|June 1918 - June 1920|
|Jeu de Paume in Paris, France 1622|
|Polly Playing Tennis|
|Basket of Balls|
Lastly there was the embroidered flap on Polly's sleeve. It is not a patch, but a flap done military style. From Sheila's illustration, I had no idea what I was looking at. There were chevrons, but no clear pictorial of the stuff at the top. I did a little research into military emblems from this era, and the closest I could come to was the cadet emblem. Chevrons, and a rope circle with an eagle in the center. The emblem is still used today for cadets. Polly's flap was just too, too tiny for such detail, but I did manage a close version of what Sheila drew and what a true cadet emblem would appear like.
The jabot on this collar is actually part of the ruffle in the collar, not a separate piece you can just stuff up there and sew to the neckline. What I eventually did to make this happen, was begin pinning the ruffle from the back edge of the collar, around to the front, then draping it down and up in a loop, then finishing the pinning of ruffle around the rest of the collar. I made two little rectangles of fabric, turning the edges under, then attached the top one first with a hidden ladder stitch. I sewed on the row of buttons, then finished the back of the jabot the same was as the front. This then hides all the gathering of the doubled-over ruffle loop. The ruffle gracefully moves around the collar becoming the jabot, and ending in a symphony. I felt very clever after achieving this! But, like I said, it took me several days and much study to figure it out! There's some good history on jabots, too.
I couldn't wait to make the raspberry vest. Perhaps in Lettie's day, it might have been a sweater vest, but I had this beautiful cotton silk on hand, and I don't knit. It may have been wool, too, but the look on a doll would have been bulky considering the belt that threads through the slits in front. I can see that all the skills and techniques I've taught myself are now paying off when it comes to assembling a new piece. I did learn something new with the belt however. And, that was how to make the fringe on the ends.
You cannot just sew loops of embroidery thread into the edge and trim them. They pull and fall out! I did do a little research on doll clothing fringe, but all I discovered was what I already knew about pulling threads out. Then the light blinked on and I scurried upstairs to find this beautiful velvet scarf I own, dotted with rhinestones, and edged in fringe. They created theirs by making small tassel like fringe. With four strands of thread in my needle, I poked it through the edge, lengthened this so the same length hangs in front and in back, snipped it off, made one little knot at the top combining the eight strands together, and there you have it. Eleven of these across each edge made my fringe. Dexterity just happens to be a nice trademark of small paws like mine. NOTHING I do is EASY!!! Her skirt is borrowed from the canoeing outfit.
No outfit is perfect with its accessories. So came the racquets and the tennis balls. Each little "wooden" ball is covered in baby diaper felt, in two figure 8 pieces. I had to make careful inspection of my dog's tennis balls to see how they were made. Oh I looked! I hunted the Internet for tiny tennis balls, but Barbie's were just too small. Those beautiful tennis racquets are American Girl Molly's. I simply took all the embellishments off of them, did a little sanding and restaining, and now Lettie and Polly have proper, early 1900's tennis racquets.
I have made a miniature racquet before and a butterfly net, and I can tell you that anytime you can find a suitable piece that you can remake, do it. Some of my friends guffaw at the mention of American Girl, but I began collecting the historical dolls and their collections back in 1989, and I can vouch that Pleasant T. Rowland never spared expense at the accuracy of the items. Today, Mattel takes a lot of license, but I still enjoy them.
Next? Golf. Yes, Sheila drew golf outfits for her paper families, too! These will sadly conclude the sports themed costuming Sheila made for the ladies and girls, but summer is nearing and there is always something up my little sleeve. And I am looking forward to the golf sets! I already have the irons, and I'll be making their bags.
Miss E. Mouse
|Notice the belt through the slits!|
|Real Women - Real Tennis|
|From a magazine cover.|
|What beauty! Bought this one, too.|
|I purchased this postcard as a treat,|