I didn’t take a nap yesterday afternoon. I got started on the 17th century fairy costume for my Bru (see My 17th Century Bru Fairy).   This is my inspiration. I will be creating the costume from the inside out, starting with the smock. The smock is like a long-sleeved chemise made out of linen. One of my doll friends found some very fine, antique linen yardage at a flea … Continue reading

Not motivated…

Today, I just can’t get myself going. I stayed up late last night finishing the new Stephen King novel. It is a beautiful hot summer day in my back yard, but last week the mosquitos arrived for their summer stay.  They love me. I don’t love them. So, I’ll just tell you about my weekend. I left the doll show last Saturday feeling rather sad. There were loads of empty spaces for … 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

How Do You Doll Show? (and a sermon/rant)

After showing in and attending doll shows for more than 20 years, you’d think I would be tired of going to them. Nope, I still love to attend. Living in the Washington, DC area has its doll perks. We have the Eastern National show in Gaithersburg 4 times each year. And one is coming up this weekend. When I first became interested in doll collecting, there were many more doll shows. … Continue reading

Kestner 143

In my collection, I own several dolls that are not in the two main categories I collect: fashion and all-bisque dolls. My interest in tiny and small dolls extends to small bisque-head dolls with composition bodies. One of my favorites is my Kestner 143. What a face! She wears a sweet, almost smiling expression. For many years, when I was looking at a group of antique dolls at a doll show … 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

Back to the 17th Century

Last month I told you about my 17th century embroidery on-line course, Cabinets of Curiosities (CofC). Well, I got the first lesson on May 1, and expect lesson 2 next week. The first few lessons are about the history and anatomy of 17th century embroidered caskets, so I don’t have much to report on that front except that I’m getting more and more excited to get started stitching. Since I … 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