The plan is to copy a dress for Molly from my 1946 Sears catalog…

NOTE: Please don’t forget that my Regency dress, shown at the right side bar, ends this evening on eBay. You can see the listing HERE.

I have a Sears Roebuck & Company catalog that is 70 years old! It’s from 1946 and I use it to get inspired when I want to make Molly something. It’s fun to sit down with it and look at the styles, the prices (Incredible!) and the things that were common back then as opposed to what we use today.

If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.


I like to look at the fabrics that were sold from the catalog and try to see if I have any on my shelves that are similar…




The only trouble with the catalog is, there aren’t very many styles for girls Molly’s age in the super thick catalog. Only 4 pages of dresses are included but I found one that I’m planning to copy.





I guess you see that little hint on the page as to which dress I’m planning to copy…

Now here’s the fabric I saw and what I had on my shelf that I thought looked “almost” 1940-ish!


Here it is next to Molly…


…and a bit closer…


I’ll get started on it right away… hope you like what I picked…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. I think that fabric will make a very pretty and appropriate Molly dress. I like your design choice, especially the sleeves. Blue buttons? Red ones? My second favorite was the pink dress with the blue butterflies, but I’d like the butterflies flying right side up. I like the square neckline.
    Sun Monday, rain Tuesday, snow this morning, but not much. Mostly on roofs and cars. When the sun comes up, I’ll see if the tomatoes survived.
    Take care and have a good day.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence in picking this fabric for Molly. I’ve had it in my stash for quite a while and just noticed it might be good for a Molly dress. I’m not sure how I’ll decorate it yet…
      The pink dress with the blue butterflies was one I already made one time. But I can’t find my pictures of it, so it must have been one of my really early dresses whose pictures got deleted… It was almost like the picture… Pink with blue butterflies…
      It’s so weird that you are still having snow when we are sweltering with the mid 80’s. We did get some strong winds and rain mixed with hail yesterday afternoon, but we really missed out on any bad weather… I hope your tomatoes did survive…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Molly will look darling in that dress and the material you picked out! I just love looking at the old catalogs, and am amazed at the prices too! It’s a trip down memory lane, for sure, but I must have been 3 years old at the time that catalog was current, so I don’t really remember anything much at that age. I started kindergarten in 1947, and do remember a few things, and how I wore my hair, lots of braids back then, and I see that on the pictures too.

    I see a lot of black patent shoes in the illustrations, but for sure, didn’t wear them for school! Ugly brown oxfords were what my mother wanted us girls to wear, because they held up better. I notice that all the dresses stopped right above the knee, but mine were a bit below the knee so that I could “grow” into them! Mostly we got new clothes at the beginning of the school year, and they had to last all year, so they had to have growth potential.

    Molly is going to look so cute in the outfit you picked out! Now don’t laugh—-but do you think you could duplicate those prices too?? 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I didn’t really realize this catalog was that old till I figured it out last night… I should treat it like gold I suppose! I noticed all the black patent leather shoes too… I remember too, having the big big hems in the dresses…I mean like 5 or 6 inches, so they could be let out…

      The prices on the things are what gets me the most when I look at this catalog… some things were practically free… I’ll have to show some of my favorite things from the catalog sometime…

      Sorry, but I can’t duplicate the prices this time…. :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. The second dress from the right on the second color page of girls’ dresses looks like it was the inspiration for Molly’s birthday dress with the trim on the sleeves and pockets. It’s my favorite Molly dress. Great to have the catalogs. I would have been five years old and remember waiting for the Christmas catalog every year. My mother didn’t drive and we had only one car like most families at the time, so we didn’t get to shop at the big stores very often as we lived in the suburbs. Your choice of material is great.

