Marilyn Monroe

7 Year Itch Dress for 19 Inch Marilyn – Done :)

As promised last time, the dress is complete!

Waist size was confirmed, yay! Zipper inserted, this baby is done πŸ™‚

Here are some final photos. Again, this is going on a sculpture so my American Model lady is just showing it off for me πŸ˜‰




One more with the removable underwire πŸ™‚


Well, there you have it! All finished and off to it’s new home.

Thanks for reading!


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Posted in awsumgal outfit, doll, doll clothes, doll outfit, Marilyn Monroe, replica, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

7 Year Itch Dress for 19 Inch Marilyn Wip2

Good morning!

I’m almost finished with this project. I hope to put the finishing touches on it today.

When I last posted, I left you all with the pleating, looking unshaped and purposeless. Now things have taken shape πŸ™‚

Some of the bits are done and partially put together….

Here it is on my doll. Caveat here, my doll, although she’s 19 inches tall is not the girl who will be wearing this dress. My doll is smaller in the waist and bust than the sculpture is supposed to be, so it hangs off her a little in places πŸ™ We can’t all be Marilyn!

19Marilyn5wip2wThe pleats looks a little odd in front because I’m trying out the wire structure I made to make the dress look like it’s blowing up around her. Like this:

19Marilyn4wip2wOr this:


The point here is that it can be posed to the owners desire. Within reason of course, nothing is infinite!

The wire contraption is just flexible wire (strong enough to hold the weight of the skirt) sewn onto a piece of canvas. It fastens with a simple snap and is a separate piece from the dress.

When bent upward, the wire holds the skirt up and hides nicely in the pleats πŸ™‚

The finishing parts are left to do, the strapping across the front and the bow tie (not to be confused with a bowtie – different thing entirely, lol) I’ve begun the tie…



Still have to insert the zipper. The sculpture will be standing with legs apart, but I don’t know how far apart, so a long zipper should accommodate that. I’m still waiting on a confirmation of the waist size of this sculpture, and I don’t want to sew the zip into the back until I have that….

Except for the zipper, everything is hand sewing, so off I go to get that done. Next time you see this dress, it will be complete πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚




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Posted in awsumgal outfit, Historical Fashion, Marilyn Monroe, OOAK, replica, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

7 Year Itch Dress for 19″ Marilyn Sculpture

Happy Saturday morning folks! Hope you’ve got great plans for the day. The summer is winding down around here, so get out and do something fun, (right after you bookmark this blog, lol!)

Today I’ll be working an a Marilyn Monroe 7 Year Itch dress. You know the one, the subway grate scene on that hot night in the film? The pleated one? Yup, that one…..


I have made doll versions of this dress before, but this time is a little different. This time it will be for a sculpture, not a doll. My client is having a sculpture made. She’ll be 19 inches tall and will be proportional to Marilyn’s actual measurements.

I researched Marilyn’s measurements and although they changed over the years a little, and there seems to be a tiny discrepancy with regard to her actual height, I was able to find them online in a couple of different places. I also have a few books about Marilyn and the her designers. There is a lot of literature on that “silly little dress” as Travilla (the designer) called it.


His dress, he can call it whatever he wants!

As a point of interest, the dress isn’t even white, it’s bone, or cream. White didn’t really appear white so well on film. Apparently, white looked grey and dingy, so the bone coloured dress gave a more pleasing white on film, which is what they were going for. This version is white, but not bright white, just a soft neutral white.Β  I have chosen a silk/cotton light semi sheer fabric for this as it will pleat beautifully. (I discovered that the designer had fabric specially made for this dress. He specifically wanted some man-made fiber content, which he didn’t normally use much, so that the pleats would stay.)

So, I’ve begun the work on pure math and numbers to this point because I don’t have the sculpture in hand, she may not be finished yet even. New size, so new pattern. The sculptor is crafting the figure to have Marilyn’s real proportions. So I’ve taken her actual height and the height of the sculpture and gotten a percentage which I then applied to her bust, waist and hip measurements. Because this dress has the pleated flared skirt, the hip measurement isn’t all that critical. The most important is the waist because that’s where the dress fits closely. Even the bust cups have ore leeway in terms of size because they will be gathered along the bottom edge and the tied at the back neck, so that affords some size flexibility as well.

All of this is important because I don’t yet have confirmation of the position, theΒ stance, of the sculpture. Are her hands down? or up? Are her legs together? or apart? This will have an impact on how much of the dress can be closed at the back and how it fastens. So I will do what can be done without that knowledge and go from there.

