What’s your idea of a Sundress?

It’s getting warm around here and it got me to thinking about dresses…sundresses in particular. I used to wear dresses ALL the time and probably had more sundresses than anyone around! Nowadays I still LOVE to wear dresses but find pants are a little easier to move around in when I’m as busy as I am. I find myself looking for pretty dresses in the stores and when I find one it comes home with me. I used to make all my dresses… and when I say “ALL” my dresses I mean I had a LOT of them. Looking in my 1974 pattern book recently, I saw many many patterns for all those dresses I made in high school.

So what is a sundress? Well, I’m sure there might be a Webster’s definition, but I’ll skip that and see if my ideas match yours. I’m not positive, but to ME it’s a fun, summery dress, usually lightweight in fabric, many times it has strappy shoulders..or should I just say shoulder straps. It might have ruffles over the shoulder or maybe have armhole ruffles. Many times you’ll find pockets on sundresses. I liked mine with eyelet lace and bows for accents. They can have a full bodice, but the rest of the dress should have a few of the elements I mention. I think of them as simple bodices, sometimes open with skin showing, and they have to have long flowing skirts…or short ones if you were in the 70’s. I see them as dresses you wear with sandals or wedges, and sometimes with hats…the floppier the better. They are the kinds of dresses you put on and forget you have on… they are comfortable and easy wearing and easy to care for…not fussy or frilly or stuffy or tailored… just a fun dress to maybe twirl around in and even go barefoot if you find some green grass…

As I was looking in my archived pictures, some from way back… I could spot the “sundresses” very quickly. I went through my pictures like this… “no, no, no, yes, yes, no, no, no, yes” It was pretty easy and while I might have one in there that you wouldn’t have picked, I hope you enjoy this slideshow of them.

Happy Friday to you! Enjoy!















b & w 4 kit full 2







Do you have a favorite sundress in the bunch?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh gee, I’m the first again? How does that happen most every day? As far as what I like best, you sure do make it hard, Jeanne Marie! I do like the lavender ones in the middle of the group, I can’t remember what the doll’s names are, but the ruffles and lavender and purple look so sweet!

    And thank you for your help with Susette’s email address!! We are connected now!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      Yes, you’re first up again…
      That lavender print dress is on my 16″ Winter Kish doll. That also had a linen jacket that went with it too… That is totally a sundress in my opinion… Glad you liked it and glad you and Susette got connected with each other…
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Good morning, Jeanne! Oh, you lucky girl to have had warm Illinois weather. We’ve had a handful, no more, of weather where I didn’t need a sweater or jacket. At least the sun has been shining… I’m not complaining.
    I was going to say that my favorites were the two on your Kaye Wiggs dolls, then I saw the photos that came after those, and those were favorites too. Sorry, once again, I cannot make a decision; your dresses are just too cute.
    Thanks for the summery fashion show!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Cindy,
      We have another sunny day today… hope maybe you do too???
      It’s okay that you can’t choose, I don’t know which one I’d choose either… :o/
      Thanks Cindy, and I hope you get to toss those sweaters soon…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Karen D says:

    I love sundresses, too, and made myself many when I was in high school in the 70’s. Even after my children were born, I still wore sundresses and wrap around skirts.

    The one dress that took my breath away is your blue/white hankie dress on little Riley. So very pretty! And then next was the photo of your Effanbee Katie in such a sweet little outfit with straw hat! I’ve always wanted to get a Katie, but they’re almost impossible to find. You’ve made so many wonderful sundresses!

    The warmer weather is supposed to be back this weekend, but here I sit with a sherpa throw over me and temps only in the 50’s today in Central Virginia – and still more rain!!! I hope my plants don’t start floating away!

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Karen,
      I guess the two of us were sporting those sundresses in the 70’s at the same time… :o)

      Actually the little blue and white hankie dress is on Bitty Bethany… she’s still a Kish doll, but a little bigger than Riley. I LOVED that hankie and have searched for years to find another one just like it… but haven’t found one…

      I used to sew for my 2 Katie’s quite a bit but the market for their clothes dropped way down so I sold her. This one is Mommy’s Garden Party Katie…and that was probably my favorite dress I made for her. The fabric was a gauzy and so lightweight… I loved it.

