a Jeanne Marie original!

    I might have some help for you, Jeanne, regarding your continuing color photo problems. My son is a photographer and head of visuals for Apple, Inc, with a degree in photo-illustration and graphic design. I briefly showed him the photos from today’s post, and he believes the color discrepancies are due to your lighting source. He explained (in more technical terms I don’t understand!) that the camera will always try to “balance” everything out, or color correct it to a standard of 18% gray. So for the pic of the pantaloons, for example, the camera doesn’t know that you are trying to take a picture of white fabric and will try to “color balance” the entire scene to 18% gray, thus yielding the blue-gray hue we see on our monitors, particularly on a close-up. A similar phenomenon occurs with the blue tones of the dress. An experienced photographer can adjust the color balance ratio on a professional camera before taking the picture. Color can also be adjusted post-shoot in a photo-shop program. But lighting is everything in photography, and some problems can be avoided altogether with optimal lighting. So to help you mitigate this situation, he suggests that while your Ottlites may be excellent for sewing, they are probably not the best for photography. He said decent photo lights can be had online inexpensively, and he found two such examples in less than a minute on the internet. I will forward the links to you for your consideration. He also suggests that the lighting can be improved by following this general rule: Place light sources about 45 degrees to each side of and two feet above your subject. This can be accomplished by using inexpensive adjustable light stands. I hope this helps! If you have more questions, just let me know and I will ask my son. Here are the links:



    Happy Monday, Jeanne!

    • Thank you Anne,
      I noticed Becky’s comments about Kirsten’s dress being “pretty and dear” and her words made me pause… in a good way. :o)

      Oh my goodness..what a lot of good information on lighting. I got a similar email from Susette a while back and between your info and Susette’s I should be able to make a good decision. I should see if anyone at my church has any photo lights and borrow them…
      Thanks Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • I believe that I have also mentioned the Ott lights previously a couple of times. Know they are great for fabric. However, maybe not for photography. Coming from an old black and white film developer who used to develope film in the closet. Ha

  11. Anne Johnson says:

    Not sure if my comment went through, Jeanne, as it says, “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” My post was quite long, as it contained some suggestions from my photographer son about your pictures. Please let me know if you receive it. Thanks!

  12. The Kirsten dress with apron and bonnet (or bonnets?) is going to be darling. I’m sure you will have it finished soon!
    You may remember that a couple of friends and I sew clothing all year and donate the clothing with “My Life” dolls every Christmas. I have two that I use for models and they sit just fine. I emailed you a picture of them both sitting down. I have had them both for about five years, so they may have changed something, but I haven’t heard of anything changing. We have also used the Our Generation dolls from Target and there are pros and cons to each. I personally think the My Life dolls have prettier faces, and I like the vinyl shoulders for sundresses or swimsuits, but the Our Generation dolls have better hair. If the little girl is into brushing and styling the doll’s hair, the Target dolls may be a better option. Hope that helps!

    • Thanks for the reminder about dressing dolls for Christmas. I’ll look for at least one to dress for the Marine Corps Toy Drive they have here.

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Thank you for your help with the dolls that Amber asked about. I will send Amber the picture so she can see how far down the dolls legs can go and I’ll let her know what you said about the doll faces and their hair…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Thank you for all of your input and tips! With a little “Dolly Physio” we were successful at getting her to sit! Her joints are still stiff, but are slowly loosening up with play since we sat down and specifically worked on moving those joints only for a few minutes at a time. We even discovered she has bendable knees so that she can sit in chairs easier. Even though it is for my niece, I think we’re all having just as much fun as she is with her new friend!

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