How Many Grails Are There?

Lily Auguste was created in 1867. I have decided.  Since she’s a grand 29”, exhibition-size fashion doll on a luxury wooden body, I want to believe that she was created for the 1867  International Exposition in Paris.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I have collected books and magazine annuals (or archives) from that year for costume inspiration.  So far, I have collected three annuals (bound compilations of … Continue reading

Tailoring – A Casual Approach

A good friend of mine entered one of her antique dolls in the UFDC competition several years ago. The doll was wearing a dress my friend made. I don’t know if she was happiest that she won a blue ribbon or that the judges thought that the dress was original to the doll. That is the goal, isn’t it, to create new garments that look like they were made 150 … Continue reading

I Am Not a Robot

I’ve finished the 11-tuck skirt of Lily Auguste’s first dress. The tucks are not perfect.  Looking back at my inspiration, a dress made by school girls for Rose Percy, I think they were driven to perfection by their instructors, used a very precise sewing machine or they were robots.  I am not a robot.  I am human and I can live with my wonky tucks.  Whilst hand sewing 660 inches … Continue reading

The Checks Don’t Match

I’m writing this post while sitting with DH uncomfortably on the top row of bleachers at a truck & tractor pull on a cool Saturday night. My butt hurts and I’m bored. So this final pair of Little and Large from the Fashion Museum of Bath is meant to distract me from my plight.  I really like this doll. The Museum describes her as follows: Object number: BATMC VIII.01.70 Object: … Continue reading


This “Little and Large” pairing is dressed for an afternoon stroll. Here is how the Fashion Museum of Bath describes the doll and her dress: Object number: No NumberObject: Fashion doll, circa 1880s Description: Circa 1880s doll with bisque porcelain head, shoulders and arms. Purple silk skirt and bodice. A good quality fashion doll, popular 1860s to 1880s with realistic body shape designed to show off the latest fashion. Probably … Continue reading

Plum Perfect

The next “Little and Large” pair from the Fashion Museum of Bath’s Collection Stories exhibit features shades of plum silk. The Museum’s description of the doll tells the story of her journey to Bath: Object number: BATMC VIII.01.7 Object: Fashion doll, circa 1870s Description: Circa 1870s fashion doll with wax head in plum satin and cream lace dress. Original catalogue: Early 19th century. Wax head, arms and lower leg. Powdered … Continue reading

1880’s BLUE Dresses

Yesterday, I shared a solitary doll from the Fashion Museum of Bath’s Little and Large exhibit. But the main focus of the exhibit is side-by-side comparisons of human-sized and doll fashions. The first doll/dress pair from the exhibit is beautiful in BLUE. I know, I’m obsessed with BLUE. I’m not ashamed to admit it and I’m not interested in a cure. Here’s the Museum’s description of the doll: Object number: … Continue reading

We Need to Go Back to Bath

“We need to go back to Bath.” That’s what I told DH when I saw on Facebook that the Fashion Museum of Bath (England) was opening an exhibit called “Little and Large”, featuring people-sized 19th century fashion alongside dolls dressed in clothing from the same period.  Of course he said, “okay”. But it’s really not possible for us right now. I truly wish it was.  When we visited Bath in … Continue reading

Machine Sewing for Antique Dolls?

The sewing machine for home use was first created around 1850. It was quickly adopted by home sewers.  So it is not unusual to find machine-sewn clothing on antique dolls made after the mid-19th century, whether professionally made or home sewn.  I was surprised to learn that even the trousseau of Rose Percy contains machine-sewn items. Learning this was a revelation to me. Her wardrobe was sewn by students in … Continue reading

I Chose…

I didn’t sew a stitch this weekend.  But I breathed the soft Spring mountain air, listened to the birds sing, checked on the Nuthatch nest perched precariously (and messily) on a ledge on our porch, ate in a diner with a dog who visited every table when the food was served, petted a puppy, visited the exquisite Gaudineer Knob to experience it in Spring, found a beautiful lake, discovered wild … Continue reading