Friday, November 16, 2012

Victorian Paletot cape & hat finished...

I finished the cape and hat last night, with some alterations to the pattern. I am not completely satisfied with this cape, one- I believe I sized the pattern too 'fitted' to Anja's body, even allowing for the dress bulk underneath. I made the hat into something of a pillbox with a straw hat form from Hobby Lobby as I thought this looked better than the hat pattern shown with a brim. One problem when sewing for a slimmer bodied doll than the regular French Fashion dolls is how bulky the material will be on them. Though I used a striking striped sage green fabric and matching satin lining, the cape came out a little stiff and bulky. On the coat part I should have lengthened the pattern more, instead of sizing it down like I did. But it did come out nice for a first try, I thought.

I have Anja here next to Mrs. Albee 'Avon' representative Barbie- she just arrived off Ebay yesterday, got her at an incredible deal! Needless to say she immediately came out of that box to model that lovely dress.  Ever lament about the dolls that 'got away'?? Well, when I began collecting, I had missed out on some really lovely dolls from previous years, and so now I scour Ebay looking for them and their marvelous outfits. Many times it is because I want the outfit itself vs. the doll because my Fashion Royalty dolls love clothes!
One of the sentimental reasons is my mother used to be an Avon representative for years, growing up. I remember as a teenager my job was to go out on Saturday morning after the UPS guy had come and delivered the orders- which the boxes covered our whole front porch stoop sometimes! My mother sold alot each month which qualified her to be in the President's club, and she has a whole cabinet full of the china statues they gave as prizes each year for sales, all of Mrs. Albee, the very first AVON representative from the late 1800's. I am thinking of buying this doll again and giving it to her this Christmas. For now, I love the outfit.
So here are Anja and Mrs. Albee enjoying tea with the 1:6 scale Bespaq buffet sideboard, all decked out with tea items. Remember, I have two of these on Ebay Auction at reasonable starting bids.

As a child when I received my first dollhouse (it was in 1:12 scale) my favorite things to do were to make clothes for the dolls in Victorian style from pictures in books. Many times I would make new dresses for my most favorite dolls so they could have tea, or attend a dinner or a ball, - my dad built my dollhouse like a tall cabinet /castle , so I had loads of fun. One of the reasons I did not make that great of grades in middle school is because I would be concentrating on the decor of the dollhouse, or creating food, or sewing clothes, lol. I guess you could say I developed my 'eye' at a very early age. Working in 1:6 scale as an adult, I can create and do all those things I was frustrated with as a child because everything made for Barbie was that ghastly pink or neon green and purple...and that is what attracted me about 1:12 scale- it looked 'real' and felt 'real'. I am finding myself with that old anticipation of the dollhouse when sewing now as an adult, and it is making the sewing such a pleasure.
I currently have Victorian lady barbie arriving soon off of Ebay as well, and depending on her condition, I may leave her in her dress or put the dress on another of my dolls. I have not yet had time to see if the dresses on these dolls would fit the pivatol body, these Victorian Barbies look slightly short to me. I would love nothing better than to build a Victorian Barbie dollhouse, and have all of the dolls dressed in historical accurate fashions. Sadly, I would need much more room before I could begin to attempt that project. I have looked over some of the Kidcraft dollhouses and with a little alterations on wallpaper, embellishments, etc. I believe I could do a small Victorian dollhouse to get started. My fingers actually 'itch' to do this, as I do have some furnishings that could be converted into Victorian period. Oh it is so easy to get carried away with the dolls, their props, and most of all, their storylines!
I almost forgot! I have a wonderful link to share with you. On Facebook I belong to Saucy Suwi's group Fashion Doll Dioramas. (look for Saucy Suwi's blog on my 1:6 link list to the left!) and one of the members, has posted simply remarkable pictures of her dolls in Victorian dress and her Victorian dollhouse! It is based I think on the old soap opera from the 70's of Dark Shadows, which I loved and remembered as a kid! Click HERE to go to her remarkable photobucket albums!
As the holidays approach, I will be working more on decorating not only the dollhouses but Barbietown as well. I have more lights, decorations and all to acquire, which I am still doing as I attempt to finish decorating my own house! So stay tuned for more pictures and I might do a different twist on Thanksgiving this year, sort of a Victorian flair too.
Enjoy the photos!


Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I like your Victorian dresses. I also really like the Victorian houses. That was a time of great elegance. I like your porcelain tea set. I have no facebook but I'll see SUWI Dioramas. I am follower suwi’s blog but she does not update frequently. Keep in touch

Lisa said...

Hi Marta. I think a link in here leads near the end of the post to a remarkable Victorian dollhouse on photobucket; the link is also in my 1:6 scale links-Anne's Victorian dollhouse, I think I called it.I have long wanted to do a dollhouse in this style and am in fact currently planning one = collecting Victorian furniture, etc. lol