    The average salary in 1940 was $1,368/yr, the first year salary info was included in census data. It was a lucky girl whose family could afford these clothes and why they had to last all year and one changed to play clothes when they got home from school. Most women did sew at that time and was why flour sacks had prints on them!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      The dress that you pointed out as possibly the inspiration for Molly’s birthday dress was my second choice… I looked in my stash for a tiny print like that but didn’t have anything to edge it with… I think I’ll do it sometime though..
      I remember getting the Christmas catalogs too and looking at them for hours and hours. It sure was fun!
      I don’t know when my mom started sewing for us… I ‘ll have to find out from her… I started doing hand sewing when I was 6 and when I turned 10 she let me use her sewing machine, so it was some time before I was 10 that she sewed for us…
      I don’t remember having anything made from feed sacks…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I love that you have a true vintage catalog to refer to for inspiration. I think your choice of dress and fabric will be perfect for Molly, especially in her favorite patriotic colors! I found it interesting in the color photos that many of the girls are wearing colored socks. I love the classic styles of the forties! Thanks for sharing those catalog photos!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Karen,
      It is fun to have the real catalog of that time and it’s fun to think of who had this catalog and what they looked at in it… somebody’s fingers turned these pages just like I’m doing now…
      I actually hadn’t noticed the colored socks until you pointed it out and had to go back and look at them… very interesting…
      Thanks for your comments Karen,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Molly and Kit are my favorites to sew for!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks Ann,
      I hope I get something done enough tonight to share with you all. Kit and Molly ARE fun to make things for. They both have such sweet personalities…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Paula F. says:

    It’s neat to see the pictures in that catalog. An excellent way to see what the style was and the material pattern. I love the material you chose and the dress. Not sure about the collar- it reminds me of a clown outfit. What a terrible thing for me to say, because the beautiful laced collar (that’s probably not what it is called) on Addy’s recent outfit was gorgeous and it was similar except Addy’s was lace. The whole dress will be adorable including the collar.
    Thank you Jeanne and Laura for the advice on the stains on Scarlett’s arms. I’m anxious to try both if one doesn’t work.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      Well, I’ve made this style I think 2 times before and I hope I can pull it off again without it looking like a clown collar. But I can see how you’d think that from looking at the picture… I’ll try hard!…
      I hope you can get the stains out too… I bet they’ll come out…with a little hard work and patience…
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Hi Jeanne,
    Molly has a big smile on her face; she is very happy to be getting a new dress. I love the 1940s fashions. I remember the pink birthday dress you made her like this. It turned out very sweet and pretty. The ruffled necklines are alway so feminine. Hopefully, this one should come together quick and easy since you’ve already worked out the pattern. I also like the red print (next to the pink dress/red socks). Have fun sewing today!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks Cindy,
      Molly is smiling knowing it’s her turn to model again… I hope I can get this dress pulled together pretty quickly…
      I like the dress you pointed out too.. in fact, I just someone else, it was my second choice last night when I was trying to decide…
      Let me tell you again, your little Patsy in that pink dress and sweater set yesterday was just the cutest thing! From head to toe, that was a winner of a set!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Can’t wait to see what you come up with….your creations are always such a treat to view and watch in process.

    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you for your sweet words Becky,
      I hope the process is quick and the viewing well received… I’m glad you are part of my little blog world…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. This will be one great dress! Love your catalog. I think I like the next one over from your choice too. The one with the flower down the front and pockets. Maybe for the future.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks Joy,
      I love this catalog too…it’s fun to bring a dress to life from using the pages of this catalog.
      I’ll keep the dress you like in mind for Molly the next time it’s her turn…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Someone just got a bargain on the Elegance outfit. I thought I had it — in fact the last bid didn’t show up until I was waiting for the green sign that I won. I think that’s because there may have been two pre-set bids which were in conflict at the last second. You’ll have to add some gloves, and whoever won is going to be a very happy woman.

    I’m so glad that you think of the people who had the catalog before you did. That’s the way I think of the old things I have too. I have a glass pitcher that dates from either the John Quincy Adams or the Andrew Jackson administration. I wonder who all held that and loved it and took care of it. The dealer was a wonderful woman — I was lucky enough to get several things from her at daughter’s prices. New Jersey has more antiques than Colorado and hers was my favorite store.

    My dresses had maybe 3″ hems — that’s because when I outgrew them, my sister got them. I never fully appreciated the advantages of a sister 15 months younger.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      I thought you had the Regency dress too…up until the final second, I never really know…since so many of my auctions are last second ones! There’ll be more… she was a new customer too… :o)

      How fun to think of who may have poured water or tea from your pitcher…who washed it and who dried it. It’s fun to wonder…
      Thanks Marilyn,
      blessings, Jeanne

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