Friday, September 14, 2012

When Polly Pratt Came to Play...

Welcome Polly Pratt!
The year was 1919 and Sheila Young was now illustrating paper dolls for Good Housekeeping.  As the windblown pages flew from the calendar tablet, a little girl about nine years old was introduced with fashions to reflect the changing times.  Still elaborately detailed with ruffles, collars, embroidery and all manner of fussy hats, Polly Pratt''s paper doll wardrobe would celebrate the world of feminine little girls from 1919 to 1921.

1919 Good Housekeeping's Polly
It came to mind sometime last spring that I might add Polly to my Sheila Young family of antique reproduction dolls.  You've met Daisy, Lettie Lane (inspired by Betty Bonnet who has brown hair), and now I'll introduce you to little Polly Pratt.  I phoned up Connie Zink, the artist of both my Daisy and Lettie, and we began to brainstorm on what it would take to come up with a Polly.  Connie knows her doll molds inside and out, and suggested the Steiner-C for my Polly.  I asked that she be smaller, as I see Lettie being about 12-years-old, and Polly's wardrobe and persona seemed that of a much younger child.  We came up with the idea to use the FS14B body, which would make Polly a 16" doll next to Lettie's eighteen inches.  Connie set to work, and my beautiful Polly was born!

Polly's First Halloween Costume
Currently she is still needing even a slip or some undies, but with Halloween approaching, and my customer having just ordered her own Polly, it was decided we must include a Halloween costume for Polly.  Notice that the illustration does include a slip, so at least she'll be modest when Halloween is over. 

This little charmer will of course need her own set of slopers, and I may approach the first by reducing a basic Lettie pattern by about 10%.  I really enjoy the idea of the baby doll style dresses and those above the knee.  There is an endless parade of sweet outfits with many adorable accessories in the Polly Pratt paper doll series.  Fear not!  Lettie will still be sewn for, but we may be doing these next year in tandem.  One for Polly, one for Lettie.  So many of the wardrobe themes overlap and they'll look especially darling displayed as sister dolls.

The dress under the cape-coat.
Meanwhile, the Halloween costume work continues.  I finished the base outfits for the orange-red cape-coat, and began the dresses for the candlestick hat costume.  Sometimes we have to actually sew something up before we can decide that we did it all wrong...and that's what I did over the last two days.  This costume will be all about the sleeves.  And, we continue...the creative process!

Miss E. Mouse

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