Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meet Jolly Jane - One of the "Little Busybodies"

Meet Jolly Jane and Polly from Polynesia
 "This one is Jolly Jane, who is six years old, and the third in the new series of paper dolls to cut out" - Frances Tipton Hunter. 

Remember Katy Curls?  That sweet little red head with all her fancy autumn play clothes?  May I introduce to you Jolly Jane.  She is another Frances Tipton Hunter paper doll I'm bringing to life.  She debuted in 1923 in the Woman's Home Companion.  Just like Katy, her outfits (only two this time), could be made by sending 10 cents or 16 cents into the publisher for patterns.

Polly likes sugar cubes.
Jolly Jane is a 14" doll made by Candy Anderson, just like Katy was.  She is on a reproduction Rosette body, and her sculpt is another delightful mold by Dianna Effner.  Jolly Jane wears a dark brunette, human hair wig that I curled and trimmed for her.  I used one of those clampless curling irons to give her bob a little bounce.  They work pretty well, but you must be careful not to burn your fingers when dressing shorter lengths.

Frances Tipton Hunter Paper Doll, 1923
Jolly Jane sat in a trunk for several months while I pondered over what style wig would most resemble the do that Frances drew for her.  I ended up with a Kimberly human hair by Monique.  I'm certain I will have to touch it up from time to time, but I did end up snipping off a good inch from the ends, and of course a bit from the bangs.  Its my impression that these wigs boast longer lengths, on all sides, for just this purpose.  To play!

Jolly Jane's Combination
I'm getting used to making under clothes now.  There was a time when I wouldn't bother, because they couldn't be seen, and they simply seemed pointless.  This is changing now with so many undressed dolls sitting on my shelves.  They look so much happier with a bit of modesty.  So I began, at the beginning, with Jolly Jane's combination (onesie).

My friend Betsy had given me the book The Dolls Dressmaker, by Venus A Dodge, and I recalled that there was a combination pattern within.  I knew I'd have to make adjustments in the body length and crotch, but I ended up creating my own pattern after all since her combination was sewn up with a seam in front and one in the back.  However, by beginning with the book's pattern, I was able to get a basic design started.  As it turned out, the pattern for Jolly Jane's combination is all one piece - rather in the style of a Mary Frances pattern.  Same era.  I also had to widen the pattern for the blouson effect and the gathers at the neckline.  The combination also has a little button belt in the back to cinch the waistline.

A smart little belted back.
Next I made her a pair of black leather shoes.  I omitted a bow or any kind of decoration on them as I just couldn't detect if there was any.  The highlights on the shoes can fool the eye, but I'm fairly certain they are simple Mary Janes.  Socks followed, and Jolly Jane was ready to be dressed. 

During this time, I contacted my good friend Patty Kascsak to needle felt me Jolly Jane's macaw, Polly from Polynesia.  Patty must have the patience of a saint since she made three before we got the perfect sized Polly for Jolly Jane.  This lady is simply an incredible artist, a true sweetheart, and I love her work.  Since I wanted to debut Jolly Jane with her parrot, there would be a waiting period while Patty worked with her needles and wool.  This was when I decided to make an outfit for Jolly Jane. 

Her Play-time dress.
While one of my favorites is her Gypsy-O! costume, I knew this would require a great deal of time, and it might be fun to make just prior to Halloween.  So I decided on her green play dress.  "Cross stitches but never a cross face, says Jolly Jane's mother when Jolly Jane pops into her play-time dress above."   Hmmm...I guess this would mean some embroidery work on my part! 

I began with a short sleeved blouse with a turned up cuff in the only celery green fabric I had.  This was some of that lovely Kaufman's Cotton Silk that I had among my ever growing fabric stash.  While I might have preferred a plain cotton batiste, finding one in exactly this color was not going to happen.  And, I also seemed set on using this luscious, olive cotton velveteen for the jumper.  So we have a very fancy, if not elegant, little play-time dress for Jolly Jane.  Both pieces were not too difficult to design, although I did fret a bit that the blouse might be too shiny. 

Cross-stitches, but not cross faces.
The blouse is lined on the inside from neckline to hem, and the sleeves were set into this.  There is one button on the back of the neckline fastened with a thread loop.  The jumper is fully lined in the cotton silk fabric so no hand hemming needed to be done.  Both pieces were pretty straight forward, and this was a plus since I had to spend time embroidering cross stitches.  Jolly Jane's mother would not have approved of my cross face in doing them.  Sadly, embroidery doesn't seem to be my thing.  I know it takes practice and the cross-stitch is one of the easiest to accomplish, but there was a lot of pulling out of thread and do-overs in the process.  For one, I was free-handing the stitches, and two, they were on velvet.  Double trouble for a novice embroiderer.  Still and all, the job got done and it does look rather festive.  A little pimento with the olive!

The back.
Of course Jolly Jane needed her little dolly to go with the outfit.  I happened to have one of Nada Christensen's mini Bleuettes on hand and she proved the perfect little doll for Jolly Jane.  I also had some lovely auburn mohair, so I spent an hour and a half (yes), wigging this little doll.  I then proceeded to draft a tiny pattern for her dress.

The dress is completely hand sewn from a light yellow cotton.  She also wears little yellow socks and black Mary Jane's like her mommy's.  Just when I thought the cross-stitching was over, I noticed that Dolly's dress had green cross-stitching on the edges!  Trying to determine a proper size stitch that would show up, but not overwhelm took a couple of efforts.  I also discovered that using one thread instead of two works better on tiny dresses.  I'll probably never have to do this again, but it was valuable experience.

Jolly Jane's Dolly and Polly
Jolly Jane was now ready to debut.  Her little parrot arrived today and I was overjoyed.  Patty's work is stunning!  I'd been fretting over Polly's bird perch since deciding to make this set.  During the construction of Jolly Jane's first outfit, I spent a great deal of time puzzling over how to make it.  I'm afraid the hoop will be impossible to recreate, but I have a pretty good idea how to make something similar for displaying Jolly Jane's pet.  In the meantime, I ad-libbed and used the base of an Integrity doll stand, and a hand-made wooden T-bar, painted green, for Polly's perch.

Even dolly gets cross-stitches.
I think I'm really going to enjoy creating the wardrobe from this darling paper doll page.  I've been collecting fabrics for it since January and the only outfit left to find suitable cloth for is her sweater and skirt - where she's blowing bubbles.  I've ideas, but all in good time.  I even have a basket ball ready for her.  The accessories, sometimes, are the best parts! 

Enjoy this little cutie and I hope you'll look forward to her next little outfit.

Miss E. Mouse  

Close up of Patty's Macaw.
Just beautiful work!
Jolly Jane is one Little Busybody!

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