Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day 2014

Dad's Mom
My Mom and her Mom
Here's to Moms and Moms to be and Moms of Moms. To Moms here and Moms gone. To my Mom and your Mom and to their Moms. And to all the Moms that ever were or will ever be 'cause we are just that freaking awesome....Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bernadette and the Sewing Workshop.

Well let's not talk about not having written anything in months.  Let's talk about writing today shall we?

Last time you remember I introduced you to Bernadette, my 16" French Fashion reproduction. Well last weekend she and I were lucky enough to attend the Sylvia MacNeil sewing workshop hosted by my friend Annick. I attended with 3 of my friends. Nancy R Nancy S and Betty H.
To prepare for this workshop, my doll, (who hither to was dressed as a young lady in full length costumes) needed all new underpinnings in a shorter style to accommodate the shorter length younger style that we would be making. I also received a request from 2 of my friends for the same and i was happy to oblige them.

5 weeks later, 3 sets of underpinnings including chemise, drawers. petticoat, hoop skirt and socks, 4 pairs of gloves 3 glove cases, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 hats with hat boxes and a protective wrapper to protect the doll during transport where created.  All hand sewn do to the fact that I had broken my knee cap at the beginning of March and couldn't use the foot pedal.
The results came out well I think..The chemise, drawer and petticoat were made from vintage baby dresses. the gloves and shoes, from vintage gloves.
The weekend was fantastic, we sewed and laughed and met many new friends.  Meeting Ms. Mac Neil was a special treat for me as I have been a fan of her's since the late 1990's.
The dress we started making is not quite done yet.  But needs to be as I have many other things to sew for my friends.  I promise to publish here when I am done. I also have several other outfits of Bernadette's that I'd love for you to see as well.
Until next time....


Monday, January 21, 2013

Beauty and the Beast


I have 2 very different projects going on right now.  I like to think of them in terms of Beauty and the Beast as one is very pretty and the other well...isn't.


The Beast is my current knitting project.  It's a shawl and it's knit in an Aran weight yarn called Amazing.  I love the colors as they are very much fall colors Greens, orange, browns and teals.  It's knit on circular needles and is just a square.  It's warm and fuzzy and HUGE .  It's hard to tell what it  is on the needles. Just kinda looks like a big yarn blob. Seems like it's taking  forever to finish it.  I could really use it to wrap up in right now as it is so cold here in the Miami of the north...
Christmas came early for me this past year. It came in November to be exact.  That's when I threw caution to the wind and finally contacted a doll artist about a doll I've had wanted to get for some time now.  Hubby of course said he would give me money towards her for my present this year.  He did the same thing last year with my lovely little antique Simon and Halbig 1249.  As you can see from her picture she is gorgeous.  I named her Bernadette and she is indeed a beauty! She is 15" tall  with an Early Bru head and beautiful blue paper weight eyes.  Her body is from Gildebrief. She has a rather plain dark brown mohair wig which I hope to change for something with a little more style.
So far I have completed her undergarments including pantaloons, chemise, bustle,corset and petticoat. The pattern for her first dress with the first dress made especially for this body from the Gildebrief magazine. I'm not sure how historically accurate the pattern is but it is very complicated like all the patterns from that particular magazine.  But I love a challenge   I found a rather expensive bit of Liberty of London fabric for it and I am also awaiting the delivery of a piece of vintage silk broadcloth as an accent color for the gown.  The pattern is suppose to be from 1870.  I want to keep her items to those that would have come from around 1868 to 1872 or '73.   Originally I had thought to keep her in mid 1860's style of a Huret or Rohmer as her head is that early. But I see her as an adult lady not as a teenager or younger girl.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No time for sewing

I haven't been doing a lot of sewing lately. My job has just been taking everything out of me.  I have been so distracted by it that I just can't seem to concentrate when I finally do get in the sewing room.  By the time I get home from work all I is sit and watch tv or go on the computer and surf the web.  I did manage to work on some knitting.  I finished the purple shawl started and almost finished a pair of socks and started another shawl. This shawl is rather big and will take me the rest of the winter to finish but that's ok.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Colette's Wardrobe part 2....the bed.

