Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dolls! Fabrics for Doll Clothes in the 1950's

I received my photocopy of vintage McCall's pattern 1720 in the mail this week from Isn't it gorgeous! It was published in 1952 and is for the American Character Sweet Sue dolls. I was reading the fabric requirements on the back of the pattern envelope and was surprised that they suggest wool jersey for the view A or B blouse. Wool jersey! I have never come across that kind of fabric in the fabric chain stores that I haunt. I would imagine that in the 1950's it was easily available, otherwise they would not have suggested it for these doll clothes. Modern mass produced dolls clothes are certainly not going to be using wool jersey!

A big thankyou this week to princess char who signed up as a follower to my blog. It is always such a compliment when someone wants to become a follower. She does not seem to have a blog, otherwise I would have given you the link.

My RTW clothing alterations are creeping along so I only spent about 10 minutes on my Ella doll last weekend; she is not going to get completed in a hurry at this rate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dolls! 1950's Sweet Sue Hard Plastic Walker Doll

I won this 1950's 21 inch hard plastic Sweet Sue doll at auction recently. It was one of those auctions where you get a card with your number to hold up. No-one wanted her because she is a bit of a mess, but I didn't pay much for her. I just adored her face, and the fact that she is a walker, and turns her head from side to side as she walks. Her hair is a very inappropriate replacement, and although someone has lovingly made the dress she is wearing, I think I can do something for her by making an outfit using an original pattern from the time period.

The eyes are replacements also.

The detail in her hands is stunning.

This pattern is a copy of an original pattern of clothes for Sweet Sue dolls, and I will be ordering a copy of this one from Playtimeone on Ebay.

And I could not resist the ballerina design on this one that I purchased from dds_love4dolls on Ebay. It is a copy of the original pattern.

According to my copy of Children's Costume : the Complete Historical Sourcebook by John Peacock, girls at around the 10 -12 year age group were wearing waisted dresses with full puffy skirts and petticoats that came to just below the knee for most of the 1950's, so I think the designs in these patterns are spot on. And as always, I love looking at the art work made for these pattern covers. It is just lovely.

I need to give her a clean up with mild soapy water on a cotton bud to see if I can remove any of the dirt, and use just water in painted areas such as her cheeks. I may not go near those areas at all because they are not too bad. I am going to a doll fair soon so I will see if I can pick up a better wig for her, or find someone who can replace her wig for a reasonable price. I do not want to spend too much money on her because she is not in very good condition, but it seems a shame not to at least make a replacement outfit for her.

So I have added another project to my long list of exciting projects. The hem alterations that I have been doing on the RTW items that I bought on sale recently have dragged to a halt this weekend as I was out and about and then came down with a cold virus. There is always next weekend...

Monday, August 1, 2011


There has been a lot going on at Lizzie's lately, but not much sewing of dolls or otherwise. I have almost finished pruning my roses, which had managed to produce this wind blown lot of buds and flowers mid winter.

I have been taking up the sleeve hems on 2 ready ready to wear jackets that I bought during the winter sales. And I managed to finish my train the trainer certificate, and pass!

There is always time for a little shopping though, and Tessuti kindly obliged by having a sale. I bought some linens, chocolate coloured boiled wool and some wool and cashmere suiting.

Spotlight has the most divine cotton that has a kind of satin finish. It was not on sale, but the quality was beautiful, so I bought some to make shirts. I also picked up some cotton Liberty voile fabric in the most divine patterns. This photo probably does not do it justice. The Liberty fabric is on the left.

Back in the 1990's (I think) I made this shirt out of liberty fabric. It is huge on me now, but I am thinking of doing a bit of a makeover on it such as taking out the shoulder pads (yes shoulder pads) and putting some casing at the mid-back for some elastic.

The print is not a subtle design at all:

Do you think these flowers are poppies or some kind of thistle?

And of course sale time fever would not be complete without the half price pattern sale. Now I have a whole lot more patterns to fuss over with fitting issues. Do I really want to do that?? I have heard that the Wild Ginger software produces really well fitting clothes, but I can't get an idea of all the designs available just by looking on their website. I think they have a design feature in the package, but I don't know if I would be any good at that. You can buy a module for just coats and jackets, so perhaps I will try that first. Once I finish my Ella doll, I will tackle another jacket using one of my paper patterns and see how I go with that. I will probably do one of my liberty tops first though, so I have that ready for when the weather starts to warm up.

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