There’s nothing quite like piping to trim your doll dresses with…

A few days ago; I think it was when I showed Isabelle and Toodles in the aqua dress; someone mentioned that I should do a post showing piping on my dresses. I was 99% sure I had already done one on that, but I’ve searched and I don’t think I have…

I don’t use the piping you buy in the stores… it’s too big for most of the dolls I sew for. Occasionally I may use one in the larger size for the American Girl dolls, but not very often. I like to make my own using a thin cotton strand of string and wrapping a bias cut strip of fabric around it. I generally like to use a micro check, or just a small check and make my piping from it. I love the way the gingham check coordinates with most fabrics.

There are a few places that sell the mini piping ready to go, so I picked a couple for you to look at. Garden Fairies Trading Company is very easy to navigate around on and it’s easy to find the mini piping. Their piping runs $1.00 per yard and they have lots of colors.

Garden Fairies Trading Company

Farmhouse Fabrics has the gingham piping but it’s $1.50 per yard. (It’s very easy to get “distracted” by all their other pretty trims and laces…)

Farmhouse Fabrics

You can use the piping at the waist, the neckline, around the armholes, to show off a set in sleeve, around a hat, or just about anywhere you want. I’ll just show you some pictures I found in my archives and see if you can spot it in each picture…
Enjoy the slide show!























navy red molly dress 5






I hope you enjoyed seeing all these “piped” dresses! I sure enjoyed making them…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Marilyn says:

    These are just beautiful. I don’t recall seeing some of them, but I do regret not buying all of them. I’d love to see Molly’s entire dress — the blue one with red trim — and I hope to see something similar this fall. Riley’s strawberry dress was an unexpected treat — what a cute dress, and the piping really makes it, as it does Rebecca’s dress with violets. (I really like that red hat with the strawberry dress too.) Really, I think I’d take the whole set. I just reviewed the entire collection, and I’m right — I’ll take them all.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Oh good, I’m glad you saw something new… I always hesitate to pick archived pictures for the main part of my post, as I think everyone has seen everything already…but I’m glad that wasn’t the case today…
      That navy and red dress for Molly was one of my very first dresses for her…I made another set from the same fabric only it was a sweet pleated skirt and a jacket this time.

      So you’ll take them all, huh? It’s funny for me to think where all my dresses have gone to… from California to Hawaii, to Sweden, France, Maylasia, German, Hong Kong, and beyond!
      Thanks so much Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    I’m back! Just had a terrible time getting things written on my computer yesterday, so I just gave up, and I see you lived!!! Oh my, Addy’s Civil War dress is just beautiful! I think it would look equally pretty on Cecile! By the way, you have a picture of Cecile above, but do you still have her? I really don’t recall you making clothes for her.

    All those dresses! I can’t begin to mention one or the other and then leave out the rest! I do love the tow with Rebecca, especially the one with fall colors. They make her hazel eyes and soft brown hair just pop.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      Oh, I’m so sorry you having such troubles with your computer lately… We did miss you yesterday… I knew something was missing in my day! :o)
      Thanks so much for the compliments on Addy’s newest Civil War dress and on Cecile’s dresses too. No, I don’t have Cecile any more…she was sold in 2013…

      Yes, I have to admit my Rebecca looks great in the browns and the greens… they DO match her eyes so well… Maybe she’ll start off my Fall line this year. It won’t be long….
      Thanks so much Linda…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. bobi florida says:

    Jeanne, this is one of my all-time favorite of your blogs!! So many pictures of absolutely beautiful dresses that I’d never seen before and I’ve decided that I ADORE piping!! You are a brilliant seamstress…talented beyond anything I can even begin to imagine. We are all so blessed to get to see your work. I hope life is treating you well. Many blessings, sweet lady!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Oh Bobi,
      What a nice thing to say… and I thought I was just putting together some pictures that everyone had already seen before and might be tired of… I’m glad you enjoyed them…
      I’m with you.. I LOVE piping too! It can really change an outfit for the better.
      Life is very good to me… and I hope it’s the same for you as well…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Susette says:

