All Dolled Up

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I made an update here! And the lovely post I wrote a couple days ago has found its way into the digital unknown so I’m starting over grr. So, almost a year ago I posted about the doll photo shoot I did and then went silent. Well, not because I wasn’t continuing my love of these dolls. There are a few photos of some of the work I did but did not talk about.

I finished this lovely dress and coat for Inez. The dress has caps or I believe they may be called sleeve jockeys that fit over the long slim sleeve. The coat is a sueded pleather and the “fur” trim is made from a fuzzy yarn I found. The coat is fully lined and don’t you just love the tiny buttons?

Mernie also got a new dress and a coat, plus a bonnet. The trim on this coat is handmade, 4-strand braid of embroidery floss. The bonnet is actually made from the pattern for the nightcap I made for Inez! It fits the little girl doll heads quite nicely, a bit better than the bonnet pattern that comes with the little girl patterns.

Emalie also has a new dress and a bolero jacket for summer wear as her dress is short sleeved. Her bonnet is from the little girl pattern. AND Emalie has her own doll now! How cute is this little bitty dolly? She’s about 3.5″ tall and of course entirely hand sewn because she is so tiny. I found this pattern in a book that a friend gave me ages ago with how-tos on all sorts of rustic dolls. She is the perfect size for sweet Emalie.

When last we saw Lydia Kidd, she was borrowing Inez’s wrapper and sheer dress, but she now has her own dress and capelette. I drafted the dress pattern based on Inez’s sizes but had to customize it heavily due to Lydia’s “linebacker” shoulders. The dress is cotton but I would have preferred to make it of silk. But hey, if I hadn’t told you would you have known? Nope. :-) Anyway, the bodice is a darted front, pagoda sleeved and has sheer under sleeves. The capelette is just delicious. It is 100% medium weight wool that someone gave me and is the perfect color for this ensemble. I found an embroidery pattern in a doll book and that inspired the pattern here. It took ages to embroider but I just absolutely love it. The capelette is also lined fully.

In addition to these lovely ladies, I have acquired some new Tudor dolls. As I have mentioned previously, there is surprisingly little information about the actual dolls. Tasha Tudor was a well known illustrator and doll lover, but most of the search results bring up her books about dolls or articles about her and her love of dolls. But occasionally….you find a gold mine on eBay.

Mailed in 1971, this package is all original, showing the 30 cent postage and the original sender “Tudor House” in Scarsdale, NY. Inside you see right away, there is the original catalog included for doll stores to order from!

There is the lovely Lady Patricia and Emma who I have talked about on previous posts. I also have the Dora doll and I’ll tell you about her shortly. This particular box was shipped with Trudy, a lovely 1880s styled doll.

Trudy Tudor is unmade as yet, but I’ll be working on her….sometime lol. Some of the Tasha Tudor dolls have this rosy pink cheek look but on others it is less obvious. Also interesting is that this doll head does not say the doll’s name, Trudy, where all the others I have seen include that. The Lady Patricia I have is from 1973 so some time after this catalog was printed the names were added to the doll porcelain. Trudy is described as a 12″ kit, so she won’t be very tall when finished – around the same height as Hannah (aka Meg) who I made. Of course I will tell you all about Trudy as she comes to life, but it will have to be after Caroline, Julia, Lady Patricia, and a special project for Ruby.

So Dora, that is a doll I actually have two of.

This is Dora Tudor #1 (from 1974). I found her completely dressed and competently so, so she will remain in these clothes for the time being. Maybe one day I will redress her, but I love the sort of bodice wrap thing she has going on here. It reminds me of a garment that I’ve lost the name of, but it’s sometimes called a bosom friend – it’s a knitted wrap that ties around the bodice to keep a woman warm. I was thinking about her shoes and possibly just using a bit of black enamel paint to disguise where the tips were broken. You will notice that the rosy cheeks are less prominent on this doll than on Trudy.

This is Dora Tudor #2 (note that her back has her name!).

Dora #2 (from 1972) has lived a dangerous life and it shows. She came naked and her body has discoloration all over it, plus there is the whole broken arm issue. I have an interesting idea to address that. Also note that the shoe style changed between 1972 and 1974. Dora #2 has flats, but Dora #1 has boots. The reason I purchased a damaged doll is to practice remaking a body and making repairs. I have been asked to update a true antique doll named Ruby that belongs to my cousin (and it belonged to her great grandmother). Ruby has a number of issues that need to be addressed, and Dora #2 is going to help me develop those skills.

Finally, while last, not least, is Molly Tudor. I mentioned to my daughter that I had seen her on Ebay, and lo and behold, she arrived at Christmas!

Molly is sweet, even if her legs are a little cockeyed. It’s difficult to get the legs to stay straight sometimes when assembling a doll, so we just say she has a limp. Molly. has the big round rosy cheeks of youth. She’s young, featuring shorter hair than some of the others. The hair styles can cue us in to the implied age of the doll, meaning this is maybe a teen or tween doll, instead of a lady doll such as Trudy.

Now I just have to find these new Tudor dolls: Anna and Abby. Both look beautiful, Anna with a painted neckline and Abby a bonnet-head doll. I have never seen either in my eBay or Etsy hunting, but I’ll persevere!

So there you have a rather long, image heavy update on the doll situation here. If it hadn’t been for a painter who backed out at the last minute, I could have kept up my stride on doll crafting, but alas, I had to keep my office/sewing room packed for 6 months while we sorted through the contractor situation. But now that the place is painted and I’m getting my things back into their places, we can start playing dolls again!