“When are you EVER going to get my dress done?” asked Lian…and a few random tidbits…

I have heard this question more times than I care to mention this week… “someone” is getting very impatient! Actually, TWO someone’s are getting very impatient!! I think I finally have all the stitching done on the smocked dress, but I’ve still got the pleater threads in, so they’ve still got to be removed. I added a few more flowers, some leaves and a few bullion stems around the middle rose, but I think I’m finally done. I have got to get it constructed or it will be Easter before I know it… and then I’ll be forced to start working on Fourth of July dresses! *sigh*

[If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.]


Just as we were heading out to the doctor this morning, we started to see the snow coming down. We weren’t supposed to get snow… rain and maybe a few flurries, but that was all… By the time we got out of my hubby’s appointment, it had snowed 2-3 inches! When I got home I took a picture of my back yard and the gazebo. I think it always looks pretty with the snow around it…


It kept snowing for several hours and we had a nice white yard. It is supposed to get up in the 40’s tomorrow so it will most likely melt very quickly.

Just a side note… thank you to anyone who prayed for my hubby’s doctor appointment. He had bladder cancer in 2013 and we still have to go for checkup’s every 6 months now..it used to be every 3 months. I am super happy to report that the doctor found no traces of cancer this time and gave him a clean bill of health. I truly am grateful to the Lord for having mercy on us… My hubby is VERY special to me!!!!

This evening I was listing more American Girl doll necklaces that my daughter Rebecca had made. I managed to get all of her new ones in our Etsy shop… (HERE) They are really pretty and now I just have to get her women’s necklaces listed… but I’m going to get some more done on my doll dress first! Here are a few of my favorite necklaces for the dolls…




I have a question for any smockers out there… My aunt saw my post about Pleaters and wondered if I knew anything about Sally Stanley Pleaters… I don’t know about them, but I told her I bet one of my readers would know… If you can give me any information on them, I would appreciate it and then I’ll pass that on to my aunt… Thanks!

My hubby and I are in charge of the Married Couple’s Sweetheart Banquet this coming Sunday night. We weren’t able to have it closer to Valentine’s Day so I’m just calling it a Sweetheart Banquet this time. This is my 22nd party for the couple’s and I still have lots to do before Sunday evening. I’m just telling you so you’ll know why I’m not giving my sewing 100% of my time…I’ve got cookies to make for the favor bags, candle holders to wash, candy to sort out for the favor bags, my program finalized, figure out what I’m going to wear *sigh again* and odds and ends…

Okay, I guess that’s enough random subjects for one post…

I’ll see you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Charlotte Trayer says:

    So thankful your husband is still cancer-free, Jeanne! I know it’s been a long haul for you two. Prayers continue….

    As to the Sally Stanley Pleater, I Think it’s an Australian brand; I know it’s no longer being made, but you can get generic needles for it (just google “Sally Stanley Pleater”), and I also understand it takes shallower pleats than some of the others do.

    Hope that helped!


    • HI Charlotte,
      Yes, that was the best news of the week for us!!!
      Hmmm….I’m not sure I’d want to buy a pleater that wasn’t being made anymore. When you say it makes “shallower” pleats, do you mean they aren’t as deep?
      I appreciate your help and thanks for your prayers…
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        Yes. From what I read, some of the other pleaters make deeper pleats than the Sally Stanley one. Granted, depth isn’t that much in Any smocking, but apparently there is a little difference, maybe 1/16-1/8″?

        Hope that helps.


  2. Wonderful news that your husband remains cancer free. I will continue to pray that he stays that way.

    • HI Christine,
      Thank you so much for praying. I know prayer makes a difference.
      Have a wonderful day!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne Marie, don’t you EVER apologize for all the wonderful things you do! No one expects you to sit and sew 24 hours a day! It is so refreshing to hear about all the wonderful things you do and STILL have the time and energy to sew beautiful doll clothes!

    I’m SO happy to hear about George! God is good to you, but then you do a lot of His work for Him here on earth, too!

    Snow yesterday?? Nothing here except gray skies and a few sprinkles here and there. it looks just beautiful in your back yard!

    The smocking is just perfect, and now I too, am anxiously awaiting to see what’s next for the dress! Did you see a Little Darlings smocked outfit on Ebay recently? It was purple I believe, smocked on the bodice and the seller made a crochet hat to go with it. That might be a cute idea for your dress.

    • Thank you Linda,
      I just sometimes feel bad that this is a “dolly/sewing” blog and sometimes it’s not anywhere near those subjects… but that’s okay I guess.

      Yes, wasn’t that good news… we are still rejoicing!

      I didn’t look at a radar map to see where the snow went exactly, but we got it and it’s still covering the ground, but the sun is trying to peek through the clouds, so I bet most of it will be gone by this evening…which is fine with me….

