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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Sewing for Male Miniature Dolls

There was some discussion on The Camp, an international miniaturists' group on the internet that I am a member of, regarding sewing for male dolls. I remembered these two, made in the year 2000, which never sold and are still living with me. Both of these dolls were dressed using the patterns and instructions in Sue Atkinson's book, Making & Dressing Dolls' House Dolls in 1/12 Scale; this is pretty much the best book I've come across, so far!



These are Grandmere, who is a widow in light mourning, and her butler, Chadwick. Both dolls are one of a kind (OOAK), made of polymer clay. Grandmere has a natural mohair wig, gentle silvery curls with a coronet of braids, under her day cap. Chadwick has a wig made of commercial wigging fibres, blended for a little bit of colour variation. And yes, he stands completely on his own, and his tray can be removed - I tend to make my doll's hands so they can "hold" things.

Their clothing is largely assembled on a sewing machine, with the final "fitting" done by hand with tiny stitches. Grandmere's dress trim is glued on, while the only gluing on Chadwick's costume are the buttons (made of polymer clay) on his waistcoat and shirt front. Although these dolls were made 15 years ago, there has, so far, been no yellowing of the glue (Aleene's Tacky Glue).



Grandmere refused to stand on her own today, so she is posed inside a silver napkin ring, just visible at her dress hem. Her petticoat and bloomers are made of white batiste, lace-trimmed with embroidery-floss ribbon beading, and a tiny bullion-stitch rose on the petticoat front. The lace trim came from a shop in Boothbay Harbor, ME that has since closed; they sold the most wonderful tiny French and Swiss laces, and my supply is getting very low.


Slightly blurred photo of Grandmere, minus her day cap, showing her hairdo.


And Chadwick, also slightly out of focus; I can't access the macro setting on my camera, guess it's time to study the user's guide again! I have to admit that I've developed a block with making dolls, but I keep on trying (and squashing my failures!). In the meantime, on with foods and the like, one of these days my doll-making mojo just has to come back.

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