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A Lady of the Court Wip 2

I’ve been working on the toile and all of the tiny pleats. I was a little (pleasantly) surprised that despite how random and complicated they appeared at first blush, when they’re all sewn up, they finish quite nicely. There is reason and logic in their placement. Don’t know why I ever doubted that lol!

Here’s the skirt with all it’s pleats sewn up:

PompWip3-1w

Then on to the bodice and the overdress. More interestingly placed pleats and tucks :) Here are the two sides of the over dress bodice portion… Excuse the many pins! This bit had to be hand sewn in place.

PompWip3-2w

 

 

There is a lining for the bodice as well and the center stomacher portion I backed with felt for more rigidity. In the final version, the silk stomacher will have lots of embellishment (such is the plan!)

PompWip3-3w

I got to the sleeves. So flouncy!! I like these flounces, although I will need to decide how to finish the silk edges. Not sure that faced versions will work. I’ll have to think on that. Hopefully something will come to me before I get to that stage!  In the finished version I’ll be adding even more flounce, lace etc. I want the sleeves to be super opulent and frilly :)

Woot!! Here’s the whole thing, though not sewn all up yet…

almost-donewip3-4w

 

Just a little more work to do. Sew the sleeves in, put the rest of the bodice lining together, finish all the edges and then, if it all looks good, I can feel confident cutting in to the silk. Can’t wait!

When I started this and was faithfully plotting out all of those pleats and darts etc. onto my fabric, I envisioned that it would be difficult to keep them all straight and wondered if it was all going to work when I was done. As I went along though, it pretty much built itself, lol!

When I stopped for the day, I found a treasure in my mailbox. My Pompadour biography arrived!! I know what I’m reading tonight, lol!

PompBook1w

Same portrait on the cover that drew me to her originally! There are no coincidences ;)

Thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

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A Lady of the Court WIP 1

Hi doll folks!

Here is my muse :)

pompw

Anyone know who she is?

I didn’t at first when I saw this perfect image online and it wasn’t labelled or captioned. I didn’t know who I was so taken with! This was the very image I had in mind  and I was so very excited to find her. I wanted though to add details into the project that pertained to this particular person so I dug a little further and realized to my delight that it is none other that Madame de Pompadour! Born Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, here painted in her younger days by Francois Boucher. I love this painting! The lady herself is no less intriguing. A companion and trusted advisor to Louis XV, she was a major influence in many high level matters of state, but chiefly the arts and culture of France. Voltaire was a dear friend. She ran the household for the king and remained an important member of the palace until her death in 1764. A most interesting figure!

I realize of course that she is not wearing blue in this painting, but historically, the blue is quite ubiquitous during the time period, and I am not copying the painting you understand, just being inspired by it! (Although she may need a little lap dog ;) We’ll see what other interesting details emerge after I read her biography that is on it’s way here.

I hope to add some period appropriate accessories and furniture for her as well, but I’m getting ahead of myself!

I’m continuing with my project. Satisfied with the dye job on the silk and the trims, I moved on to the pattern. I’ll be doing a Robe a la Francaise. It’s a complicated business. I’m working from Janet Arnold’s fascinating Patterns of Fashion book. It’s a study of period clothing examples from 1660 to 1860. It’s dry and technical and just my cup of tea!

Of course, much adaptation and altering needed to be done to fit my little lady. I’m hoping to make this project historically accurate or at least plausible and believable. That means lots of research and learning new things! I like a project I can really sink my teeth into.

I’ll be figuring out the construction procedure as I go because my resource isn’t a “how to”, it’s a study. There aren’t any instructions. I will make a toile and that will give me practice before I cut into the silk I have dyed for this gown.

One of the interesting challenges about this gown will be the insanely tiny pleats throughout the petticoat front and back and the overskirt. They are numerous, precise and like I said teeny!

Pattern chaos ensued lol! My doll seem to have fainted!

PatternChaosw

Yikes what a mess!

One of the ladies looks on….

Pattern1w

The pleats needed to be carefully marked otherwise I won’t be able to keep them all straight!

MarkingPleatsw

Three down, 35 000 000 to go lol! Thank goodness for magnifying glasses :)

3Downw

I put the ruler in the above shot to illustrate just how minute and close together they are. I got half of the front petticoat done and had to take a break! Ah well, I’m sure it will be worth it when I’m finished.

TinyPleatsw

I hope I can figure out how to construct the back of the gown. All in good time……

Until next time, thanks for reading!

~awsumgal

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Konmari :)

Good morning readers!

While I am working on a number of doll projects right now, (Stenciled Drum Cases, a Syb rescue and a Monster High Cleo repaint, all of which I plan to blog about here) I want to talk about something totally off topic that my sister turned me on to. The Konmari Method!

This is not new, Marie Kondo has been working her magic in Japan for many years. It’s just new to me! She is the author of “The Konmari Method – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” It’s a delightful little tome that helps readers identify and organize the things in their lives (some extrapolate to relationships as well, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish!)

KonmariBook

The basic premise is that, category by category, you go through all of the things in your life and keep only the ones that spark joy when you pick them up and look at them. You cannot do this without consciously looking at and considering each item. So it does take time. Marie suggests that you start with your clothing because it is not rare or difficult to replace, and do mementos and photographs and the like last when you’ve had some practice.

