Another Tiny Tale

This tiny, all-bisque doll stands just over 2 1/2″ (6.5 cm.) tall and I love her. She is not considered to be a Lilliputian, even though she’s the same size. She was made in Germany and her body, legs and head are all one piece. Only her peg-jointed arms move. This type of doll is often called “early” all bisque, but they probably weren’t made before 1880. Her cobalt blue … Continue reading

My 17th Century Bru Fairy

Meet Mademoiselle Bru. She told me that she wants to dress in 17th century costumes. I think she wants to be a fairy. This is an early 17th century masque costume drawing by Inigo Jones (1573-1652). He was an architect, stage designer and theatrical masque designer. When I got hooked on 17th century embroidery, a good friend asked me how it applied to dolls. My first reaction was, why does … Continue reading

Judy Brown Saw My Future

I loved my dolls when I was small. There was nothing better than a new doll on Christmas morning. I played hard with my dolls, so few of them survived. As with most girls at the time, I started with baby dolls, moved on to girl dolls, then graduated to Barbie. The first doll I really remember was Marybel Gets Well. I loved making her sick or injured, then curing … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 2

Today, I’ll show you how to size a pattern, prepare your fabric, and cut out the pieces of a garment. Also, it’s time to begin to decide what fabric and trim you’ll use for the dress. I have chosen an all-bisque doll who stands 5″ tall to dress. Her early crocheted dress is sweet, but rather blah. First, I am going to make her new undies and a half slip. Both will have … Continue reading

A New Old Doll

I am sometimes intimidated by owning antique dolls over 100 years old. It is a big responsibility being the caretaker for a part of history. Antique cloth dolls intimidate me the most. They need to be protected from sunlight, humidity, temperature changes, dust, moths and other bugs, and handling by humans.   That’s why several years ago for my birthday I got two reproduction Izannah Walker dolls made by Gail … Continue reading

The Tiniest Mignonettes

Today’s post is a small one about small dolls. They are tiny, all-bisque dolls known as Lilliputians or les Lilliputiens in French. Most Lilliputians measure only 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches (6-7 cm.) tall, have dome heads with swivel necks, painted eyes, peg or wire jointed limbs, and painted blue boots or bare feet. Coleman’s The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Dolls, lists production of Lilliputians as early as 1881-82. They … Continue reading

Ah, Huret!

Adelaide Calixte Huret first patented an articulated doll with a porcelain head in 1850 in France. Her doll represented an idealized child, with a dreamy face and a light-weight, hollow gutta percha body. The earliest dolls, like mine, had glazed porcelain heads. Later Hurets were made with unglazed (or bisque) heads. All were 45cm or 17 3/4″ tall. The years from 1850 to 1880 in Paris were the Golden Age … Continue reading

Too Many Dolls

For many years, I collected every doll that caught my fancy. It was intoxicating to see a pretty face or a fine costume and take the plunge. I had so many dolls that it was hard to arrange them all in my doll cabinets. They weren’t the finest dolls, but they were pretty. I have to admit that I had dreams of redressing every one of them. It took a … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 1

I am going to walk you through every step in the creation of a small (under 10”) doll’s costume. This multi-part tutorial will tell you what materials and tools you’ll need, discuss fabric and trim selection, show the basic hand sewing stitches and techniques, and discuss how to finish the costume. I will provide free basic patterns/formulas as we go and explain how to adjust them to fit your doll … Continue reading

Supergirl and the Fairies

Supergirl is my granddaughter and my best buddy. She is almost 8 and I’ve been watching her while her mom’s at work since she was 2 months old. During the school year, I get her Monday afternoons and before school the rest of the week. Summer break is almost here, so I’ll get her full time during the week. She calls me Mimi. A few weeks ago, while taking her … Continue reading