Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fashion Dolls

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have dolls to thank for my love of historical fashion, but is that so bad?  As I recently realized: NO.

When I was nine years old I received the Felicity Merriman doll from Pleasant Company (now American Girl*) and my parents took me on my very first trip to Colonial Williamsburg--her fictional home.

From American Girl Wiki

Williamsburg used to have this really great "Felicity Tour" in which you are guided about the town by a lovely lady dressed in 1770s clothing showing what life was like for children of that time, and then the day ended with sewing, dancing, and tea etiquette lessons.  It was amazing, and I am so depressed that it doesn't still exist.  I still sew most things the way I was taught that day if that's any indication of how ridiculous nerdy I became on that trip.  Really, I was never the same again.  I wanted to be Felicity.  Life was all stays, caps, and gowns from there!  

I digress.  The point of this post is to tell you about the epiphany I had yesterday while sewing a robe a L'anglaise for one of my dolls (yep, still have them): My love of fashion coming from dolls is so period correct it's insane I didn't realize this before.  I'm dumb.

From Colonial Williamsburg


Felicity even had a fashion doll, one I still covet to this day, and until yesterday I always felt like I got into historical costuming in a really embarrassing way.  Well, to the chopping block with that!  

Fashion dolls (poupées de mode) became extremely popular in the 17th and 18th century because they're pretty--what's not to like?--but more importantly because fashion was crazy expensive and a lady was not about to fork over her gold for something she didn't love, hence doing it in miniature first. 

That's pretty much exactly what I use my dolls for now.  That robe a L'anglaise? I'm making one for myself soon, but I've never done it before.  If I can do it with horrible, horrible polyester brocade on a doll 1/8 my size I should be good to go, right?  For science, here's how it turned out...

Lots of flaws, and I broke two needles on this crap fabric, but the cuffs are insane and I wish this picture did them justice.

That's enough babble for one day!  Be well, everyone.

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