      I did see that little smocked dress… Did you see the ONE that went for $710 last week. It was a pretty rose and white floral thing with a brown straw hat? It had bullion roses all over the front and down around the hem… and it was gorgeous…
      Well, I better get started on my day… lots to do!
      Thanks so much Linda,
      Blessings to you, Jeanne

  4. Wonderful news about your hubby! I have the Sally Stanley pleater. I works is all I can tell ya. I found it easy to understand and operate. But I am no expert. I have only smocked one thing to date. So I can’t say much more then that.

    • HI April,
      Thanks so much for your comments… I’ll pass along what you said about the Sally Stanley pleater to my aunt… I think you should give smocking another try… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Dress bodice that is. Your snow photo rocks. Can just picture people standing inside while it’s snowing. (You’d need some outdoor heaters and warm clothing I think, but it could be a fun party.)
    What kind of needle do you use for the ribbon work? I keep thinking that the holes would ruin the fabric if too large.
    Glad to hear your husband’s results were so good.
    On to the banquet busy one.

    • HI Joy,
      Thanks for your compliments on the dress…I appreciate them very much.
      The needle I use just has a long eye so your ribbon can thread through it easily. It’s not a fat needle, sort of slim. I don’t have any idea what size it is… When you stitch your designs over the smocked area, it doesn’t matter about the holes in your fabric, because it’s covered up.
      Yes…on to the banquet!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. That so good to hear your husband is healthy and well. I agree with Linda that you are pulled in so many directions, I am surprised you manage to sew as much as you do.
    We have about 2 inches of snow that came Monday night, but we are supposed to have 50’s this weekend. Yeah!!!
    I’m not familiar with that pleater. I used to get a homeschool magazine that also had sewing/ crafts and cooking/baking sections. I know they showed a pleater in some issues.
    I have to get out my old issues and see, but I think it was the Amanda Jane one. My mom’s sewing machine does smocking, but I don’t think she’s ever used to feature, I’ll have to ask her tonight.
    The ribbon embroidery is lovely on Lian’s dress. I, too am curious what you’ll add

    • HI Laura,
      Thanks for being one of those who stick with me even when my blog posts aren’t about dolls or sewing, but my life…
      We are supposed to possibly see the 60’s this weekend… Yay for us too!!!

      I’ve done smocking on my sewing machine before too, but just used a feather stitch on top of some shirred up fabric. It looked okay but not like real smocking…
      I’m anxious like everyone else at what the dress will turn out like too… :o)
      Thanks so much Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Life ‘happens’ to us *all*! We eventually get back to our sewing when we can….it’s our ‘sweet spot’. 🙂 ( I’m still trying to learn how to use this new sewing machine, so, my sewing time isn’t *so* sweet these days! LOL!!) Your ‘couples’ event is a great way for people to remember to make time to enjoy each other and not to loose themselves separately, existing together. Happy to hear your DH’s good news and wish you many more wonderful years together.

    • Hi Mary,
      Yes, you’re so right…LIFE does happen and mine is happening all at once lately!
      Oh, I’m sorry to hear your sewing machine is giving you fits… (that’s what I’m interpreting you’re saying…) :o(
      This party is shaping up to be a very nice one… romantic and very special… I can’t wait!
      Thank you for your well wishes… I’m looking forward to a long life with this man!!! :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Do I remeber correctly that you made chocolate bark for last years party? I have sts on my Bernina that are smocking sts and you use heavier than size 50 thread. I once took a class where we used the zig zag st over very fine steel knitting needles. In the long run, I think learning to smock by hand is the way to go.
    your dress is lovely!

    • Thank you Jan,
      Yes, I did make mint chocolate bark last year… this year I’m making oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for one of the treats…haven’t decided on the other…
      I have shirred up some fabric before and then used a feather stitch on top of it to sort of mimic smocking… but like you said, nothing is quite as nice as the real thing.
      Thank you for your compliments on the dress…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. I am so happy to hear about George’s good news. Bless you both! Every mile stone counts.

    I agree with Linda in that you do so many wonderful things for your family and friends, none of us expect you should sew all day. We enjoy your blog with all the interesting things you tell us…about life, your passion for sewing and especially YOU sharing yourself with us.

    Lian’s dress will be gorgeous. The smocking and design is beautiful and I love that material print.
    I miss snow and loved the picture of your gazebo.
    Oh, our niece is coming tonight to stay with us for a few days….and her doggie, Holly. I’m so excited!
    Have a great day, Jeanne.

    • HI Paula,
      Thank you so much Paula…. yes, every test that comes and goes and has a good report makes it seem like a memory of long ago…
      I appreciate you and Linda and others affirming that what I share and don’t get around to sharing is okay with everyone. I hope so. I haven’t lost any subscribers for a while, so maybe it’s okay! :o)
      Maybe you and your niece can have a slumber party…is she young or older? Does she like dolls too? If not, maybe you can introduce her to yours! If not, play with the dog instead of the dolls! Just have fun…
      Blessings, Jeanne

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