I have made a few dolls - 2 little peg dolls, Peggy Sue and Dot, and a small Victorian nurse, Nurse Foster. As well as working on a new doll for my Necropolis series - Madeline Smith.
(I suppose when I think about it, as well as dolls getting a load of things done around the house, helping Hubby with a bumper load of photos of new treasures for his shop, my birthday (tons of fun!), and somehow fitting in a full time job as well probably has something to do with the Busy thing :S)
She stood strong and proud throughout it all - not even needing help to recover herself when all of her love letters to the deceased Emile were read out in court (although the most sensational bits were edited out for decency). Madeline was an attractive 21 year old, seemingly respectable, lady. But the proof of her affair was enough to shock and fascinate the general public.
(Caught on camera by my husband, comfortably sewing a covering to crinoline bands after getting caught in the rain coming back from town. He hates my vintage house dress, but it's just Sooo Comfortable!)
After general research the most unusual example of arsenic poisoning I could find was the absorption through the skin of the substance by wearing fashionable green fabrics. These women were literally killing themselves for fashion.
It's a really interesting subject, and I found a great book on Amazon called The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play by James C. Whorton that I'm really looking forward to reading it to find out more.
To make the crinoline itself I measured and cut each band, making sure that each was equally smaller to the last. I joined the ends together to make hoops with a little tape and by sewing a small piece of the covering ribbon tightly around the joint to give extra reinforcement. After covering all the bands I measured out 10 equally spaced points around all 6 bands, and equal spacing on 10 straps to hold everything together. I sewed each strap into place adding a loop at the top of each. It ties to Madeline's waist making a lovely bell shape to support all of her skirts and petticoats. Even on a doll this size I'd need to make at least 12 petticoats in a combination of corded and flounced design just to get the same shape. The layers needed on a full grown woman must have been staggering!