Which doll should get the first “Back to School” outfit?

It’s almost time for school to start and once again, I’m a bit behind on my sewing… It’s not that I lay around eating Bon Bon’s on the couch… I just seem to be particularly busy lately. I need to be on a magazine schedule…where they work on Christmas things in July and 4th of July outfits are in the works in December! I guess I could save them up and show them during the right months…NAH…that would never work for me. I see too many fabrics in the moment and have to come home and make something out of them. But one of my goals this next time around is to get more sewing done and less time spent on the computer…which will be particularly hard since I write this blog. (I just found out this morning that Sarah, my webmaster, is going to visit her family in Africa… FOR SIX MONTHS! Yikes…what if I can’t figure something out??? I had hopes of putting in a marketplace tab, where I could sell things from my website, but now I’m a bit intimidated by doing it. So things may stay exactly the way they are now…until February when Sarah gets back!

I am trying to figure out a better way to rotate my dolls so they all get something made to model. In the past, I’ve had their names randomly written on a list so my sewing was varied a little bit. I just went down the list making the first doll something and then moving onto the next one. It works pretty well, but some dolls sell things better than others, so I hated to wait so long in between sewing for some of them. Which brings me to my next dilemma… I’m considering selling my Ellowyne dolls. I have 3 and really only use one of them…and she’s used very sparingly. I LOVE the Ellowyne dolls and how they are so very poseable, but my love is the “childlike” dolls and the dresses I make for them. Ellowyne is thought to be a 19 year old “fashionista” and my mind just doesn’t do “fashionista” stuff too well.

I’m still waiting to see if I like the new Maryellen doll that is supposed to be released from American Girl, on August 27th. If she’s pretty and I decide to get her, I think my black haired #41 or my blond #27 might get the boot! On the other hand, if I don’t like the looks of Maryellen, I could just keep either the #41 or the #27 to use as my 1950’s girl and be $125 richer! When you only sew for one size doll it’s much easier to rotate and go through the list.

I sew for a variety of dolls in a huge range of sizes… which brings me to me question in the title? Which doll should get the first “Back to School” outfit? I know I’ve asked this of you before and it helped clear my head and gave me some direction…so I’m asking you to let me know
who you want up first? Leave me a comment and let me know your favorites…maybe I need to thin out some other dolls too…

I’ll show you who I have to help you out…I have the most dolls in the American Girl size.


Elizabeth, Molly, Rebecca, Kirsten and Julie. (Elizabeth is one of my double duty girls..she models Colonial fashions and also Regency dresses for me. Molly pretty much stays in the 40’s, Rebecca does the early 1900’s, Civil War, Regency and sometimes just a modern girl. Kirsten has always been my Swedish or my Prairie girl, and Julie has only done 70’s outfits so far.

Eden, Lily and Saige are my 3 girls who can model any era…and I was thinking that Eden might make a good 1950’s girl, but I’m not sure. Her dark green eyes don’t photograph very well.


Next I have my 3 Dianna Effner Little Darlings. Isabelle, Janie and Lian. They get a workout usually and I love to sew for them. All three of them are good money makers for me, which is what I’m supposed to be doing, staying home and all…


My three littlest ones are next… Ten Ping, Elin and Patsy. (Yes, Ten Ping has a new wig on…a Doris wig, by Monique in Dark Brown in a size 5/6. All three of these dolls do “Okay” when I list their things.


Here are my 3 Ellowyne dolls… a blue eyed one, a brown eyed one and a green eyed one. I’ve never even let the brown eyed one model anything before.. (bad mommy…bad mommy!) They look a little goofy in their little velcro staps, but it’s what I use to hold them in their stands.


…and last up is my Kaye Wiggs Sunkissed Hope and fair Nyssa. I LOVE them but don’t make it to them very often, and I can’t even tell you why.


