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Outlander Returns

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1cgalThe resemblance was uncanny.

It’s not often you see a composition doll – that’s not a Snow White, that is – with black hair. Granted, it was not this girl’s original wig, but still. She had just arrived and was in fairly good shape, upon first inspection. With that thick black wig surrounding her delicate features, for the briefest of moments I thought one of my girl’s had come back to me. She was the spitting image of O.L.D. No. 43.

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Here’s her “before” picture. Hardly different, but her wig wasn’t quite right.

Then she told me her name, and things got uncannier still.

“Claire,” she said, in her soft sweet voice.

A new claire dress fullz

THE DRESS.

How fortuitous! Because weeks before, The Mayor of the tiny town in which I live sent me the image of a dress via email. It was from the second season of the STARZ series, “Outlander.” The mayor knew I had already done an Outlander doll. She was number 43, done almost a year ago when another pretty girl named Claire knocked on my door. When I saw second season dress, I felt a pang. If only, if only…ah, well!

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I had a scant half yard to work with and even had to put some panels of similar fabric within the folds of the skirt to have any kind of fullness. “Why don’t you pick another fabric instead?” the Mayor squeaked. She knew my response before the words were even out of her mouth: NO.

Now, standing right here before me, was my chance…

 

Thus begins the description for Claire II. You can see her adoption page HERE.

At 18″, she’s a few inches smaller than the previous Claire.

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After I took the first pictures, I touched up her lips and added “earrings” (they’re hanging from her human hair wiglet) for a splash of color.

I’m not quite sure who gave me this nice, large print. “Too large for a doll, probably,” I thought. But you never know, so I tucked it away. And then came the Outlander season two dress. PERFECT.

ABOUT THE HAT:

I’m not a fan of the new straw hats made for dolls. They’re thickly and slopily woven and just don’t look right. So here’s my solution, and it’s totally doable by anyone! All you need is something you can find at thrift stores and garage sales everywhere, a can of tuna, hot water, and nerves of steel.

placemat1Here’s what I did: you know those round woven place mats? They come in all kinds of colors. Why, the other day I found one in green for .50! This was my first attempt at using one for a hat, but I thought it was worth a shot, as I like the tighter weave.

1czallI took the place mat, ran some hot tap water over it, worked it over a tuna can, because that was about the right size for the crown of the hat (you would of course find whatever can or container would be right for your little girl), put some fat rubber bands around the hat and the can to hold the shape, and let it dry. If I had it to do again, I might have tried maybe boiling or almost boiling the water, but I only had one place mat in this shade, and therefore only one chance.

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Her square-toed turquoise shoes turned out cute.

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Yep, it was a dark and stormy day…

Here’s where the nerves of steel come in (and I’m just kidding about that). After cutting in increments – you can always cut more, but you can’t cut less! – until I got the hat brim size I wanted, I sewed bias tape aaaallll the way around the edge of the brim. My thread broke twice and then my bobbin ran out of thread, causing a few swearwords, I confess, but I hit both sides of the trim on the whole thing! I’m kinda proud of that…

Abigail, the 4th Sewickley FOUR All Seasons, was adopted by Hillary P. of New York! That makes three for our girl Hillary. Start spreading the news! A heartfelt thank you to all who bid.

And with that, I leave you! Happy rainy (a clue!) April, you’re my favorite!

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Standing Stones Gather No Moss

1940s Claire

1700s Claire

Meet O.L.D. No. 43 Claire from OUTLANDER. You can see her adoption page HERE.

“Outlander”?! Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with it. Secretly, I’ve never seen it either. Two of my sisters have been raving about it for a very long time. First about the books, and then about the series on STARZ. From what I’ve learned in my research, heaven help me if I ever get a peek at yon series, I might never be seen again. But I digress…

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Claire arrived clothes-challenged, naked and bald, with her poor head split in two.

The first outfit I ever remember sewing for a doll (before that I would create clothing for paper dolls for days on end) was when I was 8 or 9 years old. It was a Shakespearean-style outfit made of blue velvet and white satin for a Barbie. I’ve always had an affinity for costumes!

She has clothes and hair now!

However, not all my girls that wear clothing other than the traditional garb of the 1930s and 40s do well. How to tie the two together? Because sometimes I feel the need to go off the beaten path!

Enter Outlander. It’s a story that takes place in Scotland both in 1945 AND the 1700s. Perfect! Claire, the heroine, travels back in time when she is in Scotland on her honeymoon and goes to see some ancient standing stones and she touches them and is transported to the past and some hunky fellow named Jamie.

Here are some of the inspiration photos and my interpretations:

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This dress was my main inspiration. GORGEOUS.

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Of course, I had to work with the materials I had on hand. The darker fabric for our Claire’s outer dress was the most suitable. It was the same fabric I used for Jill Sparrow’s pants – although this time I used it right side out. However, there was something super stiff and scratchy about this fabric. I decided to take the plunge; I boiled it in vinegar water. Much softer now! And easier to work with.

Lucky me, the inspiration dress has lots of raw edges. I didn’t hem Claire’s outer skirt, I just left it raw. Not only that, I purposely “rawed up” the lace, just as the inspiration dress had.

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A person’s neck must get awfully chilly in 1700s Scotland, because Claire has all these super nifty neck pieces that are all the rage. Our Claire needed one too! Since I didn’t have time to teach myself to knit, I picked some loosely woven upholstery fabric and went with that instead.

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Here’s the 1940s inspiration outfit I used. I was going to use a blue closer to the original outfit, but while it was the right color, it wasn’t the right kind of fabric. So I – gulp! – used the same vintage fabric I’d previously used for the bathing beauties. I confess, that smarted! I wanted to make bathing suits galore! But the color was right for my purposes. So, snip! *Sniff* And on we sew….

A girl from two eras! Whatever will be next…?

The Happy Wanderer Valerie has long since wandered her way to….Utah! A lovely woman named Sandra B. of Myton, Utah is enjoying her as we speak. Thank you, Sandra!

And with that, I leave you! Happy Thursday! You’re my favorite.