Why “Christmas Elegance” came back to me… Part One

Many of you thought Christmas Elegance, the sweet black velvet and white lace dress, shown on my Little Darling, Lian, the other day, was one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever made. Well, I would have to agree with you on this one… It truly was, and I just looked back in my notebook where I listed that one last December and I had a note written on that page saying that it had received the most “watchers” EVER on any of my dresses! There was just something about it that seemed special and the winner thought so too! It sold for a very nice price and I was thrilled…the winner was thrilled…the only one NOT thrilled was Lian, who had to undress and watch me wrap it up and ship it off!

Just to jog your memory, here are a few pics of it…








SORRY…that was a bit more than a “few!”

Wasn’t it a beautiful dress? Imagine if that were you opening up that dress for your doll…putting it on your doll… letting her wear it for Christmas…then New Year’s and not wanting to take it off your doll till it was sometime near Valentine’s Day…
Well, that’s what the winner did… and I’m not not sure what happened, but imagine you get an email…a very nice email…from a very nice lady… who decided to change her doll’s dress into something for Valentine’s Day and you found… THIS!





YES! Black stains on her doll… from one of MY DOLL DRESSES! YIKES! …black dash’s all in little rows right where the seams or the thread was stitched. It was a seamstress’s worst nightmare. I’m not quite sure, what happened, but looking at the pictures the buyer sent to me, I’m thinking it was the thread by the way it’s in such straight, almost dotted, lines… then on the back, it’s sort of messed up like it would have been with the thread stitched around the snaps.

Well, if you are horrified, the buyer was horrified, imagine what I WAS! I was a wreck and needed to find a solution quick. In ALL my years of sewing, I’ve only had this one problem…(unless you count the time I sold a print jumper at my Local Farmer’s Market and someone brought it back the next week because the lace was torn on the bottom of the hem. I looked at it and saw grass stains above where the lace was and on the lace. Clearly this had been “man-handled” and I wanted to know how… I talked to the lady and the little girl who brought it back… Turns out the little girl was playing football in it and slid when she got tackled! They decided they didn’t have a case and left sort of sheepishly when they realized their story wasn’t the greatest on their part!)

Anyway, back to the problem, I needed to figure out what to do about the the stains on this wonderful customers prized doll. I didn’t know exactly where to start so I emailed Dianna Effner, the artist of the Little Darlings and asked for her advice since she knew about the vinyl of the dolls and what would and would not work. She was very kind and suggested a product which I was happy to order.

Well, I hate to do this, but you’ll have to come back to find out the rest of the story… Please don’t hate me… just read what happens tomorrow..

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Hate you??? Why in the world would we hate you, Jeanne? You certainly didn’t set out to do this purposely, and it could happen to anyone! I’ve had a few stains come off of some AG clothes and it was no one’s fault. I just can’t keep certain outfits on too long, especially if they are red or black, or really anything with a deep color. I can’t wait to hear what happened!!

  2. Oh my! As conscientious as you are Jeanne, I can imagine how horrified you felt. Thanks once again for the inside story and I’m assuming a very win-win situation in the long run. The dress on Lian is totally gorgeous.


  3. Not to say anything bad, but most doll collectors know that if they leave dark coloured clothes on their dolls, that there is a chance of staining. Again, not saying anything bad about the outfit or the collector. I really try to make sure all my fabrics are washed. I once received a doll dress from a swap that was read, and it stained one of my dolls because the fabrics were not washed. They were still crisp. I didn’t even have the dress on the doll for as long as your customer. I also received a doll dress from another swap and didn’t realize that the bias tape used was also not washed and it stained a different doll. You have to watch out for the bias tapes as well. Just a head’s up for future reference. The dress is beautiful and I am sad to hear of this customer’s doll getting stained from the thread.

  4. Doesn’t thread say on it that it is colorfast? It used to I believe. Bias tape too. Maybe the thread/tape companies are responsible? I always prewash my fabrics and if any are suspect, out they go. Never even thought of washing bias tape. But, I think it is more than just that. And my favorite outfit too. Will be interesting to hear Part II of Jeanne’s post.

  5. Anne Johnson says:

    Oh, Jeanne, this must have been so distressing for you, as dedicated and attentive to detail as you are! I must say, however, that you are an excellent storyteller! You have certainly grabbed our attention and built a good rapport with your audience. Your readers are rooting for you, and I’m sure there will be a satisfying (and perhaps surprising) conclusion to your story, though you may not have thought so at the time! Curious as to the solution for removing the stains, and anxious to hear “the rest of the story!” Thanks for sharing, Jeanne!

    • Anne Johnson says:

      P.S. Don’t know how many readers may have seen the new “Winter Wishes” outfit and “Winter Woods” backdrop for the Wellie Wishers, but they are very cute! The sparkly blue and white with a touch of silver reminds me of your (now mine!) Patsy Tonner “Snow Princess” outfit from last year. If you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check them out. AJ

  6. Oh, Jeanne, what a horrible disaster. You must have been mortified. That was a lovely dress and to have something wrong with it must have been most distressing.
    I, too, thought things were marked colorfast. I know there is a test where you put the questionable fabric, trim, whatever on a white cloth pour a little water on it, let it sit for a few minutes and then lift the fabric. If color appears on white cloth it’s obviously not colorfast. I know there are a few AG outfits that have this problem- Kit’s Christmas dress. the AG version of Felicity Riding Habit, the PC one that I have is fine, a number of Josefina things. Kit’s Christmas dress is the only one we have and if you soaked it in white vinegar first it set the dye. I think the culprits are Mattel versions.
    I’m sure you found a perfect solution to the problem.

  7. Charlotte Trayer says:

    This must have been simply mortifying for you–you are so very conscientious! I’m wondering if it actually was the fabric that was the culprit after all–in a dress like that the bodice fabric might not touch the entire body of the doll, or perhaps when it was manufacture, somewhere in the process, the dye was unevenly applied.

    I would suggest (and on ning we had a discussion on this recently) using Oxy 10 (I think it is, or at least used to be called that) on the stains. I’ve used it successfully on other dolls, although sometimes it does take more than one application. You apply it, leave it on for a few hours or overnight, wipe it off and check to see how it’s doing, and apply again if necessary.

    Can’t wait for part two!!

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