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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm back.....

Hello!  I'm back. Yes after a 2 year absence i am back writing my blog.  Where have I been you ask?  Well after being out or work for a year and a half I got a job.  One which I really liked.  That was over 2 years ago. Now the sad part is, that business is about to go out of business and by the end of the year I will again be out of work.  Of course the sewing business is still up and running but I will again be searching for a new place of employment.
In the mean time I will try to keep this updated.  I have so many wonderful doll things to share and some quilting and knitting  too!   Next time I will be presenting Colette's new improved wardrobe!