Thursday, 7 June 2007

Old fashioned Dolls

Here is the promised pic of the faded blue solid fabric I ordered in as replacement background for my vintage lone star (see post "Need Background Advice" below). I've just laid it out on the floor this time rather than pinning it up on the wall. The fabric looks a bit greyer in the pic than it does in real life, in real life it is a close, but not exact, match for the darker faded blue solid that you see near the centre and in the tips. I expect I could find an even closer match if I kept ordering fabric, but I think this one is pretty close and it really 'pops' the star now. I can imagine it with a vintage border (maybe red gingham?) on my bed, I think it will look good. Hopefully by this weekend I can start piecing it into the star. I know people liked the yellow background I started with, but much as I like that butter yellow, this faded blue is going to fit into my bedroom much more calmly - the yellow would have really shrieked at me every time I walked into the room. My bedroom is decorated (not that you can see it much under all the clutter) in blue and white.

These two antique-style dolls (the largest one is about 9 inches high) are my latest UFO finish - I bought this Gail Wilson kit in Pennysylvania in 2003 when I was over for the Lancaster show. This is the basic doll (and dolls' doll) from her Early American series and it has to be one of the most complete kits I have ever seen in my life. I cannot believe the painstaking care that went into this kit - as well as handwritten detailed instructions, you get pre-printed fabric pattern pieces, pure wool stuffing; pure wool hair; a stuffing stick; sand for weighting the feet and hands realistically; muslin, lace, crochet cord and buttons for the costumes; 10 pots of paint for painting the doll's skin and face, including an antiquing glaze to make them look old; stencils for accuracy for the faces on both dolls; fray check; I think there was even sandpaper for sanding smooth the skin after the first coat of paint. I thought it was expensive when I bought it, now I think it was cheap at the price.

On the same trip, I successfully bid for some vintage fabric and a book on vintage doll clothes at the Lancaster quilt show auction, so I think I will try and make a dress for both of them now (although doll dressmaking is not my forte). I've really enjoyed making these dolls, and they look just like antiques now that they are finished. Gail Wilson also sells patterns for costumes but I think I will have a go myself.

My local scrapbooking store is closing down (that's where I scored the half-price knitting wool before) so I went in and bought up some tacky glue, and several papers that might be useful for dollshousing. We started our new group project at Dollshouse Club last night - it is a simple L-shaped bookend that is to be decorated by each of us with a sewing theme! So right up my alley. A lot of people are doing a Victorian sewing room but I think I am going to do a modern quilt shop, or at least, as much of one as I can squeeze onto the approximately 5"x6" display area. I've seen examples in magazines that other people have done, I think I can squeeze in a display stand of fabric bolts, hang some 'quilts' on the wall, make a sewing machine out of Fimo etc. I used my scrapbooking papers for the floor and wall, it looks quite cheery.

Anyway, I've got to run, my inside person at the local charity shop tells me they have a Singer Featherweight machine just come in in good condition and I have to go and look at it first thing this morning. I feel paranoid about taking my Janome 6500 out of the house now, after all the trouble I had with it, so I have been thinking about getting a smaller machine for taking to club. Swooze recommended the Janome Gem Platinum 720 but suddenly this FW has come up, so I will go and have a look at it anyway. My mother used to have one so I am familiar with sewing on them (I love that smell when you open up the case, sort of eau-de-vintage-machine-oil).


Beth said...

I LOVE the dolls!! I've never made a doll in my life but at one time I was very interested in learning to make porcelian dolls, just never got around to it. The closest I've come is making a teddy bear (notice I said only one....I'm sticking to quilts LOL)

Godd luck on getting the FW, hope it's in good shape and a good price :) I have a FW that I really need to start using...LOL

swooze said...

Yes the blue does let the star stand on it's own. I see it does match the center colors. I think you have a winner! Can't wait to see it together!

Jeanne said...

Your dolls are so cute! I've been tempted so many times to order a kit, but so far, I've resisted.

blogsurfer said...

They're right. They were so cute! Each of them has a unique look. Thank 's for sharing them with us. Here's another site you might want to look at to see some more antique dolls.

Most Expensive Antique Dolls

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