were the first dolls I attempted after a break from doll-making.
I think the painting and colouring are fair, but they are not without
mistakes, which I will not dwell on here. I was very satisfied with
the final effect of the clothing; they were supposed to be dressed,
say, for the Sunday School outing.
girl's dress was inspired by the dress shown on one of Mildred Seeley's
Jumeau dolls. I used a Joan Nerini pattern as a basis for the dress.
The fabric is a modern cotton with an interesting striped weave
in a rose beige colour. I found various antique or modern laces
that matched, and I laboriously painted and blotted one of the narrow
laces with a weak solution of dolls hair dye until I achieved the
tone I needed. The fabric is gathered by machine and I have embroidered
over the lines of gathering in a smocking stitch. I added a modern
brooch purchased over the web from Kathy's
Kreations (P33 at $4.40). Socks are hand-knitted in Coats crochet
cotton 20 and shoes made from a pattern in the workbooks by Lyn
Alexander; I have used small doll-buttons obtainable from the
Dolls House Draper or Little
Trimmings on the shoes. I used modern stiff beige satin ribbon
for the dress and her hair. Her underwear is cotton and decorated
simply with beige bows.
boy's clothing is taken from a Byron pattern supplied for this doll.
Despite this I had to alter the trousers, making them larger in
the waist and longer. His shirt is made in a loose weave cotton
in brown and white check with a thread of yellow. At the neck he
has a viscose ribbon, in a burnt yellow colour; I like these viscose
ribbons, which have a texture like silk rather than modern stiff
satin ribbon; I obtained this particular ribbon on a reel sold as
a Christmas decoration and in consequence it was not at all expensive.
Some later dolls would no doubt have been made using synthetic viscose
ribbons but probably not the French dolls. His underwear is a plain
cotton all-in-one. I made striped socks in stocking stitch using
Coats crochet cotton 20; on the pattern he was shown as having red
striped socks and I chose a bright yellow colour which toned with
the fabric I was committed to using, (a light weight soft wool in
brown). I adapted a boot pattern to make my own design with straps
and buckles, dying some green gloving leather to a dull brown (using
shoe leather dye). I was very pleased with the result at the time;
my objective was for him to have boots but to enable his snazzy
socks to be seen. However I later concluded that, although these
boots do not look overtly wrong to me, they are in fact
"lady boots" seen on many all-bisque dolls and probably
not right for a boy at all.
wigs are made from untreated mohair locks, which I cleaned, wefted
and dyed. I used cardboard fruit packaging for the pate and a wig
base of milliner's buckram.