Okay, so now you’ve seen all my dolls. They all have to go to school…so WHO should be first up to get a new Back to School outfit? I’d also like to hear what you’d make for them if you could… and also ANY opinions on my dolls too…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Good morning, Jeanne! What an interesting post you have this morning! It was good to see exactly what dolls you do have, and I thought you had Felicity. Did you sell her?

    When I think of back-to-school, I think of my own school days of getting a new outfit, book bag, lunch box, pencil case, etc., and the fun of shopping for them! You know what I’m getting at—–Molly! Maybe a cute plaid jumper, a pleated skirt and vest, I don’t know, just something about plaid calls out “school” to me!

    You mentioned you are thinking about getting Maryellen. I see that you have mostly long haired AG dolls, if not all. I guess Eden’s hair is the shortest? I do think the new doll will have more of a bob, since long hair wasn’t the “in” thing in the 50’s. You probably could use a shorter haired doll, for some variety. You have mentioned in the past that you were considering Nellie too. She would work well if you don’t like Maryellen.

    I’ll stop rambling now and give others space to fill you in on what they think!!

    • Hi Linda, yes I used to have Felicity…two of them in fact! One had wonky eyes and the other one had hair like straw…so they both got the boot. Actually I am looking at replacing her. I have my eye on a couple on eBay. *sigh*

      I knew I would get at least one vote for Molly from you….and I almost knew it would be plaid or pleats too!

      Linda, I’m guessing you haven’t seen the prototype pictures of Maryellen she has long reddish blond hair, almost the color of Mia’s, with sides wept bangs. The big questions is what is her eye color…brown, dark green or hazel… Gotta wait on that one.

      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings , Jeanne

  2. Hi Jeanne,

    Love all your dolls, and any would be lucky to have the first back-to-school outfit! You are also a lady of great restraint…I have over 30 AG’s now, and ever growing. I can’t imagine giving up even one of my precious girls….I guess I’m a bit obsessed!

    I hope Mary Ellen is popular, but am happy for now with Lanie and Lindsey filling in for her. We’ll have to see if I can fit another girl into my family…..

    • Hi Kathy,
      Wow! 30 American Girl dolls! You must have a doll room to keep them all in?
      I keep selling and buying and selling and buying hoping to get the right combination of dolls that work best for me.
      I used to have a Lanie too… She is a cutie and very photogenic!
      Thanks Kathy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Deb Sherart says:

    Hi Jeanne

    Gorgeous group of gals you have there. I personally would go for something for Julie. I also have her and I love her. But I am involved in a Back to School contest with another 70’s era doll, Ideal’s Crissy. I would enjoy seeing Julie in a Back to School outfit!

    • HI Deb,
      Julie would be a fun one to make a Back to School outfit for… I was doing lots of sewing when it was the 1970’s!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. I vote for Little Darling Janie! I’m sure they would all be in line though, if you left it up to the girls themselves! ;o)

    • Good morning Connie,
      Janie would make a sweet little model for a Back to School outfit…so who knows…
      Thanks for giving your opinion…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I vote for Nyssa. Just because you don’t do a lot for them, like you said. I plan on getting Maryellen. I showed my hubby, and he likes her, so she is coming home. We both like the styles and the atmosphere of the 50’s. 🙂 Whatever you choose to make, it will be beautiful.

    • HI Christine,
      Nyssa is thrilled that you voted for her! Thanks for thinking of her!
      A 1950’s outfit would be fun too…hmmmm
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Well, you probably know who I’m voting for and that will be Hope or Nyssa. I would LOVE to see a “back to school” outfit for one of those girls. It was really fun seeing all your dolls and yes, the Ellowyne girls do look a bit odd….maybe uncomfortable is a better word 🙂

    • HI Bobi,
      Oh you should see Nyssa smiling now… 2 votes so far for her!
      As I looked over my post, I felt the same way about the Ellowyne dolls too… uncomfortable is a good word to use… you’ve got me thinking…
      blessings, Jeanne

  7. First of all, happy anniversary! I vote for Julie. Or a 50’s style. You could use Molly in a pony tail. I don’t plan on getting Maryellen at this time, but may get some clothes & Accessories. A previous poster said she had 30 dolls – wow! I have 13. It might be fun to poll your readers to see who has the most dolls.

