French Fashion Dolls week 4

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Ok, we’ve reached the final week. How is your doll’s trousseau shaping up?  Full of exquisite little accessories?   Yes, I did have a multi-sized pattern for the blouse/skirt/bretelles, along with authentic skirt designs to do in soutache/ribbon, but it has disappeared somewhere in my computer.  😦  If it reappears, of course I’ll post it, but in the meantime I was saving some of the best accessories for last – this week has my favorite paper craft (a photo album) AND my favorite shoes (toe cap boots).

Get week 4 here

Enjoy!!

This post was done during the summer, and in a fit of super-planning in August, I also did posts to appear for the next two weeks with other stuff that you will love.  Thank goodness!  Right now crafting/sewing/blogging/laundry/etc.  is not happening because work is so overwhelming.  I will try but if your comments don’t get answered, please know it’s because of that and not that you’re being ignored.

French Fashion Dolls Week 3

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Apologies for not doing a good job moderating comments and responding to emails.  I AM reading them but since being back at work don’t really have the energy to do both and have to prioritize.

LOTS of people responded to the survey and I was going to summarize it this week but realized I hadn’t given you a deadline…so thank you if you have done it, and if you haven’t but still want to, please click here to do it today!  I’ll close it on Friday and have the results for you next week.

It may be hot where you are, but this week we have lots of winter fun.  There’s a toque and muff for keeping warm while you ice skate, as well as some pastimes to do by the fire, like knitting and dominoes.  Enjoy!

Get week 3 here

Next week is the end of the French Fashion series and I definitely saved the best shoes and paper craft for last! After that there will be a post on back to school goodies with an emphasis on H4H!

 

French Fashion Dolls Week 2

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Thank you for all the comments!

As a reminder, patterns for dresses to accompany these accessories and help make a full trousseau can be found here

Get week 2 free patterns here

Last summer I did a survey and it really helped guide what I posted.  Since the number of followers keeps growing and I’d like to stay on track and keep posting fun and useful stuff, it’s time to tell me again!

Take the survey here.  

It’s just 9 questions and lets you help decide what appears on this blog!  

As a reminder you can always post comments or email me with suggestions too!

Before you suggest it…yes, I’m already working on a 1950s collection for the upcoming AG, Maryellen, and a 1960s collection for the upcoming Girl for all Time, Sam.

BHM Week 2

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If you’re just joining us, we’re celebrating Black History Month with children’s literature and doll outfits to accompany the book.

This week’s book is actually a series – Addy’s books!  When AG was Pleasant Company, the original intent of the books was for kids to learn about history and be able to act those stories out, supported by props available from PC.  If I were to list my favorite story series from the historical dolls, Josefina, Kit, Addy and Kirsten tie at the top of my list, and Addy is one of my favorite dolls.

There have been so many dresses for Addy over the years, both pictured in her books and sold by AG/PC it was hard to decide what to showcase.  I though the Emancipation Proclamation dress would be a good plan, since it ties in a historical event, but when I asked DH’s opinion he said, “Meh.  It’s kind of boring and it’s been done.  Why not do something unique?”  So I hybridized a dress silhouette from Godey’s with a slightly modified soutache pattern from Arthur’s Home Magazine and came up with something new that I just LOVE.  Maybe after reading the series, kids will want to make up their own stories and this dress can inspire them!  Many of the accessories from the French Fashion Doll series would be great for Addy’s time too!

Intermediate to advanced sewers will enjoy the challenge of piping, soutache and a lined skirt with a placket.  Beginners can make the basic bodice easily and substitute a simple rectangle for the skirt.

Get the pattern here

Le trousseau de ma poupée

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What I started last summer and never got a chance to share with you:

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(click to enlarge)

This book came out a few years ago.  It was $75.  Since I don’t have a French fashion doll, I was obviously reluctant to plunk down that kind of cash for the book, even though I was sure it would be pretty great.  Then I found it on Amazon for a better price, and asked my husband if I could/should get it.  Knowing me as well as he does, he thought it would probably not be a good idea, as the logical outcome of this would be me begging for a French fashion doll.  Antique French fashion dolls with a complete trousseau can go for $10,000 and up at auctions, and modern reproductions cost about as much as a really nice BJD, which is probably more than I should be spending on a doll with such limited costuming possibilities.

(image from Thierault’s via pinterest)

So, I promised not to ask for a French fashion doll, and ordered the book.  It has patterns for two sizes of dolls in it, but unfortunately, there are no measurements of the dolls these patterns were drafted on.  Looking at the photos in the book, although these dolls were meant to represent adult women of the time, they have quite small busts and a larger waist than you would expect from a corseted era.   I tried a few of the 12” muslins I had made on a variety of dolls, and the closest fit was my Corolle Cherie, but it was still a little tight.  So I enlarged it at 110%.  Now it fit Hearts for Hearts with some minor adjustments!  “Fast and easy” are great words when it comes to sewing, but sometimes your sewing soul needs “intricate and complicated” to really feel a sense of accomplishment, and these dresses definitely make you proud when they’re finished!

