Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year!
The countdown begins!  2013 was a very full year and in it we experienced a few triumphs, a few let downs, and some new and innovative directions.  This journal, my blog, marks the seasons and times as much in my own life as in that of my dolls.  When we look back and reflect upon that which has been, we become more keenly aware of what we'd like to see in the future and which paths we may wish to walk down.  As a collector of antique postcards, its apparent that I've discovered a wonderful new source of inspiration for costuming and Daisy is just the doll to elect as my Postcard Girl. 

We began with the Lawnmower Dress last summer, then the charming Christmas Caroler, and for a glorious finish to 2013, The New Year's Gown.

Our Postcard Girl
Inspired By This Illustration
A few days ago when I was poking around Ebay for antique New Year's postcards, I spotted this beautiful January 1 card and immediately saved the image, printed it out and began this dress.  I was up all night thinking on how I would approach making it, and truly believed it would be a snap.  Ha-ha-ha!  No way.  For so many of these dresses, the bodice and sleeves are where all the fancy begins.  And, yet there were so many elements to the gown and party hat, that it kept me intrigued and motivated to capture each detail.  For one, there was this crown, or party hat, that is so reminiscent of the Pope's hat. 

I already had these two beautiful silks in pink and blue, that had been stashed away for something to make for Polly.  The laces would be a challenge though.  Sometime this past year, Fran, of Frans Heirlooms, who makes most of the shoes my girls wear, was sharing with me a way to have the gold laces I required for a dress I was considering making.  The solution was gold floral spray!  I purchased some and tucked it away with my other paints, but did not try it until I began to make this dress.

Close Up of Party Hat

I took a large, flattened cardboard box and pinned the laces to it lengthwise.  Then took this outdoors and sprayed the laces a couple of times until they were gilded.  The drying time was fairly quick, but I gave them a few hours to dry completely before working with them.  The embellishments on the sleeves are two laces sewn together.  A ribbed trim and picot lace.  This picot lace would be my bane however, for when I began hand-stitching it on the dress, the thread would catch on the tiny loops.  The ribbed trim is also the trim under the little crescent moons or horseshoes.  You can decide which they should represent for both icons were widely used during this era. 

The sash is attached to the dress at the back and closes with 14k gold plated bead "buttons", and thread loops.  There is also one at the neckline in the back.  The bow was fun to design as well.  It is a faux bow that is ruched in the middle then sewn to the sash.  The sash is also trimmed in the gold picot lace.

Little Gold Buttons in Back
For the gold shoes, I had a simple pair of white slippers in my collection, and decided to embellish them with tiny four leaf clovers for New Years.  These were then sprayed with the gold floral spray.  Finally a little 14k bead was sewn to their centers.  This spray is used for silk flower arrangements, and does not crack or peel.  It becomes the fabric.  As I write this, I think I would have enjoyed finding a gold horn for Daisy to blow.  I'll have to look for one and add it to the costume later.  The little boy cupid is blowing the horn while he rides on the front of the car.  Now wouldn't that be fun to find!  A car just like that for the girls!

Close Up of Dress and Good Luck Pig
And, then we come to the party hat or crown.  I've made this kind of hat in many styles, but my first were in tiny ones for the three inch Raggedy Andys I used to make.  Instead of a four part pattern sewn together, this crown is taller, pointier at top, and has only three pattern pieces.  The base is buckram, the cover is silk in a deeper blue.  I had lots of gold Dresden trim from Blumchen Company, that I'd purchased when making Daisy's party hats for her 2011 birthday year.  These were snipped and pieced together to create the gold crown of the party hat.  I then topped the point with two more gold beads.  That was fun.  I LOVE making hats.

It was towards the very end of completing this outfit that I spotted a little pig in the arms of an Alice in Wonderland doll on my shelf.  I borrowed a garland of clover from a Bleuette St. Patrick's Day outfit, and put our little Good Luck Pig together.  Coins.  We could have had coins, but just how far did I wish to go?  Maybe they'll be in next year's.  I had to decide whether I was recreating and/or making my own postcard, or simply giving Daisy a fabulous party dress to bring in the New Year.  There is always a time to call it quits.  So no coins.

I recall reading something about the way French women dress, and how, if you wished to dress like them, there were rules.  One of them was get dressed, put on your jewelry, then take most of the jewelry off except two pieces.  I think they were trying to say that less is more if you choose correctly.  And, this also applies when painting pictures.  You could work on one for years, but at some point you have to call it done...when it has the look you wished to achieve.  Likewise, this journal posting has achieved its fini. 

Daisy, our new Postcard Girl, and I wish you the happiest New Year imaginable, and a special hope that all your dreams and plans come to fruition. 

Miss E. Mouse
Work in Progress

Better Close Up of Shoes With Four Leaf Clovers
Another From the Series

One More From Same Series

A Favorite

Good Luck Clovers at New Years 

Just Love This One!

Another Blue and Gold Dress

Pig, Pounds, Serenity

Let's Begin Our New Year Together!

1 comment:

  1. Miss Mouse,
    This is such a beautiful design with a feel of royalty to it! It's truly outstanding in every wonderful's fit for a princess!!