Specifically, Gay Event, The Wonderful Fashion Doll, the doll and her wardrobe, was one of those once in a lifetime, one-of-a-kind projects that was so long in the planning, the dreaming of, the creating of, that she'll remain a treasure to me always, and maybe a little triumph. All that embroidery, the silk chiffon ball gown, painting all the flowers on the silk walking costume!
I always enjoy making something new for Alice Illustrated. Twiggy? Eh? Not so exciting. Laura Peterson and new costuming for her and Louise are equally memorable, enjoyable, but also ever evolving. Its those finite projects like Gay Event that shine for me. She was like a Wendy Lawton Masterpiece Edition, and for those who collect Lawton dolls, I think you know what I mean.
I'm also tickled to pieces with needle felting and the chance to truly learn something new that will enhance so many outfits I make with accessories, and even hats. Currently I'm conferring with my friend, Lesley (a phenomenal needle felt artist), on the techniques of welt felting so I can make doll hats. This will be ground breaking for me, if I can use it. I didn't say perfect it. Yet. Because I'm just pulling the materials together right now to try it. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't. But, I'm going to give it the old one-two try.
I have plans. So many plans, and a couple of surprises for the coming months. And I still have the new reproduction Huret to sew for. Let us hope I don't experience the fateful French Fashion Doll Scenario again. Each time I've bought one, she got stored for a year, then sold. I don't wish to be a stick in the mud, but I truly love sewing for my Lawton dolls, the ones I remake into new characters. I will give it shot, but that also means drafting new patterns, making shoes, etc. One thing nice about her is that she's a large doll, and I just might be able to give her clothing more detail.
In the meantime, with all this dreaming and planning, I did manage two little New Year's Eve ball gowns for Lily and Petite Chiffonette. These are Louise and Laura's Etrennes. New Year gifts, the French way, for their dolls. And, yet, these little dolls seem to have a life of their own besides being dolls for dolls, so we can also say that they get to go to parties just like the big dolls.
Lily's dress took three tries, and turned out to be something completely different than planned. I was trying to use this sage colored silk, but it was stiffer, and tighter weave than others I've used and simply wouldn't gather like tissue and turn inside out properly. On a larger doll, no problem. It just couldn't be used for a 4" doll. Lily's gown is silver silk with a lace border, lace at the waist and a lace bow in front. It has princess sleeves, which you don't see too often on typical French Fashion, but if Tonner could do it for his 12" Alice, so I could for Lily!
Petite Chiffonette's party gown is gold silk. I used the same puffed sleeve pattern as I'd made for Lisette's red Christmas gown. I used eyelash trim in two rows at the border, then more running the length of the bodice back to front, and three tiny rows across. Three seed bead buttons finish the look. While making it, I thought of the March sisters, and what they might have enjoyed wearing. I'm afraid we can get too caught up in what other people consider proper mid 19th century costuming as we must remember that dress construction wasn't always lappets and bell sleeved jackets.
So Lily and Petite Chiffonette, in their silver and gold are representative of the stars and the moon. The glitter on gowns and angel wings from embossed antique postcards...the twinkle of the midnight sky as the clock strikes twelve, and a new year begins.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year! Let's make 2017 a year full of happy surprises and fun. I hope you enjoy the lovely antique post cards below. Three came from Bonnie Rudeski's archives. Gorgeous, all of them!
Miss E. Mouse
|For Jean (wink, wink)|
|Etrennes for the New Year|