Follow by Email

Thursday, November 6, 2014

French Fashion's bright coloring

I have finished an outfit {kit from Alice} for my doll made by her also. I just love her gowns. Very involved sewing, and very detailed. Isn't that hat to die for?

Monday, October 27, 2014

How do you measure….

how far you've come when doing an insane amount of beading and embroideries? I have done two more of the motifs but still have a lot to do. And it's taking a lot of tiny seed pearls to complete each one. So as promised pictures to show what I've done. Doesn't seem like much does it? But it sure took a lot of time.

On to the next one.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A long way to go…….

Now that I'm back to indoor things, I brought out something I have been putting off working on for some time. It will take many hours of hand embroidery before I am done with this. It's the court gown I saw at the V & A museum in England when I was there in the back room viewing beautiful gowns.
  I have started, but there is so much to be done not only on the long train, but the skirt and bodice as well, that it will be awhile before I have completed it. From time to time I'll show you how it's coming along, but just don't expect to see it finished any time soon.

As you can see there is a lot to do, and these motifs are used more then once, which means once I'm done with one…. I have to do it again and again.

It's a good start, but a ways down the road, I will be a lot happier . All of the larger motifs, I am doing on a fine piece of crinoline . Then I will cover the back with glue and once dry I will cut them out and hand sew them down where they belong on the gown. It will keep the gown fabric from becoming over worn and shabby. It will fit a 21" American Model by Tonner.
 Am I out of my mind to want to do this?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bling on Steroids !

Sometimes I get an idea for a gown for one of my dolls, and begin gathering up the fabrics, laces, and trims I will need in order to complete what I envision it to look like. Only then something comes up, or I can't find what I want or need, or life just seems to get in the way. Sometimes it takes a couple of years to get back around to being able to work on the piece.
  That is what happened with this gown. Now, {a couple of years later}I have just completed a new gown for Cissy. Massive amounts of rhinestones later, and you have bling beyond anything you could imagine. I love the way it turned out. It's heavy and tight to get on, but once you see it, I hope you will love it as much as I do.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sometimes you don't need a partner…. To Dance.

This Eugenia Lane doll, has been dressed from the costume pattern provided by Marilyn Stauber, at the UFDC convention. Rows of poofs accented with small gold lace make up the skirt. The netting is a burnished gold color with tiny gold sequins and embroidery through out. Underlay is a pale yellow silk. The bodice was also created with the same fabric, and tiny gold lace along the top bodice edge. Then a beautiful gold lace of a wider dimension graces the curving neckline, accenting and drawing attention to her lovely shoulders.
  The bouquet at her waist has been made of golden velvet leaves, roses and a ribbon bow.
  A tiny golden teardrop on a chain, and a tiara of woven strands of metal finish the picture of a beautiful young lady ready to dance.

Of course it would help if she only had a partner.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Costume Retake

I decided to retake the pictures of this costume, to show you where I got the idea from.
I also tucked the skirt up in the back, as I had forgotten to do that before. So please look at this page from the Godey's Fashions for 1875. The gown I reproduced is the blue one, second from the right.

  I hope this affords you a better view of this gown and also shows the origin of the design. Still looks really beautiful complete with her hat.

Now That's….. a Hat!

Finishing touches for the green dress, and here is a green straw hat decorated with dark green netting, ribbon, velvet leaves, and feather boa. Just the perfect thing to finish off this glorious green velveteen and silk walking dress.

The straw hat is hand sewn, not glued. I never use glue if I can help it.
I think the hat finishes of this dress perfectly, and was just what she needed. It also shows off her beautiful hair style. Now I can sit back and enjoy her fashionable glance, like she was intended to be enjoyed. I never thought to see her in one piece again, but there she is. Eugenia Lane.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Elegant Lady

A red-head in green, and looking very much an elegant lady.

You would never know to look at her, that she has been in pieces, stored in a box for a number of years. I never tackled the job of putting her back together, as her left arm was in so many pieces. This was a job of vast patience. Then I had to find something to wrap the arm and reenforce the chest area, to hold up when I put the arms back in place. I have held my breath the hold time I worked on her, including creating the pattern and then fitting the gown. If she had come apart while I worked on her, I really doubt she would ever have looked like this.