      I hope you and Cindy both get some sunshine soon!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Paula F. says:

    Your summer dresses are so sweet. Yes, it does take some of us back to the 70’s. The blue checked dress and apron Kit is wearing is so cute and the green one Isabelle is wearing is gorgeous. The prints and style are refreshing to look at with summer coming.
    Wonder what outfit you’re planning on next???

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Paula,
      Thank you for your sweet words about my doll dresses. Oh goody, another 70’s girl… :o)
      I still have a little girls dress made from the blue and white checked fabric. It was from my Farmer’s Market days… I sold Kit’s dress but still have the little girls dress.
      I haven’t decided who is next… but I need to get busy on it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Yes, I remember sundresses as a child. I am still very much a dress/skirt person. Unless I’m scrubbing the floor or gardening, that is what I wear, summer or winter.
    All of the dresses are lovely but my favorites are:the blue checked/ white flowered one Kit is wearing and Isabelle’s chartreuse one with the smocking. I also like the ones with the flutter sleeves. My daughter had quite a few sundresses and jumpers with those.
    I also like the last picture with all the tiers of ruffles. I love that dolls can be dressed up as frilly as we like. I also echo Paula in my curiosity as to who is up next.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      When I was a little thing we wore “sunsuits” and then graduated to “sundresses” when I was older. I think I’ll always be a dress girl… and my dolls will mostly wear dresses…
      Isabelle’s chartreuse dress might not be your typical sundress, but it just looked so summery and floaty and fun I had to include it…
      I better get cooking on something for someone..
      Thanks Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I agree with Paula on Kit’s blue & white checks with the fine print on the white background. My favorite.

    • Jeanne W says:

      Hi Joy,
      Oh Kit will be so surprised when I tell how how many of you liked her sundress the best!
      Thanks so much!
      Have a wonderful start to your weekend…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Ingrid B says:

    Hi Jeanne,
    Happy Friday! I am just floored, you have produced so many dresses over the years.. WOW sooo beautiful. I am naturally drawn to light florals. Light pink and light blue particularly. I’ve scrolled up three times to look at them …not commended because the last time I lost everything I typed LOL… anywho I love the the smocking on the lime green dress so pretty and I think the last dress is adorable. But my vote goes to the forth one down, the lilac and gingham. Love the style and the hat makes the outfit.
    Have a great weekend, Ingrid

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thank you Ingrid…
      I have been sewing a long time and LOVE to make doll and little girls dresses! I wished I had counted how many little girls dresses I had made in my lifetime… I bet I’m close to 2000!
      That’s little 7 1/2″ Nurse Riley in the lilac and gingham dress set. I don’t have her anymore but she sure was a cutie patootie!
      The last picture is of my Nyssa, Kaye Wiggs doll. That dress was my own design and took LOTS of time to make but I loved it… I think it made it 3 times…
      Thanks so much Ingrid,
      You have a wonderful weekend too…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Marilyn says:

    These were wonderful. My favorites were the lavender flowers with gingham trim on a dark haired Riley, the pink stripes on Janie, the lavender dress just above Kit’s blue sundress, and the Bitty Bethany dress with the handkerchief. They really are a great collection.
    The sun is shining here — rain tomorrow and maybe sleet or snow Sunday. The tomatoes did die in the last snow even though I covered them. So did the basil, but not the rosemary or parsley or thyme. The lawns are lovely, as long as dandelions are one of your favorite flowers, as they seem to be for 3 of my neighbors. If they didn’t grow like weeds, people would love them and plant them. My brother had a new homeowner neighbor who was encouraging the pretty white wildflowers in his lawn. I wonder where he grew up that he didn’t recognize bindweed.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      The pink striped dress on Janie was won by a lady in France and she was SO very excited that I would ship it to her! She asked ahead of time and told me she was determined to win it…
      It was fun for me to see all the “sundresses” at one time too. It would be fun to have them all standing in a row in person to look at… *sigh*

      I’m glad you’re getting some sunshine… you and Cindy need some… snow, rain… and now sun! Your neighbor must be a “city” guy!
      I hope you have a sunny weekend and gets lots accomplished…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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