Molly Waves Goodbye- Lee & Pearl 1943


Granted I should have went through the bag of already cut out doll patterns to make up or even went through the scrap bin of the fabric to use this pattern. But I went ahead and picked up the navy linen look rayon/poly blend. I knew it would be perfect for Lee & Pearl’s pattern #1943, Molly Waves Goodbye. Anyways, it made up for the fabric store being out of the buttons I needed for my shirtdress.

The first night, I had cut everything out and had the skirt sewn about to the halfway point. All it was missing was the Velcro, waistband, and hem. The skirt is definitely easy to put together. I could read through the instructions a couple of times then turn off my computer and be able to make the skirt. Definitely be careful when taping the pdf pattern together. I must not have had the pieces lined up correctly because my waistband was a little short for the skirt. I didn’t have a problem with any other piece.


The suit jacket is definitely an intermediate level pattern. I definitely needed to leave the instruction up on my computer for this one. This was especially helpful for the lapped curved seam on the front and placing the buttonholes.

My linen look rayon poly does fray easily. So for the lapped seam on the front, I did use fray check on that. Otherwise, I did use my serger where I could like the shoulder seams and side seams. I didn’t follow the instructions on the sleeve seam and used my serger again as so I had a clean seam.


I only have one quibble about the jacket pattern. I wish the pattern pieces labeled which ones should be from the contrast material. It is in the instructions but if you are cutting without pulling the instruction up on computer, you miss this.  I recut the peplum lower back piece because I had cut two from the navy linen look and not one from navy and one from the contrast. I am just going to save that peplum lower back in case I decide to make another navy suit to give away.

I didn’t do any pattern alterations. Molly was originally purchased as a Christmas present in the early 1990s (best guess is 1993 or 1994). The jacket could be a touch too tight, but I wonder if it is because of the doll stand wire.


The only other change I made beside using my serger was to finger press the lapels. I had finished hand sewing the contrasting facing in the jacket while I was at my co-workers’ softball game (they are in desperate need of fan). So I didn’t have an iron with me. I probably held the lapels down for 5 or so. Then I just couldn’t pay attention to the game much longer and pulled out my e-reader. So I squished the jacket between the front and back cover of my e-reader to continue “pressing” the lapels. This was for probably 2 hours.

Out of the two pieces I did, someone learning to sew would be able to make the skirt on his/her own as a first project. The jacket can’t be someone’s first sewing project. One needs to have a basic understanding of sewing then, I feel the pictures and instruction would get one though making the jacket.


I really want to make the slip and hat from this pattern and the Glengarry hat (a Lee & Pearl pattern) too. But right now, Molly will just have to be happy with her new jacket and skirt. As I am now on to items for Selfless September. My plans for Selfless September included modifying baby onesies into doggie shirts for Toby, the Sew Powerful purse project, doll clothes for my dad’s work’s Toys for Tots drive, and a t-shirt for my mom.

Inspired by Vogue Pattern Magazine (1950)

Something just for fun today since I haven’t gotten pictures of my recent makes.

If you sew, by now, you probably heard that McCall’s Pattern Company has started a blog.  If you haven’t, go over and check it out .  I think the post I enjoyed the most so far is the one about the 1950’s Vogue Pattern Magazine Article on seven college pieces to sew.

For fun, I went ahead and put together a list that I think would work well for my dolls.  My list of essential pieces is extended or modified from the original list.

Short Coat options:

This is a tough one.  I love the coat I made with Simplicity 4347, but is it too long to be a short coat option?  Otherwise, I think my pick would have to be Liberty Jane’s Piccadilly Pea coat pattern (even though I haven’t tried it out yet).  I love the pleats in the back.


One Piece dress options:

Ok, this one is much easier to pick patterns for but the only problem is how to just pick one.  I did narrow it down to two.  My two picks are Bonjour Teaspoon’s Taylor Regatta dress and Lee & Pearl’s 1031 (classic wrap dress).

