Reshaping a Straw Hat

When decorating hats for dolls, I prefer not to over adorn. I don’t believe my dolls’ hats should weigh them down, but should complement the doll and the costume. No Carmen Miranda conglomerations for me. For the second doll, I reshaped a cheap, craft store straw hat. I used a simple straw hat, but changed its shape. Since these inexpensive craft store hats are sewn together, not glued, they can be … Continue reading

Adorning a Straw Hat

Two of my flip dolls now have new straw hats. I’ll show you how I “made” one of the hats today and the other one tomorrow. This one gave me a bit of trouble. For the first doll, I used a flat brimmed “boater” style hat. I always buy tiny straw hats when I find them at the craft store. There’s so much I can do to manipulate and adorn them … Continue reading

Three Wee Wigs

The triple flip girls didn’t want to be bald, so I made them wigs. The wigs are three different colors and three variations of the same wig-making method. When I make new wigs for old dolls, my goal is to make them from appropriate material in an appropriate color and style. I do not attempt to fool anyone into thinking that the wig is original, that would be cheating. For such … Continue reading

THE Mignonette

If I could only have 2 dolls, my Huret would be one and my Sustrac mignonette would be the other. Like my Huret, this doll required the sale of many other dolls to save up enough to buy her. Although unmarked, in his Mademoiselle Mignonette, Poupee de poche, Francois Theimer attributes this distinctive doll to Fernand Sustrac. Sustrac applied for a patent for the doll’s articulation on February 7, 1877. … Continue reading

One Pattern, Three Dresses, Part 4

Dress 3 is done. I’m not sure about the ribbon belt, though. I’ll decide later. In this tutorial, I will show you one way to add a skirt to the basic dress and how to sew lace to lace. To make it, I started with the bodice and finished it like the basic pattern, except for the bottom edge, which I left unfinished. There are several different options to finish … Continue reading

Why so White?

My doll collection contains caucasian dolls almost exclusively. Why? I have owned and sold many black dolls, but so far, none have made the cut for my permanent collection. Since bisque dolls during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were made predominately in France and Germany, they reflected the population. When ethnic dolls were made, they were often made as novelties and were of poor quality. Several firms made limited numbers … Continue reading

Even Tinier

There is a miniature doll/toy shop that lives on a shelf in my dining room. Many years ago, I purchased a set of 8 wooden plate chargers that I was going to paint and decorate for dinner parties. I still own 8 unfinished chargers. One of them lives under this display. Just click on any of the pictures to enlarge them. At the back, there’s a hutch that holds tiny … Continue reading

One Pattern, Three Dresses, Part 3

The second dress is done and even though it is silk dupioni, like dress one, it is completely different. My first step was to cut one more piece out of both the fabric and lining, the back pleat. I decided that it should be 1 5/8″ high and cut at a 60 degree angle. I used a plastic lid to draw the curve with my mechanical chalk pencil onto the … Continue reading

One Pattern, Three Dresses, Part 2

I cut my linings for all three dresses from an off-white gauzy cotton I purchased many years ago in an Indian sari shop. It was inexpensive so I purchased several yards and may never run out. Since my fabrics and linings all tend to fray, I painted all the edges with my Gail Wilson Fray Preventer. Then I spread them out on waxed paper to dry. The first dress I … Continue reading

A Beautiful Mignonette

I’ve shown pictures of this doll several times, but she has not been formally introduced to you. She is a 6″ (15.5 cm) all-bisque mignonette made by the German firm of Simon & Halbig (S&H). They produced many premium quality dolls and this surely is one of them. She is unmarked, but unmistakably S&H. With her sweet face and shy smile, she charmed me. Her brows are delicately feathered and her face painting … Continue reading