Progress is slow, but Lily Auguste will finally get new clothes. Her first outfit will be in the enfantine style. In other words, dressed as a young teen/pre-teen.
Before LA arrived, I pored over many of my doll books searching for inspiration. My criteria for choosing costumes for my dolls starts with finding a dress that appeals to me aesthetically and is from approximately the same time period as the doll. I am not particularly attracted to fussy or over-designed styles.
Then I consider whether or not I can execute it. I’m sewing because I enjoy it, not to wow the world with sophisticated, convoluted handiwork. I’ll leave that to someone else.
Lastly, I look at my fabric and trim stash to see if I have the materials to make the dress. I don’t always choose the same fabric as the inspiration. As many of you know, I tend toward using BLUE fabric.
When I attended one of the Rose Percy fundraising events several years ago and got an up-close view of her exquisite 1863-64 wardrobe, I was inspired.
Rose Percy is an English wax doll who has been used as a fund raiser for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, then the Red Cross and now, under the care of the Grovian Doll Museum, for numerous charities.
To learn more about her read, The Remarkable Rose Percy, Duty’s Most Faithful Child by Michael Canadas and David Robinson. The photos alone are worth the price, but the text is very interesting and well written and gives context to the photos. The book was originally offered only to those attending the fundraising events,
but has since been revised and is available on their Ruby Lane page, here.
Or watch the video of the same name on Youtube.
Here’s my inspiration dress. It is a simple, white cotton dress with plaid ribbon trim.
I remembered that I had a generous 87″ (221 cm) of this BLUE, silk, plaid ribbon, that I bought because I loved it, a while ago. But I didn’t have a doll big enough (until LA) for whom to use it. It’s 1 ½” (39 mm) wide.
I know my Lily wasn’t made until approximately 1867 and the dress is from earlier, but the original patterns offered in La Poupee Modele showed similar enfantine-style dresses as late as 1869. So, I ask the historical- (hysterical-) accuracy police to cut me some slack. I want to make this dress.
If you are interested in Rose Percy’s wardrobe, there’s another Youtube video you might enjoy. It features 3 well-known doll costume experts closely examining some of the items in Rose’s trousseau. If you ask me, I think the video hints that the creation of patterns is in the works. We’ll see.
But I can’t wait. So, after a long Dolly Math session, I’ve begun tackling the 11 tucks on the skirt. I had to make sure that the size and spacing of the tucks was right before I got started.
I’m using the same Nelona, swiss batiste that I used on her undergarments.
She’s going to need a set of hoops to best show off my handiwork. But what kind?
Rose Percy is also featured in The Collector’s Book of Dolls’ Clothes by the Coleman’s. In it, there is an inventory of Rose’s trousseau which includes, “Hoop petticoat of barred muslin with three inserted cane hoops and a frill around the bottom.”
I don’t know what “barred” muslin is. If you know, please share. If not, I’ll use a heavier, Sea Isle, cotton for her hoops.
I’m already planning her next costume. A couple of weeks ago I fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole and got very inspired by a new direction for her trousseau. I’ll tell you about it later.
Note: Recently, I’ve shared links to items you might want to purchase. I don’t get any compensation for this. I just share stuff I use and like. Early in my blogging life, I had a selling agreement with Amazon, but they dropped me because no one bought anything through my links. In the future I may try again to get paid for advertising their stuff.