Monday, July 16, 2012

Dolls! My Ballerina Dolls : 1950's and Later

I didn't set out to collect ballerina dolls, but have ended up with four. Sweet Sue is dressing up as a ballerina doll as she came to me in a horrible state and so I made a few new outfits for her, the ballerina dress being the latest.

The small doll on the right is a Madame Alexander, and I think she is the Margaret face. I would say this is her original outfit as it is very fragile. The net under skirt is just crumbling away and the overskirt is drab and floppy. I kind of like a doll in an old played with state though. She is not dirty, but just looks old and faded. The face colouring is excellent with just a small scratch on one cheek. The original flowers are still in her hair and on the dress. She is from the 1950's and the Madame Alexander label is still inside her dress.

The pretty pink doll on the left is also a Madame Alexander Elise Ballerina, and as far as I can tell from my Patricia Smith book Madame Alexander Dolls 1965-1990, she was a 1984 model. She still has her swing tag and the MA label is still inside her dress. The dress is just a bit too pink for my liking, although I am sure it would appeal to little girls. I do like the way the dress has a Monet French ballerina look and the care they have taken with the hair style. Her eyes are rather spooky though.

Of course I couldn't finish this post without another look at my latest makeover dress for Sweet Sue. She appears to have borrowed my Madame Alexander Cissy fashion doll's necklace.

The second smallest doll has made a couple of appearances on this blog; it is a Peggy Nisbet Nanette. The tiny little doll who is parading in her birthday suit while she waits for me to make her an outfit was a purchase I made at the Melbourne Doll Show.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dolls! Ballerina Dress for a 1950's Sweet Sue Doll

Ta da! After much work and interruptions with colds and other things, I finally finished the ballerina dress for my Sweet Sue doll. I got the copper tulle from Tessuti fabrics in Melbourne. I think it just makes it look so old fashioned, and suits Sweet Sue's complexion. The skirt and bodice are made from a remnant of shot polyester satin that I got at the Clegs remnants sale at the start of the year. It is a beautiful quality, made in Taiwan and weighs 255 grams per square metre. Only the best for my dollies! Seriously though, the fabrics they used to dress these dolls in originally were very good quality, so it makes sense to try and use the same quality fabrics when replacing their outfits.

The spray of apple blossom flowers at her waist are vintage and were made in Japan. I have kept the labels on for authenticity.

A strapless bodice like a real grown up has!

Back view

The only change I made to the original pattern was to add a layer of stiff white netting underneath the skirt so it would stand out more. I also lined the skirt with lining fabric to get a neater finish on the hem.

I have not seen a Sweet Sue in a ballerina dress yet, but there is one on page 94 of Judith Izin's book American Character Dolls.

Now I am sewing for me. I am making a stretch cowl neck top out of a Vogue pattern, and hemming some jeans and work trousers. More about the Vogue top project soon.

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