Happy Sunday dolly people!
I have been working on a couple of iconic Marilyn dresses for a discerning client and I wanted to share what I’ve done so far…..
First, here is one of the dresses I am making. It’s the delightful black fringed dress that Marilyn dances around in at the beginning of the film “Some Like It Hot”
I apologize for the poor quality of my screen pics, but they, in conjunction with the film itself of course, help me recreate the look as closely as I can.
My client has sent their doll, and two outfits to be better fitted to the doll. From what I can discern online, the dresses come from the Franklin Mint dolls, and as a result don’t quite fit as well as my client would like. Not surprising really, after all, Marilyn is said to have been sewn into many of her movie costumes for a truly form fitting result!
I will also be rerooting the doll as she her hair was not in terrific shape and adding lashes as well.
Here is my clients’ Marilyn doll (I believe that this is by “World Doll”, but I am not sure….)She stands approximately 18″ tall and is vinyl.
I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t really make much use of the original black dress. It had already been somewhat altered and there just wasn’t enough to really work with. Remaking and refitting something is often more work than starting from scratch. So….from scratch I began, lol!
To begin with I, of course, watched the film. I had completely forgotten that the film is black and white. I mean, I’ve seen the film, but all of my internal memories of Marilyn Monroe are in colour! Good thing it’s a black dress and I don’t have to try and research its’ colour, tee hee! (THAT can be a challenge!)
There are a couple of notable differences between the doll version I was sent and the real one in the film. For one thing the real one is longer than you might think! It seems to be beneath the knee! The one I’m making will be just above the knee. The other major difference is that the fringe on the doll version is straight across the front and the back. The movie version has the fringe coming up to a bit of a point. I think too after watching the appraisal of the original online at PBS (a PBS Antiques Roadshow bit) that the decoration down the front is not braid as it is in the doll version, but small buttons.Â And lastly, there is a little lace bit in the ‘v’ of Marilyns’ dress in the film, but it is not present in the appraisal version. Maybe a separate piece that has been lost? These are negligible differences to many, but for me they are significant :o)
Also, the point of this dress is its’ tightness. In order to keep her sleeves tight, I will have to allow them to open at the cuff. This dolls hand is semi wide open and it would never fit down a sleeve as narrow as her wrist…
OK, so, research done…… pattern done….. much of the sewing done……
You can see the original doll dress in the background, which didn’t have any gathering under the bust, but needed it, so my version has it…..
Also, it was lined, in black!?! What on earth is the point of that? I will be lining in a neutral, non-staining blush pink poly broadcloth. I mean if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, right?
Here I’m just checking the fit over the chest, the length in the bodice and the length of the skirt….
Just checking the all important bust, lol!
And lastly for today, all pinned up to check the overall silhouette. There is a little lining visible, but that is because the linings aren’t sewn in yet. In fact the skirt isn’t even attached permanently to the bodice yet. It’s just pinned. It’s always a good idea to pause and check your work regularly. That way you can catch things before they go to far awry :ol
Still much to do (fringe, buttons etc.) but it is shaping up very nicely.
This little black dress is one of three I will be doing for this Marilyn doll. I’ll be blogging about the other two as well. (Can you guess the other two dresses I’ll be doing? ;o)
That’s it for today, enjoy the rest of your Sunday!