So here is the pleated skirt section in process. I’m doing it by hand with my trusty iron. Note that I have already hemmed this. prior to pleating πŸ™‚


I have done this pleated skirt in an arc before, but it’s tricky that way because the grainline doesn’t arc (of course) so parts of the pleating are more difficult to pleat perfectly. I’m going with a straighter pattern piece here for a better pleat. The fabric is semi sheer and I don’t want to line it, as that would interfere with the pleated look (even if I pleated the lining), so I want a fair amount of pleat overlap. The real dress is three layers everywhere, except the skirt, which is two. My version will be lined everywhere except the skirt and have an extra layer in the pleated bust to waist section.

Here it is all pleated….


The other little gotcha is that the client wants the hem to appear to be blowing up around her as if she’s on that subway grate. But we’ll get to that when the time is right. I have a couple of ideas πŸ™‚

I’ve gone ahead and pleated a piece for the bodice between bust and waist as well.


I have also drafted and cut the bust pieces and the back bodice bits. There is a little more that I can do before the final size confirmation, so I’ll go and do those things while I’m waiting. (Gathering the bust cups and lining, prepping the waist tie…)

That is all for now. I’ll get back to work so there’s more to show next time!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!




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Niagara outfit for Marilyn is finished…

Happy Sunday everyone!

Well the blog was down for a bit and I was too busy with the holidays to do much about it. Apparently my chosen theme was not happy and playing well with a newer WordPress version. It would be nice to be alerted of such an incompatibility, but whatever. No worries, it’s all fixed now :o)

On to more important details! When I last posted about this outfit for the Franklin Mint vinyl Marilyn doll, it was only beginning to be constructed. I spent a fair amount of time on the notched oversized lapel. I wanted it to lie naturally and that took a little tweaking :o)

Here it is pretweaked. It’s also on my Tonner Tyler because I didn’t yet have a Marilyn doll to work with. One was on the way, but I didn’t want to wait until it arrived before I began!

Back to the collar… It is not sitting nicely. The collar piece was too rounded. I removed it, redrafted, recut and resewed that bit and carefully reinserted it. It was much better!

Niagara outfit on my Tonner Tyler before I got my doll

Here’s a look at the shirt with the jacket open…

awsumgal Niagara outfit showing the shirt.

More refining of the collar went on after this pic too :o)

awsumgal Niagara outfit jacket fit test.

I tidied the jacket up a bit more. I pressed it and made it a little shorter when I hemmed it.

The black  stretch skirt has a nice little vent in the back as I imagine the real one probably had. In real life it’s for stride room, on a doll it’s just a touch of realism. Not necessary, but nice. It’s also lined for a clean finish and to protect the doll from dye bleed which can be an issue with black, dark or very vibrant fabrics. Her silk/cotton asymmetrical shirt has an attached panty so that it won’t come untucked during posing (something that used to drive me nutty!) and also ensures that even the narrow turn over edge of the black skirt won’t touch the doll.

Then some hand finishing on the jacket and the Niagara outfit is finished. It’s even all packed and ready to go, but before that I took some finished studio shots.

Franklin Mint Marilyn Monroe in awsumgal Niagara red jacket fashion


Here’s another shot of the whole outfit. I used a vintage abalone button that seemed about the right size. The original one is a generous one.

The whole enchilada!

Marilyn just needs some footwear and she’ll be ready to go :o)

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the process.

I’m currently working on a couple of things. Another LuxDoll and a repaint too so keep popping in!

Happy New Year


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Niagara outfit continues for Marilyn Monroe!

Good morning dolly fans!

My Franklin Mint Marilyn is hopefully making her way towards me at this very moment! In the meantime, I am going on with her outfit….

The patterns are drafted by the chimney with care, whoops, my holiday mindset is showing, lol! There are many bits to this outfit…

As the cool red jacket is the most complicated I will start there. The red fabric I am using is a midweight poppy red woven that has a luxurious look to it. It frays like nobody’s business, so I’ll need to be careful handling it. Once it’s all together it’ll be fine because all the seams are enclosed. It’s a great colour and it presses really well. Here’s a pic of the jacket and some of it’s linings in mid construction….

I’m about halfway through the shirt at this point and the skirt is all cut out as well, but I haven’t taken any photos of that yet πŸ™‚ I’ll do that next time!

Thanks for stopping in, more later …



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