Thursday, 9 June 2011

Lizzie Siddal - Almost Finished!

Today has been a good day!

For the first time in ages I've had a really productive day, as well as it being a really relaxing one. I was woken in what has to be my least favorite way, by the Post Man knocking at the door. Which of course means a mad rush to find my pajama bottoms, which I can't sleep in, and the key. All the time worrying just how asleep I really look and if I have major bed hair. But, he brought with him some lovely things, so I forgave him. One of which was a money order in payment for two dolls that will be on their way to the States soon.

The next good thing was that lovely feeling you get when you realise you don't have to go to work. So back upstairs I went to lay in bed with a book in one hand and the other scratching our kittens belly while he purred loudly. Just for a little while.

Up and dressed I headed in to town to run errands and pick up some shopping, then home for the part of the day I was looking forward to most - the sewing.

I was determined to finish the embroidery on Lizzie's gown today. So settled into my favorite chair, put on a new period drama and got to work. Now Lizzie is wearing her newly finished over skirt, and I only have a few details left for her to be completely finished.
As the embroidery is the same colour as the fabric it doesn't show up to well in my quick pictures here. And I promise to take better ones when she's properly finished. But above you can see the corner detail that's on both sides of the open over skirt, and below is a little closer detail.

It was the zig-zag looking stitch that fills in the border that was the one I couldn't remember how to do. It's a really easy stitch, and has a twisted version that looks a little more like a scallop, but after trialing both the more open zig-zag looked better. 

I used two tones of normal sewing thread in a combination on chain, stem, satin, and blanket stitch, as well as the stitch that caused all the issues for me to try and add texture to Lizzie's skirt while trying to keep focus on the beautiful silk fabric that I've used. The border really helps finish the shape of her gown, especially in the back where there is a short train, and the fall in front to frame the soft cream underneath.

Next, to finish Lizzie, I'm adding an embroidered ribbon band over her bodice to match the detail on her sleeves. She'll also need a few things done to her sleeves to refine the shape, some detail added to her bodice and I think maybe something for her hair.

Lizzie Siddal was buried with a notebook of her husbands of blue calfskin. Soon after her death, as he realised his popularity was growing, he exhumed poor Lizzie to get it back again. Adding one last tragic, and a very odd, episode to her life.

I hope you'll like my Lizzie once I'm all finished. I've really tried to add as much detail as I can to her very mixed sence of style. It's been a challenge to try and create a Victorian outfit which still has a feel of that period while incorporating the early ideals of the Aesthetic Movement and the Medeavil Fantasy images that many of the new romantics painted and upheld as their perfect world. But her life has really touched me, and I was determined to try and bring her story forward for others that may not have heard of her.


  1. The amount of detail that you put in your dolls is just fabulous! Lizzie is going to be a wonder!

  2. She is just fabulous Natasha! their outfits are out of this world.

  3. Thank you both so much. Your very kind :)
    I'm really pleased with how Lizzie is turning out.