    • HI Debi,
      Thanks for the Anniversary Wishes for my 1st year of Blogging…
      Now Julie is the one smiling with 2 votes.
      Doing a poll would be fun to see who we all have…
      Kathy has 30+ American Girl dolls, you have 13, I have 8…so far… isn’t collecting fun???
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Hi Jeanne,
    What a great post. I especially like to see there are other women who like to collect dolls like me. When I get a AMG doll, I can usually picture what era I want them in, although some have flipped flopped between different era’s. I like the AMG Civil War era dresses but I also like the AMG 50’s. I have some modern era dolls but they aren’t as exciting as the other era’s. So, my vote is for AMGs in the late 1800’s or 50’s. Love the plaids. Thanks for listening.

    • HI Paula,
      Yes, it is fun to see who collects what dolls and how many they have.
      You’ve hit a nerve with me about the Civil War dresses… I just LOVE making them, and you love collecting them… (how fun is that!)
      The 1950’s would be very appropriate for now since Maryellen’s soon to be released date gets closer each day!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. In my humble opinion, I can understand why your Little Darling outfits do so well. Those that can afford the doll, want her looking great and therefore need new cute clothes. Your AG outfits of course, do well, because so many have AG dolls and again want cute clothes. Know you are looking at a new AG. Tonner has a new 18″ vinyl doll that does not have the soft body. She would also be a great model. My preference, for dolls, Ann Estelle/Patsy 10″. They are affordable. I don’t think there are as many collectors out there for their outfits unless the price is right. Little Ten Ping is so cute. Would love to have one, but also a out of my price range. So, perhaps others too do not have one and don’t buy the clothes. There appear to be a lot of Ellowyne owners and likers. However, the clothing preferred seems to be original Tonner or high fashion. I have one only because she is a great big sister for the Patsy size. The other dolls you show, I believe are also out of my price range. If you are looking for profit, LD or AG. My choice would be a school outfit for Ten Ping. Loved seeing your dolls!

    • HI Joy,
      Thanks for all of your input on your comments. I hope you find some of your dream dolls sometime. It’s good to watch Ebay for a specific doll sometimes. I have been stalking Ebay for just the right Felicity… I too, buy most of my dolls used. In fact of all the dolls shown above, only 3 were bought brand new… Hope, by Kaye Wiggs, Ten Ping, by Ruby Red Galleria, and Elin, by Iplehouse, (but I bought her blank and painted her face myself.) Isabelle was new, but she was a Christmas gift to me one year by a doll customer.
      So, maybe someday you’ll find just the right doll to add to your collection.
      I put you down for Ten Ping… and she’d make a darling little “Back to Schooler!”
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Right away I said, “Molly”, then I began my viewing of all the dolls and don’t know what to say. There are pros and cons with each doll so maybe you should first pick the fabric that hits you as “Back to School” and see which of your girls looks the best with it draped.

    As a side note to Back to School; After my kids grew up I used to get a terrible case of melancholy on or about the 1st of September. With all the excitement of Back to School banter on the TV and in newspaper ads I would not avoid the fact that I no longer had children to send back to school. I absolutely love that time of year. New clothes & shoes, new school supplies to shop for and new teachers for the kids to meet. The changing of the seasons from hot to cool, leaves on the trees & shrubs and fewer outdoor tasks and more indoor time with the kids. I was really lost and in a blue funk having to stand back and watch others still participate in the fall ritual. I finally pulled myself together by donating to a back pack fund raiser at work and by helping my grandkids with some money to buy what they needed for the new school year. Still I wait in anticipation for the calls from the grands to tell me about their first day back to school. And so the traditions go on ……………………………………… !!