When it came out of the attic, the bed was in horrific shape.  All the bed linens where yellowed with age and dust.  They were handmade and attached to the frame by hand.  I believe that they had been fashioned from what looked like a silk dresser scarf in part.  The dust ruffle is eyelet lace.  I set to cleaning it at once by carefully removing it (the canopy is sewn onto the frame) and then soaking it in Borax.  Once clean, dry and pressed I reattached the canopy and put everything back in it's place on the frame.
What next?  Why a night gown and dressing robe had to be made. Louise Hedrick's book on French Fashion doll clothes had a wonderful pattern for not only a night gown and robe but also a very sweet night cap. The cap is trimmed with self fabric trim that I made using one of  my new pair of scalloping scissors.  All the fabric used was from vintage baby items, the night gown and cap in white cotton lawn and the robe in cream wool flannel.   The scalloped trim on the night gown was made with my sewing machine. The trim on the night gown is newer and not what I really wanted to use but after much searching, the only thing I could come up with in the time I had to get the entire project done.
Once Colette is up and ready for breakfast she gets dressed in her morning gown. As with all of her outfits this too was made from vintage fabric. It is a printed cotton in cream with black designs that resemble links in a chain.  I was able to find vintage trim that is  a perfect match to the design in the print.  It has a collar and two little pockets. I crocheted a snood in black cotton crochet thread to keep her hair in place.
Next:  What will Colette wear for an afternoon visits?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Colette's new and improved wardrobe

It's been over 2 years since I have returned to my UFDC doll club.  We meet once a month for dinner and a program on various subjects relating to the world of antique dolls.  A few months ago the program was one of my favorite's, "Dolls and their wardrobes". Many of my dolls do have several changes of clothes so I starting thinking on which ones I would be taking with me for display.  My antique Daisies and the Helen Kish Chrysalis dolls couldn't go because they were needed for the 2 programs that came after the wardrobe program.  Then I thought about my 11" Maura Mura, Marjorie, but her wardrobe really doesn't have a big WOW factor.  There was my childhood Penny Brite and the Tonner Marley's and Alice...but no they would not do either.  Only one doll stood a chance of making an impression with my fellow doll collectors.  The one doll I own who truly embodies the essence of what a Doll and her Wardrobe should be and that doll was Colette, my vintage French Fashion reproduction.
Now you all have met Colette before in previous posts and seen some of gowns I have made for her.  After looking through the items that I had already made for her what came to mind was that they seemed to be a history of my ability as a Costumer.  Her early dress are simple and well to be honest, lack detail and historic accuracy . It wasn't until I made her blue striped walking dress that i thought my skills as a costumer were finally were they needed to be.
I also discovered that, after perusing Colette's wardrobe, she was in need of several more items than she already possessed.  There were some true staples of a French Fashion's wardrobe that she was missing.
Where else does one look for Mademoiselle's belongings but her boudoir!  And what is in her boudoir...but her bed of course!
Her bed you say? Well this little lady has had one for a long time and it was stashed away in the attic for a very long time.  It was high time to get it out for an inspection too...... as it was in sorry shape. It had been on display for many years before it was sent away do to space concerns.  I knew this was were my inspiration would come from though.
More on Colette's bed in part 2..............



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Knitting for Fall

It's late August and summer is starting to wind down here in Western New York.  The hot and very dry summer has caused the leaves on some of the trees in the area to start to change color already. Nights here are getting cooler and fall is just around the corner.  

With the approach of Autumn  and cooler weather I get the urge to start some cool weather projects so of course knitting comes to mind.  At the end of last winter I had just a tiny bit to finish up on a shawlette I had started.  The pattern is called Tanta and it is made in a very soft grey hued sock yarn I got from Knit Picks. I finished it up in no time and was in the mood to start another.  
In my yarn stash was 2 skeins of a deep purple silk wool blend. They were originally intended to be a pair of socks but I didn't have the heart to hide such lovely yarn in my shoes so I decided to make a shawl instead.  I found the pattern, called Hanruni,  for free on the web and I am about half way done. It is coming along just nicely.  I am very pleased with the easiness of the pattern and i have been able to correct any knitting mistakes as I go so it is looking quite nice. 
It is a triangle shaped shawl knit from the top down on circular needles.
Since I've been in yarn mode I decided to stop at a local yarn shop on my day off today.  They didn't have a lot of yarn in the shop as they are about to move.  Last year the building that the shop was in burned  and the little shop temporarily moved across the street.  Now they are about to move back to their old location. 
I was able to find a delicious looking Merino and mohair fingering weight that will also become another shawlette. I think this one might go to one of my daughter-in-laws as a Christmas gift.