February, 2017

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“What should I do next??” I asked my sister The Mayor.

“Ooh, I know! I’ve been watching ‘Outlander,’ and there’s this really pretty dress…”

“But I’ve already DONE two ‘Outlander’ dolls!”

Then my eyes lit onto the remaining silvery fun fur I had left over from my last O.L.D., America. I knew JUST want to do….

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. No. 85, our very own Marie Antoinette. You can see her adoption page HERE.

I really, really wanted to make a cake for her as an accessory. I looked up how-to’s on Pinterest and everything. But things came down to the wire. I decided that “cake time” would be better spent on a second outfit of “street clothes” for her to wear, and a hat stand for her wig.

The “Outlander” orginal. Pretty hard to compete with that…

…I did my very best.

There would have been plenty of time for everything were this outfit not so labor intensive. I call this costume the “Bow” dress because of the series of bows that go down the front of the bodice.

My dear friend Janey had sent me some metallic trims from an old lamp factory. I spray painted different laces for the rest.


Here are some of the inspirations for the Outlander dress. And the beat goes on…

The swatch upholstery fabric I had on hand had the palest of slate blues in its pattern; I wanted to emphasis that. So I found some Wedgwood blue organdy and made a bunch of tiny little flowers, then beaded them with tiny gold glass beads.

One of the trims originally came with peach velvet ribbon. I exchanged it for blue to trim the sleeves, and wove blue silk ribbon for the trim for Marie’s skirt. And then all the trims had to be sewn on by hand. Not to mention the tiny slippers that most likely won’t be seen. But we can’t have our queen go barefoot!

It’s kind of hard to see, but there are hundreds and hundreds of hand stitches on this dress. That is NOT an exaggeration.

What a difference a wig makes! Here is Marie in the blonde mohair wig she arrived in, along with her “street wear” dress for when she’s not in the mood to prance around in her wig.

Speaking of her “powdered” wig, thank you Julie for giving me the fun fur! It was indeed fun.

Marie in her blonde mohair wig and street clothes.

So there you have it! Our Marie Antoinette in her “Bow” dress! And now I am off to my sewing room to pick my next victim…

Our previous “powdered wig drummer, America, was adopted by Kathleen Z. of Alameda, California! She also happens to have adopted Liberty, who was also a drummer. I daresay she must have a very noisy – and happy –  household. Thank you, Kathleen!

Until then, happy last days of February! You are very much my favorite.

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Bang The Drum Slowly

I’m always happiest when I know what my next theme will be. So I was happy that Friday in my kitchen as I took a quick break for before returning to my sewing room to pick out fabrics. While I made myself a snack, I switched on my little TV. And was mesmerized.

It was Friday, January 20, 2017, aka our most recent Presidential Inauguration day. Right there before me was the niftiest band I’d ever seen! Next to Donny Osmond, of course. Although, he’s not really a band…but I digress. Anyway, there were men and women wearing powdered wigs and uniforms similar to the ones worn by Army musicians in the American Revolution. I learned that they were “The Old Guard Fife and Drums Corp.”

My mind squealed. “The OLD Guard!” I said out loud. “O.L.D.! As in Once-Loved Doll! PERFECT.”

The previous idea was going to have to wait…

Thus begins the adoption page for O.L.D. No. 84, America. You can see her adoption page HERE.

She was a Patsy type, so I thought she would be perfect for this role. A “Patsy type” is a doll with molded, painted hair rather than a wig. The easier to put a “powdered” wig upon! My generous sister had given me some fun fur for a previous doll, and I still had some left. Just enough for my drummer girl.

Antique “American Eagle” drum.

I decided the details on the drums on the Old Guard band uses would be too small to translate to a drum of the necessary size for this girl, so I based America’s drum on a simpler antique drum instead.

Side view of the wig. Heavily shellacked with Ye Olde Aqua Net.

On America’s adoption page, I did a teaser. Wanna hear it? Here it goes: What common household item was this drum made from?

I had been looking for something circular that would be just the right size. The drums the Old Guard uses aren’t just short drums like in my previous drummer girl. They’re a little longer. A cornmeal box was too big. A cut off toilet paper roll too small. Hmm…I was at my neighbors house, pondering this very thing, and she started rummaging through her cupboards. “How ’bout this?” she said, holding out a thing that was just the right size. And do you know what it was? Drum roll, please (<-comedy GOLD!)…it was a can of baking soda!

My neighbor insisted I take hers to use. However, when I discovered mine had a smooth bottom (I turned the can upside down. The bottom now becomes the drumming surface) AND it had expired – IN 2013! – I opted for mine instead. Apparently, I don’t make biscuits very often. I of course gave hers back to her. I mean I will. Soon. I promise…We always go back and forth, borrowing each other’s things. It’s good to have a neighbor like that.

The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps is made up of full time, active service men and women in the United States Army. True heroes! You can see their official website HERE.

Note, I said “men AND women.” Turns out, when you put on a powdered wig and identical uniforms, it’s anybody’s guess. While I adore boys, I wanted America to be a girl, because I love making girls clothes best, and there are women a-plenty in this band.

After all, what’s the point in having a doll that can easily wear a powdered wig if she can’t take it off once in awhile? Otherwise, any old doll would have done! So I made a dress and hat for America to wear when she’s not on drummer duty, and a hat stand to hold her wig and tricorn hat when not in use.

Here are the drummers in action, sans the fifes. IMPRESSIVE:


Each O.L.D. gives me a chance to try something new. With America, it was the powdered wig. I have a feeling it will not be my last…and there will be CAKE.

Susanna was adopted by…Adele M. of Castroville, Texas! Adele also adopted the first of the three Schoenhuts (carved wooden dolls, older than compositions) that I’ve done. Thank you, Adele!

And with that, I leave you! BEST SUPER BOWL EVER, both teams were great, and you’re my favorite!