Friday, January 21, 2011

A doll, a wedding dress and a story that continues

We gave our only granddaughter, Rachel, an American Girl Doll for Christmas.  This is Rebecca.  I sewed a few clothes for her, but being the season, I did not accomplish as much as I had wanted to.  I also found it more difficult than expected.  The pieces that you are sewing together are quite small and can be frustrating.  That being said, I did sew this outfit; a top and denim jeans and an over the shoulder purse. 

Rebecca also got a visor.  I sewed a nightgown out of flannel that I had made crib sheets out of for Rachel when she was a baby.  The bathrobe was an old nightgown of mine, pink and silky.  I never did wear it much as I tended to slide out of bed.  There was also a sun dress that all went into the box and was mailed for Christmas.  I took careful measurements of the doll as I had planned to make one more outfit without having the doll around. 

So, my model is my own teddy bear.  I really don't have that much attachment to the bear; he just belongs to me.  I bought the fabric for the wedding dress, and lace over skirt, but the beads that I sewed on the dress came from my daughter's own wedding gown.  I knew I had saved these for a reason at the time she got married and had alterations made to her dress.  I just had no idea at the time what I was saving it for.

The veil just fell into place also.  The beads on the headpiece were also from my daughter's wedding dress.  They just fit perfectly onto a barrette.  The veil...well that actually comes from my own wedding veil from 1966. 

The veil had been in my mother's house and I had totally forgotten about it.  It was in a white box and my mother had written on the box that it was my veil.  Fast forward 34 years.  After my mother passed, my brother and I took what we wanted from the house.  The rest was going to be auctioned off.  Now imagine this.  My mother's house, the house where I grew up, had a full basement, two full floors, and a completely and fulled packed attic.  Unless we would have spent 2 or 3 months going through everything, I might have found the veil.  In fact, I did not even know my mother had saved it.

So a few years ago, my dear childhood friend, Connie, said that at the auction (which I did not attend) she had seen the box with my veil and she won it at the auction.  And then, bless her heart, she gave it to me. 

So, of course, part of that veil was perfect for Rachel's doll.  And so, history carries on.


  1. Rachel called right away to thank Grandma!! "this is the best day of my life" she told her mom. She is going to take great care of the doll and dress and have it on the gift table at her wedding!! Now that is looking ahead!! Hope we will be there to see it!! I asked her who the doll would marry which sort of confused her!!!

    This dress really shows the care and love Schnitzel has for her grandchildren - I know it was frustrating to finish but as usual, her German tenacity and love showed through!!

    Love you, Trout

  2. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Your wedding dress you sewed is just beautiful and the veil carries much meaning. I'm sure you have the rest of the veil? It may be a part of another wedding for your granddaughter or grandchildren. The tradition of "something old" at the weddings. Dale: your comments are priceless!!

  3. She will have many enjoyable years with her dolls and clothes. Will take a picture of Rachel and Rebecca in her wedding gown. Thank you. Love..Rachel and Erika
    We would like to take you to the American Girl cafe this summer as a thank you.

  4. Anonymous1:20 PM

    Susan, that brought tears to my eyes. That does not happen very often. rw

  5. Susan, the wedding dress is exquisite! And, the story of the dress and, especially, the veil make it all the more wonderful. Beautiful work. The denim outfit is really nice, too. I know those jeans were not easy! Rachel is one lucky little lady.

  6. That was a wonderful story, Susan! Thank goodness for your friend being at the auction. This doll's wedding dress is very special indeed. Maybe one day it will belong to the doll of your great-granddaughter :) Great work on the outfits!

  7. What a sweet friend!! It is so fun to pass on things to out grand-kids that have sentimental value. Our girls had American Girl Dolls. I sewed some out fits for them, I sewed dr. scrubs when one had to have her adenoids removed. We even made some furniture, it was fun.

  8. Oh, this is such a lovely story and these outfits are beautiful beyond telling, so full of love. What a lucky granddaughter! I'm thinking of getting American Girl Dolls for my granddaughters, though they are a little young. But I notice some of the dolls I would have gotten are no longer made. Perhaps I should hurry.

    I have, still, on a trunk in my quilting room, a doll my grandmother sewed things for more than half a century ago - well, about 60 years ago! For one dress she took me downtown and let me chose the fabric from a department store there. It took me so long to decide but eventually I chose a yellow and white stripe with pale blue flowers. That is what she is wearing, and my memories of my dear grandmother are still so strong! Your granddaughter is so lucky, and so are you!

  9. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Laurie Says...congrats on a great grandma job. Sure wish I knew how to sew, but maybe at this late stage it is better to stick to what I do know how to do. Loved the story of the veil. Oh my, that is so sweet. I loved the purse you made. Do you think the doll is ready for French travels? Rachel is a lucky little girl and she WILL always remember this and keep those dolly clothes to be handed down. I had an aunt who made me some doll clothes and a mother in law who was a fabulous sewer. I have kept most everything. It is a treasure.
    Love -- laurie

  10. What a beautiful story and the outfits are adorable.

  11. I love this story! How fun that you have a grand daughter that enjoys dolls. I love them myself.

  12. What a beautiful story! My mom would sew for use, and made Barbie and other doll clothes. I do not have anything left except a knitted sweater my son has on his small gorilla, Andy. I miss those days. I think I will sew for my grand daughter one day. I long for it!