    Yes, I second every comment above, especially the one about an all-time favorite blog. I’ve always admired your use of piping. It’s such a special detail. Thanks to the ladies who identified the dolls, my favorite being the brown paisley on Rebecca. I’m sure I haven’t seen a lot of these dresses. Thanks for a wonderful post and for all the details that make your sewing so special and for generously sharing the source for the piping.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Susette and thank you so much for your very kind words about my dolls and their dresses. My Rebecca doll shown in the brown dress was my first Rebecca doll and she sort of had stringy hair… I tried to make it nice, but it just didn’t have any curl to it. She was eventually sold and another one bought…
      I hope the 2 sources I gave for piping got lots of business today from all my readers… They won’t know what hit them…
      Thanks so much, Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Some of these dresses I’ve never seen! At least I don’t think I have. I know you’re pointing out the piping but I can’t get over how beautiful your creations are, Jeanne. All of the American Girl dresses are absolutely beautiful. Again the detail AND the piping are such thoughtful and artistic ideas. Cecile in that beautiful purple flowered/green print dress is gorgeous. Rebecca’s brown paisley dress and Elizabeth’s peach print…just beautiful. Oh, and the navy print corduroy on Molly. Too cute. And of course all the littler dolls outfits are adorable too. The little red dress on a doll I don’t know, it has the white snowflakes…so precious.
    I’m always thinking of getting another doll with the intent of letting other dolls go. I’m saw a really pretty AMG on Ebay that would be a perfect Pollyanna doll. The last picture of Nellie’s dress would be perfect for a Pollyanna doll.
    I think I like collecting your outfits more than I like collecting the dolls!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      I’m glad you saw new dresses today… I thought they would all be repeats for everyone.
      It’s nice to know you saw things that made you stop and really look at them… I’ve done a lot of sewing in the last 10 years haven’t I?
      The red corduroy jumper with the white embroidered snowflakes is shown on 17″ Katie Effanbee… I don’t have her anymore either…
      I’m debating about selling a few dolls myself… just don’t exactly who yet…

      I like your last line… where you say you like collecting my outfits more than collecting dolls! That made me smile! :o) see???
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Always beautiful, always informative. Thank you once again, Jeanne, for taking time to visit with your “neighbors” here in e-land.

    Take care.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Becky,
      Thanks so much for looking at all my doll dresses… I’m glad you enjoyed them…
      Have a wonderful day,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. You’ve given me piping fever! Oh my!
    The dress on Cecile is probably my favorite, but there are so many wonderful dresses.
    When my fever breaks, perhaps I can get back to sorting my doll room stuff.
    Going to be another hot day. Complete with smoke that has blown up the coast from the Big Sur fire.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Joy,
      So you have piping fever…oh dear… sorry I gave it to you…
      I am still sorting in my sewing room too.. and can’t wait to get some things listed in my Etsy shop to make room to finish cleaning my room.
      There is an 80% chance of rain in the morning when we are supposed to set up for the yard sale… I hope it’s wrong… Nothing like a wet yard sale…
      We are actually a bit cooler today…in the upper 80’s instead of the upper 90’s and above. We had a cool front go through and cooled things down a bit…but we still have dreadfully sticky humidity.
      Thanks Joy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Shara Smith says:

    Just lovely.. Amazing how a bit of piping can pull a whole dress together:)
    Beautiful gallery!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Shara and thanks for the nice comments on my doll dresses. It IS amazing how a tiny little bead of coordinated fabric can change the looks of a dress so much!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures today…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Anne Johnson says:

    What a fabulous fashion show you’ve given us today, Jeanne! The many beautiful pictures definitely showcase your talent and highlight the many ways you have used piping to transform a design into something special. I will come back to look at these photos again and again to admire your creations. It is an exhibit worthy of an art gallery!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Anne,
      Thank you very much for your gracious words about my work. I love to sew and I’m glad it shows! These dresses were made over the last 10 years or so and just go to show you “piping” never goes out of style…
      Thanks so much Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Carolyn says:

    I like piping too, and all the dresses you have in this post are such beautiful examples. I really like the way you used the piping in the yokes. Oh, and thanks for the resources on where to buy. I’ve been getting mine from Chadwick Heirlooms (I think that’s the correct name), but they don’t always have the colors I’m looking for. All your pretty outfits have gotten me motivated to make some doll dresses!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      Oh goody, I bet your dolls are happy to hear you say you’re ready to make them something new! Some new piping will be just what you need!
      Thank you for the nice compliments on my dresses, Carolyn.
      Blessings, Jeanne

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