One Pattern, Three Dresses, Part 1

It is time for the Triple Flip girls to get new dresses. I am going to show you how to use the basic small doll dress pattern from Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 6 to make three very different dresses. I reduced the size on my copier and just used the paper patterns to cut out the dresses. Since I used silk, I didn’t use tape to hold the patterns … Continue reading

Pondering Provenance

Merriam Webster defines provenance as: “the history of ownership of a valued object or work of art or literature.”  As doll collectors, we rarely get to know anything about the provenance of a doll we purchase. We have all been told questionable stories of a doll’s history. How often has a dealer told you that a doll is from his or her “private collection”? But who owns the provenance of … Continue reading

Rules, Guidelines, and Parameters, Oh My!

Not being a fan of rules, I sure seem to have a lot of them when it comes to costuming my dolls. And I have a lot fewer of them than many more stringent historical costumers. The antique doll costume police may not agree with my rules, but I’m okay with that. When I decided to write my list of do’s and don’t’s, it made me rather sad to have so … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 7

Today, I’ll show you how I decorated my doll’s dress, then share some ideas for how to finish yours. I am going to use lace and metallic trim. When I added the lace to the slip I found the right side of the lace. Well, if your lace has a directional pattern like mine, you don’t have to analyze it again each time you use it. Just compare the pattern … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 6

Well, we’re almost done. Today, I’ll provide you with a basic pattern for a “french-style” dress and show you how to make it. Next week, in the final lesson, I’ll give you different ideas on how to embellish the dress and suggest closures. I have added a Tutorials menu heading to the top of my blog and created a rudimentary directory with links to all the Beginning Sewing Lessons. Soon, I’ll add … Continue reading

Another Finished Project, Maybe

This weekend, I finished my Huret’s jacket, maybe. The dress she’s wearing underneath has puffy sleeves, so it looks a bit lumpy at the shoulders. Eventually, she’ll wear it with a matching (or contrasting) skirt and a non-puffy-sleeved blouse. This is the pattern I used for the jacket. It is from Francois Theimer’s wonderful reproduction of La Poupee Modele. The original instructions call it a house shirt and recommend white … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 5

Since many of the things we learned while sewing the slip are the same for the undies, today I’m going to add a few new techniques. As always, read through the directions before you start sewing. At the end of today’s post, I’ve added two more tips for more efficient hand sewing. First, stitch the entire front seam of the undies about 1/8″ from the front edge. The front is … Continue reading

My Spot

This is where I sit and sew. Just like the Emily in the HAVERTY’s commercial, I love my chair. Even though I got it at a different store, I picked the style, fabric and trim. It was supposed to have nail-head trim on the wings and arms, but I opted for velvet piping instead, much softer. I don’t love the pillow I made, it’s too soft. One day, I’ll make … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 4

Now it’s time to gather the top edge of the slip, attach a waistband, sew lace to the bottom edge (optional) and add a drawstring. To gather the top edge, I thread my needle with a length of thread that is longer than twice the circumference of my slip. I will be sewing two lines of gathering threads all the way around the top edge. Begin sewing just beyond the … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 3

Today, I am going to show you how to begin sewing your doll’s slip. We will sew the back seam, finish the open back edges and hem the slip. Next week, we’ll attach the waistband and sew on the lace. Read through the instructions before you begin. At the end, I’ve listed a few hints for easier, faster stitching. In the 19th century, undergarments, blouses and other garments that were … Continue reading