    • HI Jeannie,
      Oh…your comments about Back to School made me a little melancholy too… Rebecca is still living at home and going to college, but I know what you mean about all the fuss with getting all the school supplies and the back to school clothes shopping! *sigh*

      You made a great point, about maybe just picking out a fabric and using that as my starting point. I have lots of plaids and I guess I could lay them across the dolls and see which ones pop out at me…
      Thanks, Jeanne

  11. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    You have, or have had, Addy, and your Sunday best series included Nellie. Have they moved on?
    The Maryellen prototype showed a doll with a long red ponytail, though there are other pictures where her hair is maybe a little shorter and curlier and blonder. She’ll be out August 27, so there’s not long to wait. I’ve seen a rumor that there’ll be a new African American doll in the BeForever series next year, era unknown.
    I’ve been especially fond of Eden, because she’s beautiful and less well-known. I’m voting for her to model a long sleeved Victorian back-to-school dress in a style similar to those Addy has modeled in your slidehow (though they have short sleeves).
    You might, however, consider that there will be a new AG with new clothes for all of us AG fans to be buying. Instead of competing with that market, you might consider what the Effner girls would need for back-to-school, and save the AG outfit for early October.
    So much to sew, so little time.

    • HI Marilyn,
      Yes, silly me… I did have Addy for years and years and Nellie was in there too for a few years. I have been looking for a new Nellie too, since I thought she could do double duty as a 1900’s girl as well as a new 1950’s sweetie.
      Yes, I saw the prototype and she does have a long ponytail… I liked the first prototype better where she had the Mamie Eisenhower bangs but apparently they nixed that look… :o(
      So it’s Eden for you…. in a pretty school dress in a Victorian fashion… hmmmm
      See, you picked Eden, then you said, “well maybe something from the 50’s, and then you mentioned the Effner girls”.. that’s the same thinking I come up with… *sighs again*
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Kathie Welsh says:

    Back to School just seems like it should be an American girl with some kind of plaid detail…or Back to High School with Ellowyne. Both seem to be ready and happy to be getting back to School. Nyssa seems a bit pouty about School starting …she needs more vacation!
    Have fun deciding!

    • HI Kathie,
      So for you it’s something plaid for the American Girl dolls?
      I love your line about Nyssa needing more vacation because she’s pouty looking.. that made me smile!!!
      Thanks Kathie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. What a great post, and such interesting, analytical comments. So glad other women do this too. Of course my vote is for Ten Ping because I just love her. But the AG dolls will probably be more worth you short time now. What little girl (or big one) would not want a lovely back to school outfit for her beloved AG. I find your outfits for Gina especially inspiring. I do not have an Effner (yet) I love how she looks in the outfits you make for her. Anything you make will be a delight. I drool over every single post with a doll in it. LOL!

    • HI Kathleen,
      You should have seen Ten Ping’s face light up when she saw your vote was for her!
      Thank you for all your sweet comments…
      I appreciate all your thoughts…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Oops! I meant Isabelle! Gina is Cindy Rice’s doll. Silly me. Sorry

    Also, I especially remember the excitement of a new big box of crayons! I always ran out of black first … for outlines. I still feel a remembered thrill when I see the boxes in the store.

    • HI Kathleen,
      I thought you may have meant Isabelle, not Gina…
      I am just like you with those crayons! I have seen a commercial on TV for some new “adult” coloring book that is supposed to relieve your stress. It’s got all these designs and says you can use crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc. It seems weird looking at grown people coloring in their coloring books… but it is sort of fun to do…
      Thanks Kathleen,
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        I love crayons, too–especially the smell of that new shipment of crayons! Ahhh…forget the flowers. Stop and smell the crayons!! LOL

        Barnes & Noble has adult coloring books, too, in all kinds of designs. I just bought one of Scandinavian designs (I’m Swedish, so this appealed to me). I’ve found that, for some of the more detailed designs, colored pencils seem to work better than crayons.

