Monday, November 29, 2010

The One Shoulder Evening Dress

Some of you may recall my recent post about sewing an outfit for my 1950's doll. The one shouldered number on the left really caught my fancy. Imagine my surprise when I spied a similar design (without the puffy skirt) in the latest catalogue from Burda patterns:

Burda 7474

Just shows these designs keep coming back into the fashion cycle every so often. What better way to show of an alluring shoulder?

I am feeling better so I was able to sew in the linings and start on the hems on my New Look jacket on the weekend. It is inching towards completion!

If you have tried to leave a comment in the past and been unable to, that is because I had that function switched off by mistake. I have set it so that you can leave a comment now, so please do.

Until next time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dolls! A Cloth Doll Called Bernadette

Hi all. I have not been well the last week, so there has been no sewing done at all. To give you something to look at until I finish the New Look jacket, here are some photos of a cloth doll I made about 3 years ago. The doll is from a design by Miriam Gourley. I will give you some more details about how I made her and where I got the pattern from at a later date. Email me or leave a comment if you cannot wait until then.

Matching jacket with hand beading

Australian mohair used for her hair

Boots painted with craft paint

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Look Jacket 6619 : Are We There Yet?

For those of you who thought my New Look Jacket project had been pushed to the back of the sewing room again, here are some pictures of my progress to date. I have finished the outer jacket and only have the sleeves to put in to the lining. Something went wrong with the length of the front lining piece, so I will have to take the bust darts out to regain the correct length. New Look only gave an extra pattern piece for the lining, so maybe the mistake is theirs.

I had to replace the first lot of lining I cut out as I got baby oil on it and it would not wash out. I had been experimenting using it to re-condition frizzy barbie doll hair earlier in the day, and some of it was still on my hands. It is hard stuff to get off. I already had the green lining, so I did not have to rush out and buy any more. I think it is only bemsilk, and the quality is nothing like Sunsilky antistatic lining. Now I know why I pay more to use Sunsilky.
Button loop

Attached sleeve band cut on bias

Finally, getting off the topic of sewing, here is a bucket of the roses that I rushed out and picked before the heavy rains started here in Melbourne on Friday night:

And this is my cat Bootsie. I am sure he is a Manga cat, look at those beautiful big eyes he has! 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Painting : 1950's & 1960's Frocks Fever

Well it is all things 1950's and 1960's here on Lizzie's Arty Crafty this week. Today, I did some sketches which are my interpretation of some 1950's and 1960's dresses. These sketches are inspired by the photographs in The Golden Age of Couture : Paris & London 1947 to 57 edited by Claire Wilcox and The 1960's : Fashions of a Decade by Yvonne Connikie.

First up is a silk dress by Cardin from the book of 1960's fashions. The author does not say when it was made. It reminds me of a dress my Mum had when I was a kid. I will have to ask Mum if she can remember when she wore that dress.

Next up, I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw this 2 page spread in The Golden Age of Couture on a doll with the splendid name of Miss Virginia Lachasse. Unfortunately, the book does not say how high she is. My sketch below does not do it justice (my version makes her look rather cross, however the real doll does have a serious expression), or show the extensive wardrobe that was created for her in 1954, which included gold leather sandals and her own mink coat. For those vintage doll fanatics out there, if you can find this book and look on page 108, you will see her in all her glory. If you live in the United Kingdom, apparently she was recently donated to the Museum of Costume in Bath. You can also see her on the Victoria & Albert Museum website. Oh my!

Here is another 1954 beauty which shows how a lean straight up and down silhouette was also fashionable then. It is a suit by Balenciaga. That hat the model is wearing was actually white in the photograph and has what looks like a black pom pom on the end. I love it!

Finally, my last sketch is of a model wearing a tulle evening dress, leaning on a couch. This is not a very clear drawing, but it does give an indication of how full those skirts were, and how heavy they must have been.

Just a final word on the comments function on my blog. I think it has been switched off, which meant no-one has been able to leave a comment. I think I have it working now and I would love you to leave a comment or just say hi, so please do. Sensible comments of course! LOL!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Spring!

It's spring at the moment, look at my lovely roses. The only one I know the name of is the apricot one which is called Just Joey.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dolls! Sewing for 1950's & 1960's Dolls.

I am not so sure that the skirt on my Glamour Doll is authentic; it could just be a recently made skirt for a Barbie. So what better excuse to go hunting for an authentic pattern to make up an outfit for her! A search of Amazon revealed these 2 books. I bought the second one which is by Rosemarie Ionker as it has the patterns to sew the clothes. I would love to buy the first one too, but it is very expensive having 3 hobbies! Perhaps that one will have to wait for a while.

Image taken from

Image taken from

Back cover

Here is an example of a copy of an original pattern on Ebay to make clothes for 11.5 inch dolls which I am also considering buying. I adore that one shoulder number, but I am not sure if that is a 1950's style; looks like I might have to do more research. I think that I enjoy the research that goes with collecting vintage dolls as much as I do the collection itself.

Amazon also has a couple of sellers who have Vogue patterns which are reproductions of the designs of the 1950's to 1970's that could also work. They are quite expensive though, so the best way to do it is to find a basic pattern and adapt it and I am hoping the book I have bought will allow me to do that.

I don't really like sewing such tiny clothes, but I think it will make the doll look so much better. I made a replacement outfit recently for one of my Peggy Nesbit dolls, which is only about 6 inches high. That was a trying experience, but it came out alright in the end.

Perhaps I will do a book review for the Ionker book, if anyone is interested.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Look! I can finally lay claim to the 'Arty' in my blog title:

Here is a close up of the goldfish painting:

I used watercolour, Prismacolor watercolour pencils and normal artists quality pencils on Arches 300 gsm paper. The painting had been stuck down on my canvas board for many months, and I finished it off today by highlighting the eyes and some of the focal points with the pencils. Sometimes it pays to leave a painting and then you can see it with 'fresh eyes' to finish it off.

I like to be precise with my sewing, and go to great trouble to get it right, but I love splashing my paints around!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dolls! 1950's Glamour Doll?

I bought this doll for a very reasonable price at a doll show in Melbourne recently. It was sold as a 1950's Glamour Girl doll, and I am quite certain she is.

I think the outfit except for the gloves is original, but I added the bit of sparkly pink tulle for modesty as she did not have a top on; only that amazing strapless bra.

It even has a catch to do it up at the back;

In the photo above, you can just make out the writing stamped onto her back: Made in Hong Kong (British Empire) No. 8110. Beneath this is a kind of logo that I have not been able to trace. It has the letters W P W inside a diamond shape which is kind of on it's side. There are 2 arrows pointing out of the diamond shape, one on each side. I would love to hear from anyone who knows this makers mark and can tell me about them.

Look at her plastic earrings:

And her plastic shoes:

And here is a close up of her crazy make up. She has real sleep eyes. I just love her, even though I have seen far better examples of these dolls on the internet.
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