Maryellen’s School Dress

I knew immediately upon seeing this lime green plaid that I wanted to make something for Ellie out of it. I know it’s basically the same color scheme as her pajamas. It’s because she looks so great in green!

For patterns, I’d originally planned something else but then found The2ndLifeMercantile on etsy, who sells a handful of resized vintage McCall’s patterns for dolls! I immediately grabbed three to try out, including this Jumper & Blouse pattern.

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Every so often, I’ll start to think I’m getting close to being able to make doll clothes to sell, and then a challenging pattern will humble me. This was one such pattern. The instructions are very minimal and not always very clear. There are a few illustrations alongside the instructions, but not many, and I actually found myself looking up outfits sewn with this pattern on etsy to use the listing pictures to clarify things I didn’t quite understand. That’s not to say the patterns aren’t any good, just that you’ll need a general understanding of construction so the pattern can just guide you here or there.

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The pattern also does one of my pet-peeves, which is when instructions for the pieces (like “cut 2 of fabric, 2 of lining”) are printed beside the pattern piece instead of on it. I suspect it’s because the seller kept all the original markings and such on the pattern pieces (which aren’t black on white, btw, so you’ll need more ink than usual, though pieces only take up a couple pages), which is actually very neat. Still, it meant I had to rewrite the instructions on my own. At least that’s easier to do with paper patterns than the tissue patterns, where I usually see it!

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I wish I’d thought to put lace around the collar, but didn’t until too late. Uh well! I think the whole thing turned out quite cute. I’m not 100% sold on the pink buttons, but those are easy to change out with black if in the fall I still haven’t accepted them. Otherwise, I’m happy with how this turned out, and glad I bought the pattern. It’s really not as hard as I’ve probably made it sound, there’s just less hand-holding than in a lot of other patterns. I think the idea of shrinking downvintage patterns is pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see how the others I bought turn out!

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5 thoughts on “Maryellen’s School Dress

  1. I’m sold on the pink buttons. I always see Maryellen as young, given her impulsive behavior in the book, so I think this is a charming kid look. Gorgeous plaid!

  2. Mary Ellen does look adorable in her new jumper and blouse.

    It is so funny, I was actually flipping through the 2nd Life Mercantile etsy store this morning before I got onto WordPress.

    • I got a couple other patterns from then I’m excited to try out. Makes me wonder how much trouble it would to shrink down some other patterns to doll size…

  3. It’s a lovely dress! I have been looking at those patterns from that etsy shop and wondering what they were like. Thank you for reviewing the patterns!

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