Update on Molly’s purple dress & I need your help….

Yay! I survived the day without going back to bed! I took it easy though, and didn’t do much… I dust mopped my floor, made my bed, unloaded the dishwasher and made dinner… and sewed! :o) Guess which one I liked best? (It was close between dust mopping my floor and sewing…) No, it wasn’t that close! :o)

I did some more sewing on Molly’s dress and it actually looks like a dress now, instead of some fabric wrapped a doll body. You probably can’t see it very well in the picture, but I only had the lace on the front part of the bodice… so it was lace in the front but not in the back.

I didn’t like that look of seeing the shoulder seam with one part lace and one part purple fabric, so I undid the shoulder seam and added a piece of lace on the back bodice. It looks much more complete and finished now…

Here’s the back view…

…and the front….

One thing I hadn’t planned on was how the lace curved in the front. I machine basted it down all around the neck edge and the armholes, but I left it loose at the bottom across the first tuck. Well… when I lined the bodice and pulled my lining to the inside so it didn’t show, it hiked up the lace in the front… fortunately it did it evenly across the front and made a sort of arch so it looks like a design feature. (I debated about saying anything and let you think I did that on purpose, but I couldn’t take credit it for it, when it was an accident.) :o)

I added some sleeve headers to the sleeve caps to help puff out the sleeve tops evenly. I just used some netting. You can also see around the neck of the dress, where I hand stitched the lining to stay in place. The lace was thick enough it wanted to peek out and I didn’t like the white showing.

So this is what it looks like now…

Aside from finishing the hand work on it, I have to decide how I want to embellish it… do I want a button “brooch” or a bow tied at the neck? Do I want to see if Rebecca can make a necklace that can be worn with the dress? (The necklaces shown are just to give you an idea of what one might look like… I know they don’t really go.) I could put purple buttons on the yoke or have a cluster of flowers at one side kind of up high? I could add buttons down the front of the dress, or spaced apart in double breasted fashion. What else could I do?

I got out my 1944-46 catalogs and looked for ideas, but nothing really grabbed me… so I’ll see what you all think… maybe something will jump out at everyone. Don’t be afraid to give your opinions…

Here are some pictures of buttons I gave a try… they are just pinned on so some of them aren’t straight. We might have to narrow it down to a few and then have a better group of pictures taken. Sometimes you have to see something farther away to make sure it’s right.

Actually, as far as the design and the style of the button, this one goes wonderfully with the print in the dress. I love the loopy edges and the bumps on it, but I think it’s a little too light and dainty, You really can’t see it far away…

So if you have any opinions on how to decorate the dress, let me know in the comments below, or email me. Thanks!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. So glad to hear you are getting back to your “normal” routine and being the same, sweet Jeanne! Isn’t it great to fee well again?

    OK, you asked for our opinion, so here goes! Since I do have a Molly, and I was a little girl in the 40’s, I would have never worn a big brooch or even a necklace like you show with that dress, unless it was a special, small and dainty necklace. Being Molly, she wasn’t a girl to wear “fancy” dresses, and if you were making this dress for me, (and I wish you were!) , I would recommend that you put 3 small buttons down the front of the dress, perhaps pearly, rounded buttons to dress it up, or a thin, black velvet bow at the neckline where you have the brooches, but no more than that. That’s just what I think, and I am sure someone else will say something different, and that is perfectly fine!

    It will be interesting to come back and see what others are thinking!

  2. Charlotte A. says:

    I like the idea of the simple buttons on the front too. My second choice would be the small cameo (I love cameos).
    I’m glad you are feeling better. Try to still take it easy. You don’t want to do too much too soon.
    Have a good day.
    Take care.

  3. I like 4 and 12 best due to the size and color of the pieces. Necklaces might be a bit heavy for a dress for a little girl. A small necklace on a silver chain might be nice.

    So glad you are feeling better. Enjoy your sewing.

  4. I agree with Linda about some little buttons or a ribbon bow. When I first saw the various brooches, I thought they were too heavy looking and not something Molly would have worn. When I was little ( in the 50’s) I remember grandmothers wearing heavy looking brooches. To me, the brooches aren’t Molly’s style.

    So glad you’re feeling better, Jeanne. Sometimes it’s amazing to see the difference between how awful one feels and then that great feeling of getting well and feeling more normal! Enjoy your day.

