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!!!!!


  1. Oh Viv you always do beautiful sewing, and your dolls are so pretty, that was a great deal "for polished cotton" that is lol you always do the best horse trading around.
    Love n gs bear xoxo

  2. Viv the dressmaking is fantastic. I was happy to be able to enlarge the photos for a closer look. I've a photo of G's GG'mum in a hat that looks bigger than herself, so your hat is perfect.

    Beautifully done.

  3. Viv,

    I have them all the dolls and such even dressed ones I have had a shop full of miniatures, I withdrew them when I found out the companies all went broke, I have come across people in various fields making things, I have moulds too hundreds of them!!!! I will not part with my miniature moulds cause they were very popular when I had my shop....people can easily take small stuff travelling than the large stuff! I have doll houses and such and hubby was a builder so he makes some for me.....I have the family of doll house people from sealeys, Doreen Sinett and such and also I sculpt some too...I also have stacks of accessories to put into the doll houses and light fittings which I can still obtain....I make tiny things as well like little dolls, rocking horses, and a lot of furniture which came from the miniature magazines can too..

  4. How clever you are! When I looked at the doll I thought that it reminded me of The Paradise and then I saw your post before that and found that you were inspired by it. I was always going to do miniatures when my children grew up but then I discovered quilting instead. I can enjoy watching you do it.