Outlander

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OFF WITH HER CAKE!!

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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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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!

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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!

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.

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.

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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.