  15. I like Ten Ping’s new wig, I purchased a new wig for my Ten Ping also. She is just so cute, so I hope you will sew for her. I would love to see you sew for Lian, everything is so pretty on her.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Regina,
      I think Ten Ping looks pretty cute in her new wig too! It is a tiny little thing…
      I’m glad you are having fun with your Ten Ping too!
      She would make a cute little school girl, wouldn’t she?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  16. Hi Jeanne,
    I’ve been out all day and are just now getting to your post. Of the dolls you have I ONLY have PC/AG girls so naturally that is what I like to see. :-)I also love the historical outfits because that was all Pleasant Company was in the early 1990’s. I’d like to see Colonial clothes, Pioneer or Civil War best. I also love Victorian/ Edwardian era since I have Samantha and Mairin (fka Nellei) . Your Eden is cute and she’s your only one with black hair and you have four blondes. From the prototype pictures it appears that Maryellen may have dark green or hazel eyes, but of course, we don’t know for sure yet. My daughter loves the 1950’s, so even if she doesn’t buy Maryellen for herself I can see a part of her collection being purchased.
    I’m with Linda in my ongoing love for Felicity. Those sparkling green decal eyes and coppery red hair with pincurls just do it for me.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      I appreciate all your comments and will consider what you like. I love the historical AG dolls too and think I’m wanting to get back to just them… there are lots of people who do the modern things for the dolls but there’s just something about the period dolls that seems more like me.
      I know what you mean about Felicity… I may…or may not have… just bought a Felicity doll! :o/
      Blessings, Jeanne

  17. Maybe I’m biased, but my own back to school memories were the 1970’s so I would have to vote for Julie. My second choice would be the pretty little Janie! I have quite a few AG’s (including the two that belonged to my own daughters when they were younger), but I am getting a Diane Effner doll–one of these days! She’s been on order for some time now. I know we will all enjoy seeing what you create no matter which doll you choose!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      I put you down for Julie and then a vote for Janie too! They would both be perfect candidates for Back to School sets!
      Congrats on your soon coming Effner doll! I know your excitement!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  18. Charlotte Trayer says:

    Since you are thinking Eden might make a good model for 1950s AG fashions, how about trying out a 1950s back-to-school dress for her? I was in elementary school and up thru 8t grade in the 1950s, and in the earlier 50s, especially, I wore dresses a lot, often with rickrack trim, and anklets with my shoes (I wore corrective shoes until I was 10, so my shoes were pretty blah until then! LOL).

    • HI Charlotte,
      I think I’ve settled on Eden being my 50’s girl. She will be nice and she does have a very pretty face… her hair is the right length and has just enough curl for that perfect look.
      I was born in 1956, so I missed out on lots of those fun dresses, but our pictures when I was younger look like the 50’s. I wonder if my mom got some hand-me-downs? Most likely!
      Blessings, Jeanne

      • Charlotte Trayer says:

        Well, I was born in 1946, so I did grow up in the 50s! I remember one dress I had when I was a little girl (maybe 7 or so) was red and white stripe, and I think it had heart-shaped pockets. It was a sundress, as I recall, with a white bolero.

        Then there was a turquoise polka dots on white dress that mom made, and a princess-line voile dress, white with blue flowers, and a blue linen bolero. I think the dress had an empire waist, but the skirt was princess line and quite flared. I wore it when I was flower girl for my grandpa’s wedding, when I was 9.

  19. I’m new to your blog and enjoying it and your dolls. I’m so happy you chose Little Darling to feature your back to school. I am still learning to sew and currently working on Little Darling outfits. Back to school is so perfect this time of year. I would love to see (and learn) how to make an entire ‘back to school’ ensemble. Bookbag, hat, knee highs, skirt, top and jacket. And of course….the apple for the teacher!

    • HI Mimi,
      Welcome again to my blog and I’m glad you are enjoying the “reads” each day. Well, I ‘ll be making my Little Darlings their back to school dress, so you’ll have to see what I come up with… then maybe do it yourself. Sewing just takes practice…lots and lots of practice…and patience…
      Thanks Mimi,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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