Separate skirt options:

Based on how Molly was dressed for several months, Simplicity 4347 would have to be my pick.


Tailored shirt

Is a tailored shirt really necessary for a doll?  This was the dilemma I looked at.  If the answer is yes, then I would like to pick Butterick 6035.  Butterick 6035 is designed more for the NOLA American girl dolls so it doesn’t really have the collar and buttons down the front.  Apparently, I can’t seem to find a really good one with a collar and button down front.  Pleasant Company has two (one in Addy’s collection and one in Molly’s collection).  They at least had a collar plus they are free patterns!  Otherwise, I like Gennie-wren Design’s Harriet Sailor outfit top, but I don’t think it will appeal to modern (perfect for Samantha and Rebecca).

If the answer is no, there are several cute tops out there.  These are patterns I haven’t tried out yet.  But I think Liberty Jane’s baseball t-shirt, Dolly Duds polo shirt, and of course it wouldn’t hurt to include the option of Lee & Pearl’s 1031 (classic wrap dress as a peplum top).


Odd Jacket options:

Odd jacket category has to belong to Liberty Jane. The Penny Lane jacket and the Boomerit Falls Jacket are so cute. I have a Penny Lane jacket cut, but haven’t gotten around to sewing it up yet.

Suit options:

Here is the one that I do differ from McCall’s on.  They thought the traditional suit wasn’t applicable to today.  But what will a college girl wear on an interview for a summer internship or even after graduation for a job interview?  For the doll pattern choice there was no questions on this one, but I would definitely pick Lee & Pearl’s 1943 (Molly Waves Goodbye).  I am just finishing this pattern up and the end product looks absolutely adorable.  Look for this post soon.

Strapless dress

I know some would not mind a strapless dress on their dolls, but I don’t like that at all. Now my next problem in this category is that most of the fancier dresses I have are geared towards the historical dolls.  I definitely could use help here.


I don’t know about anyone else, but this is an essential in my college wardrobe so I added it.  My favorite doll pant patterns are Simplicity 4297 and Liberty Jane’s jeans.



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What would you think should be considered in the list?


Ina Maxi Skirt

Pink eye pretty much halted progress on the denim chambray Simplicity 2246 at the beginning of August. I was up to buttons and buttonholes but needed to have shorter sewing times. Shorter times means all or majority of buttons will not be done at once. I think I have determined that pink eye is an illness meant to drive one to boredom. I couldn’t read, can’t do beadwork (at least not the stuff I do), and had limited sewing times. Maybe it was a cosmic sign to vacuum up the bunny fur on the living room carpet. I hate to say but the bunny fur is still there until Monday August 18. The boredom didn’t motivate me to vacuum. Only after cleaning the bunny cage on Monday was I motivated to vacuum.

I was in need of a simple easy project which didn’t require a lot of sewing and not a lot of detail work. I wanted something that I would be able to finish and wear to the KC Pinhead group lunch. Denim dress wasn’t going to be done just too much detail work. I figured a maxi skirt would work well.

This is the beta version of the Ina maxi skirt pattern from Sewing Pattern Review website which is designed for vertical stripe knit fabric. I used a horizontal stripe patterned ITY poly knit for the skirt.   I graded out 4 inches on the side seams of the skirt. It was probably more than what I actually needed. I didn’t include stretch of the fabric when I was grading for size. I changed the grain line for the godets. Since I had a horizontal stripe, if I had followed the pattern, my godets would have been vertical stripes. I used a narrow double fold hem at the bottom. I also took a little off the waistband. I added 1 ¼ inch elastic to the skirt.


For it being a rough draft of the pattern, it was fairly easy to follow. First sew side seams, then short godet. After the short godet, put in the long godet. This is probably just me, but then I finished up the hem next. The following day I did the waistband and added elastic to the waistband.

