Outlander

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Let Me Call You…Sassenach

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Perhaps it’s the time of the year. You know, “Spring! When a young doll’s fancy turns to love!” 

There was just something in the air when that firm knock sounded at the door. When we opened it, there was a rather tall Schoenhut boy standing there. He wasn’t anything super special to look at, but from the moment he arrived there was an extra skip in Dot and Betty’s step. 

“And he gets more and more handsome the better you get to know him!” the usually shy Betty whispered to me one day, blushing.

Thus begins the description for O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 105, Jamie, inspired by the “Outlander” series on STARZ which themselves are based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. You can see Jamie’s adoption page HERE. Jamie is my sixth Schoenhut doll. I tell you, they’re addicting.

Poor me. I had to study every nuance of actor Sam Heughan’s clothing. Oh, how I suffer!

Sas·se·nach
[sasuh-nuhkh, -nak]
NOUN [OFTEN DISPARAGING.]

1. a term used by the Gaelic inhabitants of the British Isles to refer to the English inhabitants. (Jamie says it like an endearment, once he gets to know Claire.)

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK whoever it was out there who made this suggestion. I should write these things down, but I know full well I will absolutely lose the scrap of paper! So mea culpa and thank you! Drop me a line! UPDATE: It was Cecilia and her sister Wanda of OHIO. Thank you!

BEFORE.

When our Jamie arrived, he was in pretty good shape. He needed his eyebrows redone, and his wig was just too short for the flowing locks of the character. Luckily, I had an old, tattered wig of nearly the same shade of human hair. I took both wigs apart, and alternated the wefts onto a new skull cap.

Basket-hilt sword and dirk made from a triple layer of popsicle sticks with wires running from inside the blade to the handle for extra sturdiness.

I had previously done two Claire dolls from the “Outlander” series HERE and HERE, but it would never had occurred to me to do a doll based on Jamie. And quite honestly, I still might not have had I not found the beautiful wool/cotton plaid I used for his kilt at a thrift store. It was my absolute favorite find of the day!

I’m now practically an expert on all things Scot. Like how to put on a kilt, for example. Turns out, it’s kinda complicated. It’s hard to imagine these tough Scottish guys laying on the ground to get dressed, but by golly they do! And they hand pleat their kilts each time, too.

This is the guy I learned from. He’s a true Scot, and a charmer! Also, he flashes his bum at the end. Woohoo! Turns out, Scot’s don’t wear anything under their kilts. I bet you knew that.

I didn’t want whoever adopts Jamie to have to go through this, so I sewed in a hidden waistband and added a series of snaps. It took me over a day to figure out, but now you too can put Jamie’s kilt on with no fuss!

Of course, you wouldn’t have to mess with it at all if Jamie never changed his clothes. Luckily, he does! I was happy to see Jamie wearing his jacket, vest and shirt with a pair of pants. I also find it downright impossible to send a doll out without a hat. But what to give him? Does Jamie even wear a hat? YES HE DOES.

He wears a tricorn hat. The brim on mine is made from leather. That with the boots and the belts and the sporran, and this was a leather-heavy fellow.

You know I love a patriotic doll. Seeing this Scotsman in his new hat made me want to give him an American flag for special occasions. “Well, he DOES go to America…” helpful Julie, who has watched all the episodes so far told me. Score! DONE.

The dolls and I are going to miss him. He has conquered our hearts! But now he must venture out to conquer MORE. Yours, perhaps…?

Our sweet Georgy Girl Scout was adopted by…Beth N. of Nipomo, California. A new friend! Welcome, Beth, and thank you!

And with that, I leave you! There’s a change in the air. Spring is almost here! And you’re my favorite.

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Here’s A Resolution You Can KEEP

She was already pretty when she arrived, just a little filthy. Heaven knows where she’s been! Her wig turned noticeably brighter after it was cleaned.

Once again we have that chance to start anew. To make goals, and do our very best to achieve them. Here is a girl to represent those lofty aspirations…

Thus begins the description of O.L.D. (Once-Loved Doll) No. 99. Ninety-Nine! The LAST of the double digit O.L.D.s! Her name is RESOLUTION. You can see her adoption page HERE.

Several months ago my dear friend Brenda posted a picture on my Facebook page of some dolls she thought were cute. I LOVED them! One of them even had one of my favorite things: A pointy hat. YESS!

I kept trying to get a doll based on that image into the mix, but other things and themes came up. I’m kind of glad now. Being No. 99 seems a very good place for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I of course have to work with the materials I have on hand, so it’s not an *exact* copy. “Do the dress from the one on the right, and the hat from the one on the left!” my little sister cried. I of course listened to her, as I always do.

Resolution, or “Lucy,” as she likes to be called, is a 21″ Arranbee Nanette. I think this particular mold is the prettiest of all the compositions. TELL NO ONE. I’ve used it previously, although these may look a little different to you. Sometimes the smaller sizes are slightly different, or it can be amazing what a difference hair and eye color can make:

No. 43 Claire from “Outlander.”

No. 80 Geena from “A League of Their Own.”

No. 70 Claire II from “Outlander” (Season 2).

 

And of course, our Resolution needed some “street clothes” as well.

The brooch on her coat was discovered tucked away in the treadle sewing machine found in the house behind me that I purchased. That house had all kinds of treasures in it!

You can’t really see them, but besides the brooch, the coat also sports Victorian-era jet black glass buttons. Here’s a better view;

There’s a larger, faceted jet button on Lucy’s hat.

These buttons are treasures in themselves. The back loops are brass. You can tell the buttons are glass by tapping them against your teeth. Always a good time…

It’s taken me nearly four years to get from 1 – 99. I need to work so much faster! I have so many ideas just brimming over in my brain. So many dolls clamoring for their turn.

Which brings us back to Clara, who was adopted by…Linda L. of Portola Valley. Thank you again, Linda! That’s number FIVE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! There are SO MANY things I want to accomplish. I have a feeling, and I’ll say it now, 2018 is going to be my year! I shall share it with you.

Know why? Because you’re my favorite.

OFF WITH HER CAKE!!

“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.

Outlander Returns

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!

1cfull

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!

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…

claireb4

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:

claireinsp

This dress was my main inspiration. GORGEOUS.

clairex2

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.

Outlander2aoutlander3cowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

outlander1945a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.