When building a dollhouse from scratch just isn’t enough…
I couldn’t afford the high end dolls I came across, but it did inspire me to do my own. After all, what’s the point of graduating from a fashion design school if I can’t make my own costumes? Of course pattern making & sewing in 1/12th scale is a whole other thing…
Luckily I came across many great artisans who had tutorials on their pages (see my artisans & sources page).
I don’t make my own molds – I use existing dolls, then defrock & dewig them.
My first attempt was making a Scarlet O’Hara from what had been a pixie-ish looking chef. I was happy for my first try, but Scarlet looks like she’s been engaging in the pugilistic arts.
My next doll was a Victorian lady in a house/day costume for the 1870-1880s. It was better than my first attempt, but the scale of the trim was too big. I was really happy with her hair however. It was an improvement on Scarlet’s hair. I tried using techniques for acrylic hair, but it was impossible to work with. So I ordered mohair from the UK, which was soft & natural & looked more realistic.
Now I realized that 1) I needed to use dolls with more delicate limbs; 2) I needed finer trims; 3) if I was using a glue gun I had to be very careful that it not show; 4) I needed more detailing
Here’s my 3rd doll. Again it was meant to be a day dress but I made the mistake of not making the sleeves longer. And this wouldn’t cut it as a ball gown with the shoulders covered. Quel dommage! I love the colours & her wig turned out great.
I learn as I go on each dress. I use minimal sewing – just for the main seams & for the hems. Then it’s all about strategic glueing. I also learned how to apply small beads for jewellry.
My favourite & last project was a Victorian wedding dress, which isn’t quite finished (need wigging & veiling). I love this dress most of all. I used a wired ribbon to ruche the front skirt which turned out spectacularly.