  5. I wrote earlier but the message disappeared. I was going to check in again to see if anyone agreed with me, and — they do. The idea of 3 small buttons was one of mine too, or a bow — though with the bows on Molly’s braids, that might be too many. It seems to me that you had a sort of butterfly cameo that might work — or the color might be wrong. I love the lace and don’t want to distract from it. I especially love that it’s now front and back.
    The dress will have buttons in back, and I don’t want to distract from the tucks either.
    What do you think of a headband to match the dress. I’m even considering putting that last pin on the headband — or may not. The fabric’s not plain, it might just work nicely by itself. I was wondering about a bracelet instead of a necklace — even a pearl bracelet — Linda suggested the pearls.
    I guess what I’d do is hem the dress, decide on a petticoat — the soft fullness is nice for a 40s dress — the wider fullness is very 50s — add shoes and socks, and stand back and look. As is, it’s not at all plain — the lace, the tucks, the gathers, the fabric design, the strong pretty color. A bracelet, a headband, a purse any if them might work, or something for Molly to play with. You’ll be thinking of a story that will inspire the accessory you choose.

    Our snow is gone from streets and sidewalks but not from roofs and lawns. I see two broken branches, one each from neighbor’s trees. My crabapple survived this one. It’s coat weather today though.

  6. I too am so glad you’re feeling better, Jeanne. Do take time to rest as needed…better to be rested so you’ll feel like going all out after you’re totally healed than slowly making your way back into life after trying to do too much too quickly.

    I like the above ladies ideas about keeping things simple with the dress front. It was war-time so I can’t imagine there was alot of fluff going on in little girls clothing and, Molly is a child so I agree with Linda and her ideas for girls growing up in the 1940s. It was a bit before my time so I don’t have first hand knowledge but that’s the feeling I get from that era.

    Blessings. PS…the dress is so pretty on Molly!

  7. Jeanne, I know that Molly looks really pretty with her air down in curls, since I have done it that way. Since this is a fancy dress for her, maybe you could have her hair down, and as Marilyn suggested, make a headband for her. You could also include 2 ribbons for those that like her hair in braids.

    Gosh, it’s like a sauna outside here today!! No sun, but humidity awfully high. Glad I got my raking done yesterday, since today is not the day for yard work!

  8. Hi Jeanne,
    I am so glad you are feeling better. I also wanted to tell you that you have a real gem for a husband. I am really impressed the way he helped his sister-in-law with her house needs. As for Molly’s dress–I like the lace on the top. I don’t think it really needs anything else–maybe a little bow or little buttons if you wanted something.
    And now I wanted to say something else, but I’ve forgotten what it was–senior moment, I guess. 🙁
    Have a good day–we are getting rain today! Yea!

  9. Sylvia Jennings says:

    I Agee with Linda, no brooch, in the 40s there was not a lot of money and life was simpler
    Molly was lucky to have a new dress. Little buttons would be perfect.

  10. Look at picture 4. It looks as if one of the bows is attached to the sleeve band. I like the way that looks, but not, I suppose, with the hair ribbons. If Molly wore her hair down, as Linda suggested, she could have sleeve bows. But this is Molly, and I’ll bet most Mollys would opt for the hair bows.

    I’m hoping for no relapse — but since it was from medicine, maybe that won’t happen. I hope you are well.

  11. I knew all those buttons weren’t right…I just thought her dress needed to be more fancy than the tiny bows and little buttons I saw in the catalogs. I guess I was thinking bows or buttons would be too plain, but I guess not. Buttons it is!!!
    Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Hi Jeanne. I’m glad you’re feeling better– being sick is no fun! I agree with everyone else that the dress is fine like it is. Those heavy buttons are much too matronly for a little girl of Molly’s era. I like Marilyn’s idea of a headband or bracelet if you feel you need more embellishments but it’s really nice like it is.

  13. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I know you’ve already replied and decided, but thought I’d add my voice to the mix.

    I agree with the others, about the three little buttons down the front.

    HOWEVER…..if you were doing a dress for a different era, using this fabric and bodice design, I would go with the very first button you showed (with the pearly center), or possibly the next to last one (diamond-shape pearly).

    Glad you are feeling better, Jeanne–hope it continues!

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