Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lucinda Marguerite's Apron

With Lucinda Marguerite
Its a crispy warm afternoon at my little hole in the wall.  The sun is low in the sky as the afternoon stretches into early evening, the light, a warmth through the windows.  My tail is curled around my chair, and my little nose is happily twitching.  Mary Marie has been playing among the doll people these past few days and couldn't be spending happier times with her treasures.

With the Doll People
Mary Marie's Paper Doll Dress
Earlier last week I was pulling books from my shelves and found The Mary Frances Housekeeper, Adventures Among the Doll People, and was delightfully surprised, to find anew, the little paper dolls and paper toy furniture within.  They were just the perfect size for Mary Marie to play with.  I hastily purchased a second copy of the Lacis book, and began cutting out the tiny dolls, dresses, and paper toy furnishings.  I have to admit that the furniture was not too easy to put together.  You had to score the blank, white backs of the cardstock pieces, often guessing where to do so, then fold them all up into doll house furniture.  While I did not make all the pieces, I chose a few to play with, the piano being my favorite, but again, very difficult to fold together.  The piano, alone, stands only 2.5" high!  Almost as tall as myself.
A Side View
And, why did these appeal to me so much?  Well, I had this lovely "Johnny Gruelle" floral lawn to do something with, and this mock orange and buttercup checkerboard fabric I wished to pair with it.  I knew I wanted to make the Morning Dress for my 16" Mary Marie, and of course she needed the pinafore to go with it.  It took me several days, while sewing the dress with the creamsickle orange and white bands, to come up with the idea to sew Lucinda Marguerite's apron instead.  I went so far as to cut out the full pinafore in the checkerboard, but even I could see that it would be overwhelming.

Covered Buttons
I recall an art teacher once telling me upon reviewing a drawing I'd done similar to the another, that what worked with the first, simply didn't translate as well in the second.  I recall being very sad about this since the second was a composite portrait of my father's life, the first telling a tale of arctic explorers.  At any rate, I didn't wish to go down this sorry path again, and we do learn from the past, if we allow ourselves to.  So, I pursued making Mary Marie her own Lucinda Marguerite apron!

The details of the covered buttons came last, and there is even one closing the dress in the back at the top of the placket.  I'm getting much better at making these plackets, but working with the lawn, this delicate fabric, was like sewing with tissue paper.  Anytime you stick a needle and thread into a delicate fabric like this, it loses some of its stability.  So I worked the hand-stitching, of which there was plenty, very carefully.

In the book, "Housekeeper", Mary Frances builds her own doll house and learns how to carry out the important household chores she will need to know when she becomes a young lady.  Most of the drawings are in sillouhette, yet colored plates of the dolls and furniture are throughout the book, the back holding a set in cardstock for you to cut out.  So even if you don't go the route of purchasing a second copy to keep mint, you can still retain the book in its lovely original format.  By the end of the story, Mary Frances even learns a tune and song to sing while doing her chores!  Would that I could read music, I might put that tiny piano to use.

The Days fo the Week
Miss E. Mouse

Lucinda Marguerite, Hazel and Kitty

"Now you really must dress and practice the piano!"

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