Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Antique Doll, New Costume: Part 2

I'm in the process of re-clothing this doll, an antique china head/china hands & feet doll from the late 19th century (best age guestimate). The first thing was to decide whether she is a "child" doll or a "lady" doll. 

The difference in clothing choices are pretty distinct between the two. Tough choice: the chubby cheeks on this doll are more child than lady, but her body proportions are more lady than child. The body will be hidden by clothing, but not those chubby kid-cheeks. So: child clothing it is. 

You see that spool between her feet? Keeps them from knocking together and chipping. 
Putting her in child clothing may be completely wrong for the doll, but since no outfit is permanent, I can always make something else if it looks awful. 

Stage 1: knickers
She's going to need some knee-length pantaloons. Garments of the day looked something like this: 

Her current pair are way too long and poorly shaped, with elastic at the ankles. I like the lace though, and I would like to re-use it somehow.

I'm debating between reshaping, pintucking, etc. these, or starting from scratch. I picked up some aged woven cotton at the thrift store (i.e. an old shirt) for fabric, since new fabric just feels too, well, new. It even has some eyelet along the hem I could work into the garment. 

I haven't been able to find a pantaloon pattern per se, so after taking measurements I drafted this: 

I have a whole new appreciation for tailor's tools like french curves and chalk. It makes me wonder about tailoring my own clothes. Some day. 

But first: knickers. And after the knickers, the chemise. Stay tuned. 

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