The pattern was just released on Monday August 18th. I haven’t bought the final draft of the pattern yet as I had just recently purchased a couple of American Girl doll patterns.

Along with finishing up the chambray shirtdress (Simplicity 2246), the rest of the August sewing plans include Tilly & the Button’s Coco dress, and possibly By Hand London’s Anna dress.

I will have to admit the pictures don’t make the skirt look as great as they should. I had to rush to get the pictures done on Friday evening before the rain as it was supposed to rain on and off all day Saturday. Also, I think the skirt looks better with the shirt un-tucked. But I tucked it in so everyone could see the waistband.




Deer & Doe Airelle

What does one do after a sewing disappointment? One starts another project. Alright, technically I probably should have done another knit fabric project to work on those skills. But the other patterns planned for the pattern stash were woven fabric. It is best to stick to the plan. I will admit that my ambition to get this made quickly went down the drain after the Vogue knit wrap dress. I just knew I would not be getting the 4th pattern done before the end of July so I took my time.



I graded from a 42 at the bust to a 44 at the waist. I just used the triangle notch to determine the waist. Then from the 44 I graded out to a 46 at the hips. There is more room at the hip area than I had thought so I could have probably used just the 44 to the hip area.

On future sleeveless version, I may look at doing an alteration at the arm area. In the back there is a wedge of extra fabric which looks like it is wearing ease for the sleeve but I am completely guessing on this.


The back of the instruction book has a view of using the Airelle blouse pattern for a dress. I wish I had snapped a photo of that to share. I would like to make it again as a dress.

Finally, an apology for the not so great pictures. This was the best I could do with the timer and late in the evening.

Wrap dress- Vogue 8379


DSCI0082In keeping with items I really need, I pulled out Vogue 8379 for the Pattern Stash contest. I was able to add the Vogue Rebecca Taylor dress and the Sewaholic Gabriola skirt last month into rotation. But I still feel like I am wearing the same items all the time. So I would like to make a couple more dresses to wear.

Vogue 8379 is the most detailed knit pattern I have worked on since the swimsuit last year. The swimsuit caused my previous sewing machine to have fits but following the sew-along really helped me out. This time, there was no sewing machine problems. I think all the troubles I had were caused by my inexperience with knit fabric.

I cut a straight size 14. I put clear elastic in the shoulder seams, neckline, and waist seam. I am not sure but the fabric may be a little heavy for the pattern. It was from a Fabric-mart mystery bundle and it was just labeled as jersey. All vertical seams have been getting the triple stretch straight stitch while all horizontal seams were getting a small zig-zag stitch. After that, the seam was finished on my serger.

Everything seemed to be going well, until after I finished serging the side and shoulder seams. I realized I put one side in backwards. I had to take the seams apart, re-cut the front piece (it isn’t salvageable) and redo all that I did. I wished Lala would have hopped onto the fabric and kept me from making the mistakes. Silly bunny is always sitting on the fabric when you don’t want him to but stays away as you are making a mistake. Then I noticed there were more sewing problems with my bodice.

Thankfully, I had enough fabric to cut the bodice. This time I went ahead and basted the side seams so I had the pieces correct before stitching. I didn’t want to have to unpick anymore (one try was enough for all that). The second time around the bodice went together much quicker.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly after the second bodice was put together. But that was deceiving. I ran out of thread in the bobbin in mid-seam. Then as I was refilling the bobbin, I ran out of thread in the top. So there was a dash off to the fabric store to get thread.

Vogue 8379 is the most detailed knit pattern I have worked on since the swimsuit last year. The swimsuit caused my previous sewing machine to have fits. This time, there was no sewing machine problems. I think all the troubles I had were due to my inexperience with knit fabric. In the end the dress did look like it was home-made; there is no way anyone would think this is ready to wear. I honestly don’t know what I did wrong with the pleats. Maybe the oddness is because I should have went up a size in the waist or made the pleats smaller? The neckline is all bunched up because I pulled the clear elastic a bit too much. I used it so there would not be gaping at the neckline.  Looking in the mirror, I knew it was sewn together terribly, but after looking at the camera pictures it is worse than I thought.