I choose a gown from a Godeys Fashions page, for December 1875. I still have to make her hat, but that will happen soon.
The gown is made out of green velveteen, and silk, with real mink fur trimmings.

Due to the fact she was so badly broken, I didn't make the bodice, nor the sleeves as tight as I would have liked. If her arms had broken off, that would have been the end of this project, and I really just wanted her to be dressed and look like what she is, a beautiful lady called Eugenia Lane. This doll was  for a Eugene Or. UFDC conference. 

  This part of the design was very interesting to figure out.

Well Marilyn what do you think? 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


it takes awhile to complete a gown. This one {also from a fashion plate} was a little difficult to complete, and needed revisions more than once. But in the end, it was finished looking just beautiful. The pictures look green, but the color is a dark teal blue.

  The blouse is of a fine cotton lawn, with lace overlay around the bodice inset. I have had that piece of fabric for some time. {Does that make it vintage?} Now was the time to use a part of it. I added a brooch pin of vintage black jet beads at the neckline, that I created just for this ensemble.

  The skirt, jacket, and hat were of a teal taffeta, lined with white cotton lawn {for the skirt} and a teal lining in the jacket and hat. The skirt has six gores, after I had to remove two of them due to the fullness at the bottom of the skirt. This is a walking dress, or something worn shopping. The top of the skirt forms a deep V shape in the brighter silk accent piece. Over each joined gore section is another accent piece of the same silk. On top of that is a nine inch black knot work appliqué . This decoration on the bottom of the skirt and jacket sleeves, varies from the fashion plate picture. This looked better, but retained most of the design from the fashion plate.
  The jacket laps over in front and sports the same knot work appliqué and silk accent as the skirt. Mind you, every bit of those black appliqués are hand sewn down. I just hate the look of glued stuff. It's messy, unrealistic and not pretty to look at. So I never use glue. That means I have to hand sew a lot. I really don't mind that. I think it looks better.

  The hat was a joy to create. I really love these old hats, with all the feathers and ribbons, lace and bows. This one's brim turns up in back, making it easy to perch forward on the head. A frill of black vail netting hangs free in the back. Black &  teal blue feathers, along with some pretty blue ribbon, and a touch of black knot appliqués complete the hat's design.
  What's left, is the black purse, that I added black jet beads to, allowing for a richer design look, of the Gibson era.

So there she is, in her newly completed suit.

  This one was worth the extra effort to create, pattern and all.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sewing on black at night

It's said not to sew on black at night. I have always believed it, because, after awhile you think your going blind. It's just so hard to adjust to the dark color no matter how much light you put on the subject.
But, sometimes you do it anyway. I really wanted to finish this simple black dinner gown. Late night or not, I finished it. All I can say, is don't sew on black at night. lol.
  That being said, here is the gown

This is so special, because I have used two vintage beaded pieces to complete the gown.
First, is the very delicate and old jet beaded appliqué I used on the collar. It had to be pretty much re-beaded onto the collar {which was created just to hold this piece}.

  The gown is a princess style cut with the smaller full sleeves, bell shaped skirt and round neckline.
The lower band is another vintage piece cut from an old scarf. Velvet that is edged with a beaded, net pattern and tassels. I applied it so that it would swoop up in the back, but not be bustled. 

A filmy black single bow tops the upward curve. Both pieces were a real find and I have been saving them for something special to use them on. Well, my Gibson is just that special thing. I made a filmy ribbon gather with one tiny bow to attach the single black plume in her hair. An accessory often used in this era.
  I also made her a new set of black lingerie. Drawers, petticoat and corset.

Simple, yet elegant. I like the way this one turned out.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Formal Black

I have started with a fashion plate and reproduced this lovely black gown. The full skirt has a teal layer underneath of satin, with a black net layer then a fine black netting layer trimmed with an embellished organza on top.  The vertical organza pieces end with a tiny black satin bow.The sleeves are not lined with the teal or netting but handled like the outer layer of the skirt. As with the style they are very full.
   The bodice is the teal satin, trimmed with an net edged with organza and a puff of  net underneath. It also has a trimming of fancy black cording. Both sleeves and bodice are embellished with satin and see through ribbons which were so popular at this time.

She is ready for a night of dancing