French fashion dolls had their heyday around the 1850s-60s.  It’s tempting to compare them to Barbie or AG, as they had similarly enormous wardrobes and lots of accessories, but these were dolls for very privileged little girls.  Their clothing consisted of exquisite hand-made dresses for every conceivable occasion just like their mothers were wearing, in the finest of fabrics.  Their accessories were often of very costly materials, like ivory and even precious metals and gems for their jewelry!

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I decided it would be fun to create my own trousseau for my Hearts for Hearts, but coincidentally, while I was working on it, AG retired Cecile and Marie Grace!  I was heartbroken, as Cecile is one of my all-time favorite AGs, but bought some furniture and accessories, and then decided Cecile could share in the fun.  You can too!  This week we’ll start a 4-week sew- and craft-along.  Each week has different projects using a variety of crafting techniques.  There are sewing projects, paper crafts, shoemaking, tons of things made from modern-day elephant-safe “ivory” (AKA shrinky dinks), as well as hats and other random items.  They were made for H4H, but most items can be easily resized for bigger dolls.

To go along with all these accessories, there are some new historical dress patterns  that include my version of two of my favorite AG dresses from that era, sized for H4H and AG dolls, and one based on a very popular style shown frequently in antique doll trousseaux. Want to get a few patterns?  Use coupon code 20OFF20 to get 20% off any order of $20 or more in my etsy shop through Sunday! 

Go find a really fabulous box to use as a trunk, and get ready to re-create history!

Get week 1 free patterns here

BTW:  This set (maybe with a new doll?) would make an amazing gift for your special little girl!  Make it now and put it away for the next birthday/holiday.

Don’t like historical stuff?

I put together lots of AG inspiration and pattern links to sew modern clothes here

It will surely keep you busy until we finish the French Fashion series!  🙂

 

 

Cheries

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Je vous présente ma nouvelle poupée :  Corolle Capucine  – Je sais qu’il y a au moins deux d’entre vous qui peuvent lire cette phrase! 🙂

Ok, enough of my possibly incorrect French…so many people have asked me about sizing for these dolls I decided to order one.  (They’re pretty much the same size as Hearts for Hearts, and yes, the pattern for her padded jacket is coming…)

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In case you haven’t figured it out, my new doll is a Corolle Cheries doll, and I have to say something great about her:  In general, the photos a company puts out to promote their dolls often look a lot different, and sometimes better than the doll looks in real life.  (Kathe Kruse, I’m talking to you!)  Capucine is an exception in that she looks better in real life, what a nice change!  And she was dressed in red, pink, and black but had NO STAINS!  🙂  These dolls are a little squishy to be huggable.  It bothered me at first, and then I started to like it.  She smelled like play-doh for about a week and that smell has now changed to a light vanilla scent which I’ve started to like.

I do still feel Hearts for Hearts have a better quality to price ratio, as well as being more poseable with their ball-jointed necks and arms with a better range of motion, but these dolls are quite nice.

I also ordered this book:

It is only available in French, and readily available on amazon.fr and often amazon.ca, but if you are looking for it in the US, you will need to be patient (mine took 3 weeks to arrive) and maybe willing to pay a little more.  You can search by ISBN to find it: 2848314796 and as of this writing there are 9 copies available on amazon.com

I am not someone who will lightly sing the praises of things. Nor am I one of those bloggers who gets loads of free things from companies to “review” (AKA provide free advertising).  I pay for things myself, and present an unbiased review.
I was so pleased with this book! I’m in the middle of designing some historical patterns that are somewhat complex, and this book provides a happy distraction from them.  I would say that all the things in this book are easy to sew.  Many of them are variations on a theme, but those variations are so different they don’t get boring. There is a costume here for every conceivable thing your Cheries could want to do. There are outfits for around town (modern things), vacations (ethnic outfits) and historical garments. While the authenticity of some of the ethnic and historical things is questionable, all of the outfits are absolutely lovely and have a naïve, handmade look. Even if you don’t speak French, the patterns and pictures make this book accessible to anyone with advanced beginner sewing skills. The only thing I found mildly annoying was that all of the patterns need to be enlarged on a copier before you can use them, and they all have a different enlargement ratio.  Although the book is a little expensive if you are ordering it from outside of Europe, it does have 40 different outfits and I think is a pretty good value for the price.
Some of the outfits included are:
Schoolgirl
Nurse
Fashionista
Dancer
Gala
Arty
Working girl
Bride
Chinese
Creole
Peruvian
Balinese
Kimono
Polynesian
Scottish
Lakota
Oriental dancer
Sari
A variety of costume-y type fairy patterns, which are variations on a basic ballgown
Witch
Pirate
Historical costumes include: ancient Rome, Renaissance, 1920s, 1880s, ancient Egypt, 1960s, 1910, prehistoric, 1950s and Empire

You can look inside the book on amazon.fr and .ca, but here are a few more pictures: (I am SO making that pirate costume for Halloween!)