Things that you never knew existed

The internet is amazing isn’t it? All the wonderful things you can find out about. I am old enough to remember life without it and the wonder of all of these web sites and blogs that people have made that I so enjoy.

While I was searching for inspiration for my 1940s costume earlier in the year I came across a blog where someone was making their own costumes, but for dolls. At first I thought that it was a Barbie but she looked different and that is how I discovered the Gene Marshall dolls range.

These dolls are larger than Barbie and designed for adult collectors and there is a whole world out there of people making costumes and accessories based on fashion from the 40s, 50s and 60s. There are some amazing outfits being created and some very talented people making them.

One of the first sites I found was The Couture Touch with amazing outfits such as this one. There are some lovely hat ideas on here and some tutorials.Picture from Couture Touch website.

Gene Marshall madra_lord_1940s

That led me to Daveland’s site, he does official photography for the amazing Sandra Stillwell creations pictured here and all of these beautiful pictures made me want to know more about these miniature fashions. All pictures from his website.

This one is amazing with the beautiful embroidery and beading on it.

Gene Marshall doll 1

Gene Marshall doll 4

This dress would be quite easy to make from the pattern I used for the black and gold gowns in my last post and I have a sleeve option in one of the other patterns. Since I am trying to use up stash it would have to be the purple chiffon that I used in the cocktail dress I made previously but I have quite a lot of suitable black material.

Gene Marshall doll 3

I am not sure if I poses the tailoring skills for this one, look at the tiny buttons! I just love the details in this outfit, it is exquisite.

Sandra Stillwell produces fashion collections every year based on original designs and the dresses are not only beautifully made but amazingly photographed as well, all pictures from her website.

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Since making some fab felt flowers orange and pink is one of my new favourite colour combinations.

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These flowery ones remind me a lot of Liberty fabrics which of course I love, definitely a lot of Dior New Look happening here.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to afford one of the dolls as they are mainly only available from the US and are about £70 but for the meantime I can be inspired on a smaller scale for Barbie.

I just never knew any of this existed and find it fascinating, I loved playing with my Barbies when I was younger and have really enjoyed making all of the clothes for my cousins so am going to do some more both for them and some for me to keep.

Gene Marshall doll 2

I realised when choosing the pictures for this post that I have scraps of this fabric in the picture above in another colourway.

Wedding jacket

This is the silk that I made my sister in law Amanda’s wedding jacket from 4 years ago and she very kindly let me keep the scraps. I am thinking a bodice made from this would look lovely with a black velvet skirt. I might even be able to make a bolero as in the first outfit above.

All very exciting stuff and thanks inventors of the internet for access to all this wonder!

I will be back next week with, hopefully, pictures of the completed rabbit for Rosie, I have all constituent parts, just need a stuffing and sewing together session which will possibly happen this weekend.

Have a good week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting.

 

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Post doctoral bliss

Much as I enjoyed doing the doctorate I am glad that it is finished. I am just waiting to have my final examination which will probably be in about 6 weeks time. Meanwhile I have been really enjoying having lots and lots of free time to do creative things and have been making some more Barbie clothes as Christmas presents.

I have been inspired by some amazing sites that I actually found during my research for 1940s fashion so will post about those separately. I bought a pattern for these latest dresses from this Etsy seller , excellent value at only £2.76 for a digital download of all of these lovely 80s style fashions.

Barbie dress pattern

 

I have made four dresses so far, two using the pink dress pattern in the top right for inspiration, minus the bottom ruffle and extending the length of the dress.

Barbie gowns 7

Barbie gowns 6

All fabric came from stash, I think the black and gold ones were originally from Kerry as they look like sample from her dress fabric for medieval gowns. I did buy the little roses.

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The pattern was a little fiddly due to trying to finish seams that were only and inch long but very quick to make and I really enjoyed going through the stash to find all the gorgeous fabrics as I don’t usually make things with silk and velvet.

Barbie gowns 9

Barbie gowns 10

I am hoping that developing my skills with Barbie patterns will help me with making clothes for myself as I need to get better at using patterns generally. I have been watching lots of sewing sites and the answer seems to be to make mock ups or toiles of each pattern for fit.

I used the bodice pattern from the blue dress on the top right of the pattern and altered the skirt to make this lovely little cocktail dress.

Barbie gowns 1

The skirt is actually two layers, silk and chiffon, so it looks really pretty close up. I have enough silk left to make the coat on the bottom row to go with it.

Barbie gowns 2

The final dress was another cocktail dress, using up some of the velvet that I abandoned last year after trying to make a jacket for me. I paired it with some black silk for the top and some lace from my stash which I stitched on then embellished. I am very pleased with this one and think it looks really elegant.

Barbie gowns 3

Barbie gowns 4

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I have lots more ideas for gowns so am hoping to get at least four more made before Christmas. I am also knitting, just finishing off a Little Cotton Rabbits bunny at the moment for my youngest great-niece’s birthday at the end of the month and working on a doll’s blanket for the local school. It is lovely to just sit and watch Netflix and work on these projects in the evenings with the candles lit 🙂

I hope that you have all had a lovely weekend and are going to have a good week ahead. Term is in full swing so I may not get much done before next weekend when lovely Kerry comes up for a bit of sewing!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Inspired by Marsden

There are many things that I love about Marsden, the moors and reservoirs that surround us, the lovely village with its river and canal, all of the entertainment here and my lovely friends but one of my favourite things is the random sheep we have wandering around the village.

I love the way they just meander across the roads, they have a particular favourite grazing spot on the mini roundabout at the bottom of the road and they stop the traffic regularly as they cross from there. They do think they own the place so I was pleased to make some more of my lovely inspired by Marsden sheep bags for Yarndale.

Yarndale 2019 8

I love stitching these, they take quite a long time to do but look cute. I only had time to make three this year but hopefully people will like the colours that I have chosen.

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I also made two pouches with felt flowers on, these are very quick to do and I can see more of these being made as gifts.

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Yarndale 2019 1

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Yarndale 2019 2

I have been having a very productive time making Christmas gifts including some haute couture for Barbie so when those are finally finished I will be able to post about them. I have bought an actual pattern and am hoping that by practising on Barbie size I might improve my own dressmaking skills. I am having fun anyway!

I hope that you have had a nice weekend, it has been lovely today and I have just been for a walk to the reservoir in the wonderful autumn sunshine. I have made a slow cooker stew for tea and a delicious sticky toffee banana cake so all is right with my little world 🙂

Take care and thanks for visiting.