Sunday, 7 June 2015

Doll makeover

After endless floor cutting I felt I wanted to do something else for a change. I was rummaging through my retro house to see if there was anything that should be moved into the new house (quite a lot), when two dolls caught my attention. I bought them a couple of years ago at a car boot sale for next to nothing, and they have been sitting stupidly in the drawing room looking very much out of place. I suddenly realised that I could make them new clothes and invite them to Womble Hall.

Here is the uncredibly ugly girl doll. Actually, when I stripped off her clothes she turned out to have breasts, so apparently she wasn't a girl doll at all, but a female doll in a smaller scale.

But she will be a girl doll, and for underwear, a Victorian girl would wear pantalets. I made those when I made clothes for Tilly the Dutch doll, so it was easy. I discovered afterwards that I had used the same piece of lace.

With Tilly, I was careful not to damage the doll, but with this one I used a drop of glue to hold the garment.

It took me some time to find a suitable fabric, and finally I found a skirt left over from another makeover, when I turned a souvenir doll into a Victorian lady. Since it was a full-length skirt it was enough to made both a short skirt and a bodice. I won't describe how I made the dress because it was straightforward.

My original idea was to make a pinafore to put over the dress. Victorian girls, even in affluent families, frequently had just one dress, and to protect it, they would wear a pinafore, which is something else than an apron, and I know all this because I recently attended a very interesting talk. However, I thought the dress was so pretty it was a shame to cover it, so we will pretend that this young lady has just arrived for a party, wearing her best.

What left me deeply dissatisfied was her hair. Most of my dolls are souvenir dolls wth "real" hair. I have never made hair, but I know people do it. I searched ebay and found lots of wigs (quite pricy) and a DIY kit that I added to my watch list, and then I went to Youtube. You can find anything on Youtube. For instance, this tutorial. It didn't look unsurmountably difficult, and anyway, it was worth a try. The tutorial suggested cotton thread, and I tried it, and it may be fine for a Barbie, but not for a Victorian girl. So I found a ball of yarn in my basket for mini-knitting. I didn't find anything in a suitable colour, so I had to cut bits from a multicolour ball. And then you need to split it into as many single threads as possible.

Next, you tie it in the middle and comb out as much as you can, literally "unspinning" it. You can see the difference on the right side here.

I forgot to take a picture of the rubber cap so watch the tutorial to see how to make it. The tutorial suggested a balloon, but I didn't have a balloon so I used the tip of an old rubber glove. (Must remember to buy balloons!). I assume that the reason for using a cap is that you cannot glue the wig direct onto the doll's head. I didn't try.

In this picture, the left-hand side is still not properly combed. By the way, I used a miniature comb from a Christmas cracker. For the very first attempt making a wig I think it is not bad at all. I know what mistakes I made, and will avoid them next time, but rather than doing it all over again I covered the faults with a hat.

Of course, a young Victorian lady would wear a bonnet rather than a hat, but I happened to have this hat that matches the dress. I will make a bonnet with the tiny bits of fabric left from the dress.

By now you have forgotten what the doll looked like to begin with, so here is for you to compare. I would never guess it was the same doll.

So here is the young lady, arriving for a party. I also think she adds a welcome colour spot to the interior.

Come back soon for the boy makeover. 

No comments:

Post a Comment