Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dresser Full of Antique Lace

I have this hutch or dresser on sale on eBay at the moment so I thought before it disappears I would take a photo and blog it so I don't forget the way I spent a miserable, cold and wet weekend recently.  I chose all the tiny pieces from my collection of antique and vintage laces and wrapped them around tiny cards so they look like items from an Edwardian haberdashery shop or maybe a miniature dressmaker's business. I love the old creams and ivory colours that are looking a bit grey with age and the collection in the dresser really looks like the real thing.  Maybe if I find another dresser or hutch, I might repeat the exercise for myself but at the moment I am not building an Edwardian haberdashery shop, I did it for the sheer pleasure of creating something that looked authentic and I know it will go to a good home. The lace on cards are glued onto the shelves so cannot be removed and unwrapped.

This is the dresser full of bolts of antique laces and trims.  Sadly the cupboards at the bottom do not open, they are purely for decoration otherwise I would have filled them with goodies as well.

Here is a close-up of the laces on the shelves.  All of them are classed as either antique or vintage, everything is old.......

Monday, September 23, 2013

Knitted Baby Dolls Clothes

I have been knitting - dresses for baby dolls.  The large doll is a normal size dolls house baby doll who is 7cm long while the little vintage plastic one is only 5 cm long (or 1 1/2 inches long in the old scale).  Over the years I have bought a tub-load of very fine wool and silk/rayon threads on large cones originally intended for machine knitting but they make great knitting wool for dolls house size garments.  The large dolls dress was fiddly but nothing compared to the small one.  Her dress is knitted in a silk/rayon thread not much thicker than sewing cotton.  It was the sleeves that presented me the most challenge as they were knitted separately and then sewn into the armholes later.  I guess she can be a big doll for the dolls house girl doll to play with.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

1/12 scale Hats

I have made these hats from mini-hat straw which I bought in UK. This is the first few as I have made several more "blank" hats which still need to be decorated with ribbons, flowers and feathers. Most of my inspiration comes from illustrations from Edwardian clothing catalogues and fashion plates - I love those huge, overly-embellished hats from that period.  I think my favourite hat among this lot is the black one with two tiny real Peacock feathers on the sides and also the one with the red feather and the binding and flowers made from red and turquoise silk fabric. The outfit that will go with this one will be a matching checked skirt and a black silk jacket trimmed with tiny red braid.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Winter Bride

I have just finished this doll who is dressed as a Winter bride.  She started out just wearing a cream "Walking Dress" but the dress got prettier and prettier so at some stage, it turned into a wedding dress, or rather, a wedding skirt and jacket.  Underneath, she is wearing long pantaloons, a straight basic petticoat, a full frilled petticoat then the skirt and the jacket.  Her veil is very delicate, being made from net that is about the same vintage as the bride is supposed to be, ie. 1890-1900. This doll started out as the one second from right in my collection of broken and damaged dolls. Her hip and thigh have been mended with air-drying clay so from the outside at least, she looks as good as new.  Her dress is made from a Ladies pyjama top which I bought for $5 at St Vinnies Charity shop and the roses are rolled ribbon roses made from 3mm variegated apricot silk ribbon.
Winter bride, showing skirt with apron and jacket top with collar and fitted cuffs.

Side view of dress, showing all the froth and bubble of the skirt in comparison to the
plain and austere jacket top.

Rear view of bride with the veil lifted up over her head.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

From a humble maid to a Lady.....

Here is the first doll to undergo the transformation.  I actually finished up with three of these maids with the same black dress, white apron with the dreaded nylon lace glued on in pleats around the edge and identical hair-do.  When I eventually do a maid, she will have a striped dress and an antique broderie anglaise apron but in the meantime, here is a Lady customer from the late Victorian period in a very posh walking gown.

From this:
To this:

Another added bonus is the grey fabric of the dress.  I paid $1 for a grey shirt-blouse at a charity shop which I thought was "polished cotton".  It wasn't until I got home and started to cut it up that I noticed the tag down the bottom near the hem which said 100% Pure Silk!!! Wowee! That was the best $1 that I ever spent!! This whole outfit was sewn by hand with tiny running stitches as I didn't want to ruin it by sewing on the machine and getting it wrong. I dyed the tatted edging the same sludgy pink as the pleated ribbon which I bought way back in 1995 by mail order from England. I've looked everywhere on-line and I can't find it anymore. The furry fringe down either side of the centre front panel was a heavy gimp braid which was just the right colour. I unpicked it back to the last layer and it looked like a looped fringe. Once I had sewn it on to the dress, I cut it back to 1/4 inch wide and worked the Feather Stitch embroidery with some antique silk thread which again was just the right colour. Her hat had to have a large top to cover that large "bun" on top of her head but it suits the outfit anyway and was trimmed with the same unpicked gimp braid as the dress (with the loopy fringe left uncut) and a couple of satin ribbon roses. So far I have made her two totally different handbags and I have discarded them both because they were not quite right. So until I get her a decent handbag, she is still a work in progress.

So one down, seven to go!!!!!

From Rags to Riches and beyond...

I have just discovered the joys of dressing 1/12th scale dolls - ever since I watched every episode of " The Paradise" on television and became totally fascinated in the gorgeous Edwardian costumes.  So, my next project will be a mini-Paradise Ladies Wear Shop circa shop will sell ladies dresses, skirts, blouses and jackets; hats; handbags; fans - in fact accessories of all types.  Just thinking of the fun I am going to have sends me into raptures of delight - really it does!!  So in anticipation of all the mini-models, customers and shop assistants that are going to inhabit my shop, I got what I consider to be a marvelous buy on ebay.  SIX dressed dolls, all damaged.  Broken porcelain hips, legs, feet - nothing that couldn't be mended and besides they will all get covered up eventually. Also two other dolls that I bought cheap separately from the rest because they were also damaged.

I had already bought a book called "Making and Dressing Dolls' House Dolls" by Sue Atkinson which is fantastic for the patterns and then I borrowed another book called "Women's Fashions of the Early 1900s" which is a catalog of ready made garments, from the local library.  I didn't want to give it back so my very understanding husband suggested that I try to find my own copy - again on ebay - there was only one advertised and now it is mine, ALL mine!!!

I stripped all the clothes off the dolls - they were glued on anyway.  I am on the war-path against glue and nylon lace. The clothes on these dolls were cheap and cheerful with modern materials and minimal stitching....just more globs of glue and yards and yards of nylon lace!!!  So watch this space as all of these ladies get transformed.

The dolls from left to right: the first doll was missing a leg. She now has a clay one and both will be painted to represent black stockings. Second doll had a cracked foot and the transfer of her face has slipped so that one eye is higher than the other. The third doll only had her rolled fringe of hair around the front of her face unattached, fourth and fifth dolls had broken pelvises (exactly the same break on each doll where their legs had been strung on back to front and then someone had tried to twist the doll around to match the legs).  Both have been restrung and their torsos glued together and secured with glued gauze. Sixth doll had a foot broken into three pieces, seventh doll had a broken hip (she still has the top of one thigh missing) and the last doll had both legs glued on too far which made her way too short. The pipe-cleaners have been extended so that she is more in proportion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is this Better?? New study photo

Is this Better??

I shifted the furniture around so that the clock is in the corner and the filing cabinet is in the other corner so  now I can make a better feature of the fireplace and surrounds. It has opened the room up as well as cover up the bad corner until I can get it fixed somehow.....