I want to go back and try this pattern again but I may wait awhile until I have completed some other simple knit fabric projects. I think the next knit fabric pattern I will be trying will be Tilly and the Button’s Coco pattern.

Last two patterns planned for the Pattern Stash contest are the Deer & Doe Airelle blouse and Simplicity 2246 (Lisette Traveler dress). Since I had to redo parts of the Vogue dress, I am not sure if I will be able to finish both for Pattern Stash.


From Doris Day’s Closet- McCall’s 5884

First up for the Pattern Stash contest is McCall’s 5884.  As I am wearing the blouse, I just feel like I pulled something out of Doris Day’s closet.  Granted when I did a Google search for Doris Day, no tie collar blouses were in the image search.


It was so much easier than I thought it would be.  For view A (sleeveless), there are only 4 pattern pieces which means it is quick to cut.  I don’t know about anyone else, but the more pieces the pattern has the more I dislike cut it out.  Granted switching to the rotary cutter has sped up cutting patterns a lot and made it easier.  I think all total, this top took me about 3 hours to make.

Any other versions of the McCall’s pattern would definitely need to have the front neckline raised.  It is a little low for my preference.  I would probably also change how to do the collar.  The instructions have one sew the ends of the collar then sew it to the neckline.  I would like to try out putting it on the neckline first then folding the collar in half, pin, and top stitch down the entire length of the collar.


This pattern could work well with a stable knit too.  I can’t think of any reason why it would not.  The shoulder seams would definitely need to be reinforced with clear elastic.  The sleeve pieces would need to be borrowed from another pattern for a t-shirt style sleeve.

I have also made the Burda magazine 10-2010-118 which is also a tie front pull-over blouse.  So a quick comparison of the two, in instructions the McCall’s pattern is so much better than the Burda magazine.  But that shouldn’t shock anyone.  I really dislike the little button on the Burda pattern.  I really like the front of the McCall’s pattern with the gathers on it.  I feel like I got a better finished product.  For any beginner to sewing, the McCall’s pattern would be much easier for them to make.

As I am typing this out, all I can think of is version D with the long sleeves in the snake print rayon Challis that I passed up over at the fabric store’s clearance section.

Peplum Cutie- Lee & Pearl Wrap dress 1031

DSCI0069I had just picked up Molly Waves Goodbye from Lee and Pearl at the end of April.  A couple of days later, Lee and Pearl came out with the ultra-adorable Wrap dress pattern.  I think I lasted about 2 days before I decided that I had to have it for my dolls.  If my dolls were pets, they would be classified as spoiled rotten since they are always getting new clothes (either store-bought, patterns, or handcrafted).

I had just finished Marie Grace’s blue lacy dress at the end of May.  There wasn’t enough of that fabric left to make another blue lacy dress.  But there was enough of it left for one or two wrap tops from the new Lee and Pearl pattern that I had just picked up.


So for a woven fabric, this is rated easy.  Otherwise, the knit fabrics have an intermediate rating on them.  For my cotton top, the construction was easy.  I did have one boo-boo where I put the pleats on the wrong side of a front piece.  But that was me not paying attention to what I was doing.  It was easy to fix.

For the sleeveless versions, fabrics with nice drape would possibly work better.  Since I used what I think is a cotton broadcloth, I had a little trouble getting a nice clean finish on the tight curve of the arm area.  Some of the white serger thread is showing.  If you are using a quilting type cotton, you may want to consider using bias to finish the armhole or a rolled hem foot.  I haven’t really mastered my rolled hem foot yet, so I didn’t use it here.


I did notice that my pleats look different from the pictures in the pattern.  At first I thought it had to do with the cotton fabric, but looking back at the instructions I realized I top-stitched the pleats instead of basting them.