|Josephine - Day at the Beach|
|Advertisement for 22" Doll|
Gorgeous, and popular as the vinyl dolls were, they seemed to bank their profits on the 22" porcelain, cloth body Gibson Girls. One of them was called Day at the Beach. Long before I began sewing, I'd always dreamt of having this very outfit for my Gibson Girl. Nautical, casual...so fresh and summery. And, what would stop me now? Except the well defined, and occasional dents in my confidence? Nothing. So I set my sights on stripes, and began.
|15 1/2" Vinyl Portrait Doll|
Charles Dana Gibson (September 14, 1867 – December 23, 1944) was an American graphic artist, best known for his creation of the Gibson Girl, an iconic representation of the beautiful and independent American woman at the turn of the 20th century. While he worked as a magazine illustrator for 30 years, the development of the Gibson Girl from 1890, and her nationwide fame, made Gibson respected and wealthy. Even the Gibson, a gin martini, his favorite drink, was named after him.
|Charles Dana Gibson's Girls at the Beach|
|Half Slip With Ruffled Kick Pleat|
So with the several ball and party gowns that Franklin Mint created for this 15 1/2" vinyl portrait doll, she definitely needed a Day at the Beach to round out a proper wardrobe. (And, I do believe a cycling costume and travel suit would be appropriate as well.)
|Side View and Large Bow|
|S-Curve - Swan Bill Corset (gasp!)|
There was also a unique design of the skirt that I had to work with. There is a rise or scoop at the front, tapering down to the back and this is more clearly defined by the two rows of red braid outlining this "wave". The skirt has eight pleats on either side of the front panel. The pleats in this case were overlapped giving the skirt its fullness. I'd not overlapped pleats prior to this, so it was something I had to reason and figure out.
I also had to make the slip that went beneath it. I don't enjoy making underwear, as it can never be seen, but in the case of Day at the Beach, it seemed necessary. It took me two days to make one good slip, as I had to figure out how to make the four-ruffled kick pleat in front. Each ruffle on the slip was made as a complete ruffle with overcasted edges, then top-stitching so I could cut pieces to fit the triangle of the kick pleat. By finishing the ruffles prior to attaching them, I could assure the gathers were consistent and didn't have to fuss with long threads and pulling them as I pinned them to the fabric edge or face. And, again, it was wonderful to have the original as an example to work from. In fact, this entire outfit was made as close to the way Franklin Mint created theirs, as could be.
|The 22" Franklin Mint Doll|
While the original 22" doll wears her hair in a long braid going down her back, I didn't have the heart to undo the perfect "Gibson" bouffant my 15 1/2" Josephine wears. Judging from the pen and ink drawing of girls at the beach (above), I feel safe that her hairstyle would have been appropriate at the beach. I made a little straw boater for her to wear, and now all she needs is a picnic basket and a few tickets to enjoy on the boardwalk. Especially one for the gypsy fortune telling booth!
I am so pleased with the outcome of Day at the Beach. I was doubtful I could pull it off, but I did. Its notable since this is the first lady doll outfit I've made. This might be considered French Fashion in the doll world, or it might be seen as early Edwardian. For me, its just fun. Whether spending a day on the boardwalk, going to a carnival, or even attending the circus, its fun, elegant and so very Josephine, Gibson Girl.
What shall I do next? A cycling outfit for her, or another delicate dress for our Alice Liddell?
Miss E. Mouse
|Gibson Girl Fashions|
|Tea For Two|
|Fragile and Voluptuous|
|Strolling In the Park|
|The Man Responsible - Charles Dana Gibson|
|Josephine - Day at the Beach|