Out in the garden

Homage to JF

I’ve been looking at the French haute couture designer Julien Fournié lately – I’m definitely in love with his clothes.  This pattern needs a bit of work on finding the right fabric but I had to work fast to get it in for the Dolls Magazine competition (Awards for Excellence in 2016). I wanted to use an African American model, and this is Dominique on a 2016 Nu-face body (my repaint).  The dress is silk with ordinary cotton bias (a) because I couldn’t find my black silk, and (b) it would have taken ages to sew it by hand.  There is also a separate vintage black sateen skirt (fully lined, paranoid about staining).  The 2016 Nu-face body is very easy to design for, and will mostly fit the FR2 bodies, depending on the design.

The beading is done with glass beads and bits for coral.

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Dominique in a dress inspired by Julien Fournié

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A friend gave me this vintage fabric, and I have no idea what it is.  A burn test indicates a wood-based fibre, possibly rayon, with gold metallic thread in the lozenges, and a soft crepe weave.  Mice had eaten some of it as well.  I have appliquéd some of the lozenges onto the bottom of the dress and used them for sleeves.  I wanted the outfit to have an exotic Indian feel about it.  I’ve also put this fashion into the Dolls Magazine competition.

The headdress is made from freshwater pearls, gold plated chain and bits of stud earrings (modern ones) attached to a large metal butterfly base.  The matching fan has peacock and pheasant feather from a Victorian supplier (Australia).

The doll is Poppy ‘The Happening’ on a 2016 Nu-face body.

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Poppy ‘Travelling Incognito’ repaint

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The Poppy repaint I’ve entered for the Dolls Magazine competition.  Great hair, in this instance it has been spiral permed (boiling water method).  I’m afraid she’s borrowed a 2016 Nu-face body as well having nicked Giselle’s blue suit.

I don’t change all my Poppies, but I do in general do a lot of head swapping.  As the Integrity bodies evolved I kept putting my favourite heads onto the latest bodies, as you do. Absolutely NONE of my dolls are NRFB.  I tried it once, lasted a week.  I play with them all, have repainted most of them, and always wash that tacky spray out of their hair.

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Here she is wearing jewelry by Isabelle of Paris (www.etsy.com/shop/IsabelleParisJewels).  Below is more of Isabelle’s jewelry on Poppy.

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Poppy ‘Wedding Belle’, my repaint and Isabelle’s jewelry, IT dress.

For lack of a better title, this is Natalia (Vs2), my repaint and re-rooted with Katsilk hair (http://www.restoredoll.com is where I get mine, excellent hair.   I liked this tulle with the little bows on it, and the top is faux suede.  The fringe could use some gel.  The hat is silk covered with sequins, and was an effort to control the fringe – oh well.

I use a variety of hair when I’m re-rooting, depending on the result I want.  The most expensive of course is mohair.  Good mohair makes lovely hair, but it’s extremely fine, a nightmare to put in and quite hard to style once it’s in unless you use a lot of product.  Katsilk is lovely, heavy and fine, great for straight hair.  I also used synthetic mohair which is nice, but the range of colours is very limited.  Without doubt re-rooting is THE most boring job on the planet.

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Vintage Thai Silk
Finally, a couple of very different dresses made vintage Thai silk.

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Agnes ‘Feminine Perspective’ in a 1960s vintage Barbie pattern dress

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No one does bitch-face like Agnes.  I’m never quite sure if she’s furious or about to cry.
Finally, we have Vanessa:

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This is my ‘go to’ dress to make when I’m bored, or just between projects and wondering what to do next.  This is Simplicity pattern No. 9521 (Museum Collection).  I was wondering if this vintage Thai silk would work as an 18th century dress.

This Vanessa reminded me of Angelique in a series of novels by Anne Golon, a French author, better known to English-speaking readers as Sergeanne Golon.  They are fun and real bodice-rippers, and besides, Angelique is a feisty kind of ‘can do’ gal.  They were introduced to me by my friend Sappho, now departed this earth.

I don’t know why I keep making this dress.  I have no great sympathy for 18th century aristocracy or the class system of the time, or any great love of the tizzy nature of the decorations.  I think it’s the undeniable femininity of these dresses, they scream ‘I am female’, and couldn’t possibly be anything else!  Besides that, I made it to go with the hat I bought at the 2013 IT convention in room sales.

Angel of Spring head lowres

By for now.




Mucking around with my green-faced Natalia.  I’m not sure about this outfit, but she’ll keep the hat and veil.  I think she needs something a little more Dune-ish.  At the very least a bit more post-apocalyptic.  I’m on a sci-fi costumes exploration bender, besides trying to get them all ready for their little outing to the Canberra Museum and Gallery in September.

Natalia on a cream FR2 body, which matches her original body. Silk dress, beaded frog closures.
Natalia on a cream FR2 body, which matches her original body. Silk dress, beaded frog closures.
Natalia head, my repaint.
Natalia head, my repaint.