I’ve been doing this for a while now. Bit by bit, which isn’t really recommended. It’s best to do and entire category at once, but time constraints and decision fatigue get me, so I’m tackling what I can when I can. I’m happy to report that the areas I’ve completed have not returned to their former chaotic state, and that getting dressed in the morning is fun when everything you have sparks joy!

The other pillar of this method is the way things are stored. Google Konmari folding methods and a wealth of hits will pop up. At first blush it looks as though this will take huge amounts of time, but although there is a time commitment at the outset, keeping it going really doesn’t take much. As one who often resents the amount of time and management dealing with all of my “stuff” sucks out of my life, I find this much better. The time saved in no longer having to look endlessly for something to no avail, going out and buying another, and then finding it the next day (no doubt while looking for something else) is significant!

The preferred methods of storage hinge on being able to see what you have. Clothing is rolled, or folded to stay vertical and not piled atop each other. I’m already finding that I have a much better handle on what I have and what I need. No more buying the same thing over and over only to wonder why I have 12 black tank tops. Or whatever, I don’t really have 12 black tank tops, but I think I had 6 white ones, lol!

One word of caution though: Don’t do other people’s things.

Mostly they won’t appreciate finding that you’ve thrown out or donated something important to them. Don’t do other peoples’ things even if they want you to. Don’t be tempted! It’s not just about tidying your house. It’s about identifying what brings you joy and what is important to you. You can’t accomplish that for someone else. They have to manage their own “secret life of things” as I like to call it. If you have children in your home, you can guide them. Very young children you’ll have to decide for, but as children get older they may happily join in. Or not :/ There are lots of discussion groups and online forums with much more and better advice than I have on this aspect of Konmari.

Being able to fill your space with only the things that bring you joy allows you to appreciate them. Maybe you’ll find you’re much happier with less quantity, better quality in the things you choose to bring into your home. The added side benefit is of course an orderly, calm and efficient life of “things” in your world.

So run out and get the book :) Here’s a link “The Konmari Method – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up”

Konmari On!

~awsumgal

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New Desperately Seeking Susan Skull Case listing on Esty

Good day dolly fans!

I have finished a mini replica dancing skeleton and skull head drum case for 16 dolls. This is a miniature of the drum case carried by Madonna in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. I have made this before (twice  in the last 10 years!) but each is slightly different due to the hand painting and finishing that goes into it after airbrushing with my custom stencils.

This has been made by the same method I used before, which I lay out in some detail in a previous post. Here’s a link if you’d like to check that out.

Skull Case Blog post the first one anyway, there are several!

It has a pink 100% silk interior, both top and bottom and the top has a useable elastic edged pocket. Top and bottom are padded.For added fun, a few paper accessories (just like in the film) are included, just to get you started! :)

Here is a link to the Etsy listing

Skull Case on Etsy

Here are a few shots of the just finished case…

 

 

 

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Tiny Porcelain Babies get fixed up :)

Some time ago, I found these adorable tiny porcelain baby dolls and some vintage looking clothes at my local thrift store.

Even though I don’t usually go in much for most porcelain dolls (there is a fairly big population of mediocre quality examples) these little babies were just too sweet to leave behind. They were comfortably housed in a woven wicker type stroller. and were wearing very well made matching crocheted outfits. I could tell they needed restringing, but I was up to the challenge, some home they came with me!

Well, I finally got around to giving them the time of day! First I examined what had been done originally and I was a little dismayed to find that whomever has strung them before me was playing fast and loose with the glue they used. Oh well, no matter. It was a small thing to gently pick it off with a dull knife.

 

When I had liberated these little cuties from their crocheted outfits I found that one of them had a tragically broken leg! Again, I’m not worried! I have a plan to fix that!

These babies have no markings, so I don’t know who made them, or anything about them really, except that they’re cute. Oh and this funny little babe was in there too :) He has rather unfortunate features. I may repaint him!

I assembled my bits for the job of restringing. I’ll use cotton embroidery floss in white, pink seed bead stops and Jewel It glue. This glue retains some flexibility when dry and I have had good adherence experience with it.

The broken leg will have to be repaired before stringing of course, but I’ll test my intended method on the babe that isn’t broken. I’ll be placing cotton felt discs in between the joints so they don’t wear on each other.

Seems to work. The joints hold pose. When the glue is dry I’ll cut The threads closer to the tie.

To fix the broken leg, I’ll insert a LA doll clay leg top. I’ll poke a hole through for stringing while it’s still wet. I don’t want to disturb it too much when it’s dry because I don’t know how well the clay will hold onto the porcelain. As a result I don’t really want to take a drill to it!

While the clay was drying I soaked the little christening dresses and the little day dress in some Oxy Clean to see if I could bring them back to life…

These items were all white (or were supposed to be – they were actually pretty yellow!) so I wasn’t worried that the Oxy would hurt them. Some items can’t even withstand getting wet, so proceed with extreme caution when handling vintage and antique items. I tend to baby sit whatever I’m trying to clean and check on it frequently to make sure the item isn’t being degraded.

Back to the babies! I spent some time degluing them and cleaning up a few scuffs and they look sweet!

They’re so cute! After their clothes were cleaned (and rinsed well) and dried, I dressed them and put them back into their giant wicker pram. They look comfy cosy in there :)

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for joining me!

xo

~awsumgal

 

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