Monday, July 24, 2017

Sewing for 16" Dolls, Designed By Me -- Update with Movie Answer

Now that Eldest Daughter has moved out and is getting married, Mr. BTEG and I, with the help of Youngest Daughter, are reconfiguring the second floor of our home to give us more room to pursue our hobbies. A table for my use is going into our new hobby room this week, so I'm holding off taking doll pictures until that happens. In the meantime, I talked with RagingMoon about some of the 16" doll clothes I sewed a very long time ago, and she expressed interest in seeing some of the pictures. And when I say a long time, I mean at least fifteen years or more. So you'll also get to see some older dolls.

First up is Franklin Mint's vinyl Lily doll. Her more famous FM counterpart was Josephine; they share body and face sculpts, but Josephine got the wardrobe trunk and all the outfits. They were dressed in clothes from around the turn of the last century, and their figures were also perfect for the era, featuring the S-bend that was popular in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, their bodies are not really articulated. Anyway, here's a cotton chemise and drawers that I made for Lily.
And here's Josephine wearing a petticoat that I made, and a muslin 1890s balloon sleeve style bodice that I was drafting, and then a green chambray dress.
Here is Tonner's Daphne wearing a two piece jacket and skirt outfit. This outfit is the only one for which I did not design the pattern. The pattern is the work of Vince Nowell, who at one time was extremely famous in the doll sewing and collecting community.
I owned some dolls from the Gene line by Mel Odom for many years. Here's Madra wearing a dress from a pattern that I designed. In this one, I was going for the feel of a 1930s day dress.
Here is a raven-haired Madra wearing a costume I made for a secret gift exchange, run by the owner of a Gene doll forum that I was on at the time. You win the internets for a day if you know the movie from which I took this costume. I'll update with the info after a few days, unless somebody guesses it first.
So, the movie was a 1939 film called The Women. The entire cast of the movie, including some pets and other animals seen in the film, was entirely female. The three leads are all well-known names in film: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell. I based this costume off the dress that Joan Crawford wore in the climactic scene of the movie. She's wearing it in this still of the three stars of the movie.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a gold fabric that was as "sparkly" as the dress Joan is wearing, but I thought that it still turned out okay. I've always thought that the doll Madra's personality in the Gene line was perhaps partially based on Joan Crawford. Madra is a Hollywood star like Gene, and she usually plays roles like Joan Crawford does here; Crawford's part is that of an assistant at a perfume counter, who's out for a wealthy husband, and doesn't mind being a home-wrecking hussy to get one. (Does anyone use the word hussy anymore?)

I accepted a commission to make a dress from the opening scene of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, which would fit the Gene doll. The collar in back ended up being a real pain to draft. I lined the whole thing in white, to try to prevent staining.
And lastly, an entire costume which I designed and made myself, for an Ashton Drake design competition for Gene. This one I've had on my blog before, but I don't know how many of you have seen it. The look for this one is from 1907.
I hope all of you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane! Once my table gets up in our new hobby room, I'm going to try to get some photography backgrounds and my photo tent set up permanently, or at least mostly permanently. I do have lots of new things to share!

12 comments:

  1. Hi Barb! Good thing that you're getting more space for your dolls! I think the outfits are fantastic. I bought a sewing machine a couple of weeks ago, so I'm finally going to learn to sew. I'll start with something easy like doll pillows, but hopefully some day I'll be able to sew detailed doll clothes like yours.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you. I look forward to seeing what you sew! I hope you have lots of fun while you're learning.

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  2. Great work! I love looking at older projects from a fresh perspective.
    By the way, that dress would be from "Till Clouds Roll By" with Judy Garland (no, I haven't watched it). Can I still have the internets?

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    1. Thank you! And I'm sorry, but no, that's not the right movie. :( I can see how the dresses look similar, though. I'll be putting up a picture tomorrow of the dress that I based that one on.

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  3. Good job! I'm impressed by how neat the insertion on the drawers look, whenever I try to do insertion it looks heaps messier than that. I really like the yellow dress and the pink one.
    And yay to more room for hobbies!

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    1. Thank you! I was really into hand sewing for quite a while during that time period; I think maybe I should try more of it again! I'm glad you like the dresses.

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  4. Beautiful creations, i love them all, especially the "Breakfast at Tiffani's"one :)

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  5. These outfits are all fantastic!

    And congratulations on your daughter's upcoming marriage! :)

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    1. Thank you, and... thank you! It's both exciting and a little scary having a daughter old enough to get married!

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