The “Green dress” revealed…and the “pattern peeve” update…

First, I wanted to give you an update to the “pattern mistake” that I wrote about in a previous post… (HERE) I decided to write to the Butterick Pattern Company and at least make them aware of the apparent “missed step” with the ruffle on the dress. I also sent them a link to my blog post where I talked about the pattern instructions. I told them that I believed a step was missing as they clearly left out the part where the ruffled edge should have been finished some way. This morning I got a letter from Laurie, at the Consumer Service Department and she said she had checked with the designer of the pattern. The designer said she never intended for the ruffle to be finished…since it was cut on the bias. Laurie went on to say, “Of course, if you want to finish the edge, you can, but it was not intended to be finished.”

I don’t want to be argumentative, but I think the option of finishing the edge should have at least been in the pattern instructions. Kathy and Susette, (subscribers) let me know that the original 1946 pattern had the directions in it for finishing the edge with a narrow hem.

If you click on the pictures they will enlarge.

Butterick pattern front from Kathy

butterick pattern instructions from Kathy

When I mentioned this to Laurie, she said, this was not an exact replica of that original pattern, but only a starting point for the design. So….

I did a little scrambling to get this dress ready to be listed on Ebay, and for today’s post, but fell short of my goals. In the end, I decided to go ahead and show what IS finished and hope you like it. Rebecca looks so pretty in this shade of green…a perfect match to her eyes!

It turned out to be one of those classic dresses that I think would work for a Colonial dress or a Civil War dress. Both eras had dresses that came to a point in the front and both time periods had dresses with large ruffled necklines, and wore over the elbow gloves. I may try to make a “slip on sleeve” like they wore in Colonial times to make this a little more “Colonial Authentic.” The major difference in the time periods was how the dress “sat” on the hips. The Colonial dresses had more of a full area around the hips, whereas the Civil War dresses flowed over the hips and flared out at the bottom.

Please ignore the background in these shots. I didn’t notice them when I was taking my pictures, but clearly something is peeking through my linen fabric that I covered this board with…




The dress is all finished and has a really full skirt. I know most young girls Felicity’s age probably would have worn shorter dresses with pantalettes underneath, but most of my customers like the dresses that go all the way to the floor, so that’s generally what I make. The back of the dress closes with snaps covered by tiny glass buttons.



I did manage to get a slip/crinoline finished and it’s underneath Rebecca’s dress. It’s not authentic, but was made from some fabric that Jeannie B sent me from Texas. It was stiff enough to hold out the skirt on this dress, so I decided I would go for looks instead of authenticity this time. I made the waistband of the slip out of a same lace that I plan to make a pair of evening gloves out of. Here’s a peek at what they might look like.


Lastly, I was going to make a Colonial straw hat and decorate it with flowers, but my hubby borrowed my glue gun and forgot to bring it home…hence the unfinished hat. It might change slightly as I get out some flowers and ribbons.




I have just a tiny scrap of fabric and I’m trying to figure out a Civil War bonnet or hair accessory in case you decide to use this dress for that time period. My hope is to get this outfit all pulled together tomorrow and listed on Ebay.

So, I hope you enjoy seeing what I have gotten finished and come back to see the rest on Ebay.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    I love the green of the dress Jeanne! It is so spring-like and pairing it with the green and purple necklace is perfect! AG should do more green! I love the beautiful lace edging on the ruffle, so different and delicate! And I think the color brings out the green in Rebecca’s eyes! What color are they?

    Yes, for a Colonial girl, I would want sleeves, but it looks pretty just as it is, and the lace gloves are perfect!

    If that ruffle was not supposed to have an edging, why wouldn’t they SAY that or explain it? Just looks like a misstep to me!

