Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Elizabeth & Darcy, And The Sale Starts Today

It's been so long since I posted I can hardly think what to start with. December has been a ridiculously busy month, all leading up to the last few days of festivities with my wonderful family and fabulous friends. And it seems like an age since I last picked up a needle and thread and got down to the serious business of making dolls :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas of your own, and are looking forward to a fantastic Start to the New Year ahead of us. I can't say I'll be sorry for this year to end. There have been too many sadness's and hardships for my friends, family, and myself this year to make me sorry to see it pass away. And I hope that the new year can go some way to make right what can be made right, and to soften the pains that exist.

New Year is always such a strange melancholy time. With the passing of another year I always feel that I should try and take stock of my life and make plans for the future. I'm not one for new years resolutions, but having a goal to work towards always helps me to keep myself going in the directions that I want, and not those that I fall into. Like so many of us I get caught up in the petty details of life and can forget to focus on what's important to me and my loved ones. It's an important time of year, this passing, and one that I intend to make full use of to plan out the next twelve months ahead of me.

This time of year is so cold and miserable in Wales. The roads will freeze and the snows come. Everything will be pretty and white at some time or another. But the days will be short, and the nights extra long even though the shortest day has already passed. Being a Summer baby I'm not keen on this time of year as I hate to be cold. The only good thing about January, after all, is the Sales!
So, with my plans for next year already involving making sure I improve each and every doll that I make, and my wish to make many many more of the characters bubbling away in my head come into reality, I've made one decision early. To have a big 25% OFF SALE and make room for all these new lovelies in my shop, and on my shelves.

From now until the end of January I've reduced over two thirds of my dolls by 25%. Including some of my very favourite dolls - I'm very proud of the stunningly dramatic Mary Shelley, with her hand corded petticoats and tons of layers with her tiny waist. And the pretty Elizabeth Armistead with her lace applique gown and pretty bonnet. Some dolls that I've reduced are some of the first that I ever made, and they'd already been reduced once. I decided to reduce them further to make them even better value for money, and so that you can now find one of my dolls to suit any budget. You can see all of them here at my shop. I hope to find many of them new and loving homes - www.NatashaMorgan.etsy.com

I can finally show you the secret Christmas gift doll project that I've been hiding away so that my cousin (and one of my best friends) wouldn't happen to see it around somewhere.
He's been nagging me for years to make the creepy twins from his favourite film - The Shining. So, this year, I finally got around to making them for him.

If someone had asked me to describe what these two creepy girls where wearing before I actually checked I would have been convinced that they wore pinafores. And I wasn't the only one to be surprised that in fact they actually have quite plain blue dresses with white lace trim and a white sash. I couldn't quite get one of the details around the hem right, so decided to leave them plain. And I finished them off with white bead hair-clips, black shoes with white bows, and long white cotton socks. And I'm happy to be able to say that he loved them.

I've also finally, after a long long wait, started on my Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy dolls.
These two have waited ever so patiently in a box among my tools and fabric, waiting for the day when I would actually let them out and give them some clothes so they wouldn't have to suffer their embarrassing predicament.

I've been putting off working on these two as I'm a little scared of the tiny tailoring and details needed to make them look just as I want them. But after managing to get Joel's tiny tail coat together for my friends wedding cake toppers I'm feeling a bit braver, so thought I'd give it a go now before I loose my nerve again.

Miss Elizabeth Bennett is looking a bit odd in this photo, I know. She really is much prettier than this alien snapshot suggests, and I can't wait to be able to give her some hair.

As I usually do I started with the underwear she'd need to keep her decent under her flimsy gown. And she wears a long shift with short tight sleeves under short stays.Her floor length petticoat has a high waist just under her bust which has two straps over her shoulders to make sure it stays in place.

I've already had the first of my troubles with these dolls as the pretty cotton fabric with teal flowers on that I bought for her just would not work out. It was too bright, even under a voile overlay, and the scale of the flowers was just too big. She unfortunately looked much too much like her sister Mary, so I had to take the whole of her bodice and sleeves off again and have to wait to dress her any further until I find a fabric that will work for her.

Luckily, Mr Darcy hasn't given me too much trouble yet, apart from an issue I've had with the front of his trousers since these photos were taken, which I've now happily resolved.

He wears long drawers that are gathered below the knee, like women's underwear of the same time they are split into two separate legs attached to a waistband.
His long fine cotton shirt has wide baggy sleeves and a split at neck, front and back so it can be tucked more neatly into his trousers. He has a separate tall stiff collar that comes right up to his chin, tied with a long cravat or tie that's been wound around his neck quite a few times before being tied neatly in the front in a smart knot.

I'm quite proud of the way his waistcoat has come out, keeping contained the big baggy shirt beneath and giving him his proper stiff backed, narrow waist look.

I found a scrap of the lovely champagne gold silk that my Godmother gave to me to make it. Left over from my cousin's wedding accessories, it was the perfect colour to go with the sage or olive green I've bought for his coat. It has the textured matt side of the fabric in front, and I've used the shiny polished side for the back. I gave it tiny pearl bead buttons, a high neck over his white collar with deep lapels in the front, and the straight square waist that will show beneath the front of his coat.

I still have a lot to do before both are finished. I decided early on that I wanted to dress them in outfits as they would have worn when visiting or taking a walk rather than in evening wear. So I've got a few layers of clothing to go before they can be considered properly dressed. Miss Elizabeth still needs her gown, as well as maybe another petticoat, a pelisse (coat) and bonnet. And Mr Darcy needs his morning coat and a tall top hat now his narrow straight trousers are finished. I've not decided on the finishing accessories yet, but I'm looking forward to figuring out what they'll be :)


  1. Darcy and Elizabeth are looking wonderful, you are the queen of tiny details! And I love the twins, I can well imagine that they were very well received. Happy new year to you, I hope it is full of all sorts of goodness!

  2. Thank you Cynthia :-)
    Hope you have a wonderful New Year too.