Sunday, February 21, 2016

Beautiful Girls

A long, long time ago, I made clothes for these girls.

It seems like ages ago, and it probably was about 20 years, now that I think about it.  The dolls are all older, pre-WWI German bisque for the most part.  One I had from the family, and others I've accumulated over the years.  All of them, with the exception of one (the flowered dress right of center), came to me either with no clothing at all, or with her original garments in such tatters they couldn't even be used to make a pattern for new ones.

I do remember that this was done pre-Internet, because I spent some happy hours in libraries and bookstores, researching this type of doll, what they would have worn and what children of the era would have worn as well.  There are still a few books on my shelves from this period that I just can't bear to give away.

Each of these outfits was made by hand.  In saying by hand, I'm not just saying by me, but really "by hand," not by machine.  I tried using the machine, and while it was okay for some of the heavier fabrics, like the green striped cotton, it just chewed up the cotton lawn and China silks that I used most of the time, and I wasn't putting 100 year old vintage lace anywhere near the machine.

The hats are mine, too, made of bits of buckram and milliner's wire, covered in layers of gathered silk.

Several of the girls are re-wigged (the blonde with the long curls being the most obvious example), but other than that I've left their physical flaws alone.  Several are missing some fingers and a few are wobbly in the joints, but their stands hold them up, at least until I can get around to restringing them.

The girls are displayed on the top of the fabric shelves in my workroom.  They keep a watchful eye on my work, and occasionally, I think, a judgmental one.  If I ever look up and see them holding score cards -- 5.8, 5.8, 6.0, 5.6 -- they're moving to another room.

And yes, my entire workroom is painted that obnoxious shade of grass green.  I love it.

1 comment:

Sharon L said...

Wow! Such a beautiful and stylish group of onlookers! Happy to see someone who truly appreciates them.