    • HI Linda,
      Thank you for the kind compliments on Rebecca’s dress. It is pretty with her eyes but I’m not sure what color her eyes are called. They are a brighter and prettier green than Lanie’s or Isabelle’s, I think…

      I’m still trying to figure out how to add some sleeves…

      I’m guessing there might be other people who write in about the neck ruffle too. I just don’t think it would look finished with a raw edge… I looked in my old catalogs from Sear’s, MW’s and saw nothing with a frayed edge…
      Oh well, I guess it’s just one of those things…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Interesting response from Butterick…they use the exact same cover illustration, then say that the original pattern was “just a starting point”…..? And since when is it OK to leave an edge unfinished just because it’s cut on the bias? Strange rationale…….
    Your dress came out lovely as always…..

    • HI Kathy,
      Yes, I personally thought it was a strange response too. The pattern directions are different and the neck ruffle is definitely different than the original, but I think they just made a mistake and are using the raw edge as the way out…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. It’s beautiful. I don’t think it would like right with unfinished edges. It almost sounded like they couldn’t be bothered to properly finish the pattern instructions, or they felt like skipping steps because of laziness, perhaps. Your dress is wonderful! 🙂

    • Hi Christine,
      I guess we’ll never know, but it would be interesting to see if others have emailed the company about the raw edge on the neck ruffle.
      Thank you for the compliment on Rebecca’s dress.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Jeanne, I do love Rebecca’s green dress. A perfectly “springy” shade to brighten up spirits in late winter. This dress has my favorite waistline which make the hips look slimmer even on AG dolls. When you get your glue gun back and are able to finish the hat it will be a wonderful finishing touch. {Guess what I think someone will receive for his Father’s Day gift}.
    As to Butterick, hhmmmm……. not a good response. Clearly to any person who sews, this was an omission to the instructions. Their response was not reasonable. In fact, their response was rude and condescending to imply “you don’t know what you are talking about”. This makes me wonder about the intentions of Butterick. I think it is time for a letter…..
    In that vain, I so dislike it when individuals do not step up to the plate and say, ‘I made a mistake’. How much better the after taste would have been with Butterick if this representative had said, ‘sorry, we made an error and we will fix it’ ‘what can I do to make you happy’. I would think Butterick carries Errors and Omission insurance. Think I will find out!!!

    • Oh Jeannie,
      It’s okay… for me… but not for those new sewers…those are the ones I feel for. The ones who will buy fabric and think their dress is going to turn out like the one on the pattern front and then they end up with something with a raw edge. I’m sorry for those people.
      Unless they have a million copies of this pattern already printed, I would think it in their best interest to edit their newest editions of it and add about finishing the ruffle if you like.
      Oh well, I guess we’ll see… or maybe not!
      Thanks for your kind compliments on Rebecca’s dress. I’m really hoping I can figure out how to add some sleeves to make it versatile for a Colonial dress.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Beautiful, Jeanne. That shade of green is my favorite color and it looks so nice on your doll.
    I agree with you re the pattern, I can’t imagine anyone not wanting the edges of the ruffle finished.

    • Thank you Jevne,
      I guess the color is pretty close to being called Apple Green. Rebecca does look so pretty in it.

      I personally would want the ruffle to be finished… but that’s just my opinion…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Anita Hayes says:

    Jeanne – I agree with you on the ruffle. As a professional seamstress for over 40 years I am seeing these mistakes or omissions in patterns more and more. I just completed an outfit for an American Girl doll from a very well known pattern company. If you cut fabric by the pattern for this doll – the bodice is WAY too small. Thank Heaven I have been sewing for years or I probably would have thrown it into the basket. I think they produce patterns so fast and in such high numbers someone forgets to test the pattern first and also proof read it before final production. Thank You for bringing it to the attention of Butterick.

    Your green dress is awesome. I have been watching your creations now for awhile and your work is superb. Since retiring from my Seamstress Salon I now sew just for dolls and sell only at Doll Shows. MUCH MORE FUN!!!

  7. Kathie Welsh says:

    She is so pretty in that green with her green eyes!
    Tulle would be cute to hold her hat on too but maybe that doesn’t fit in with her era…you are so good at keeping them authentic!

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