Monday, 26 May 2014
Monday, 19 May 2014
I made Lady Madeline after seeing the first fresh green gently pushing aside the rich dark earth to reach the sun. I’ve been saving this wonderful Liberty fabric until just the right idea came along, and as soon as Madeline came to mind I knew it had to be hers. After having such a miserable windy wet winter here in Wales the sights and sounds and colors of spring have brought so much freshness and happiness to me. With birds singing in the trees and my strawberries flowering in their pots along the patio I could only think of Madeline with her gentle smile and wistful looks.
I gave Madeline a traditional Betgwn style dress, the traditional Welsh dress, but made in a fabric that would never have been used by the Valley Ladies of old. I wanted to bring the shape a more modern feel while still being Celtic in origin. She’s a large doll, and has a lovely weight to hold. She’d like nothing better than a warm sunny spot in your home to bring smiles and joy to you and those you love, and she can be displayed sitting on a shelf or with her legs tucked under her, or standing with the aid of a doll stand as she has jointed arms and legs.
My Lady Madeline has cotton drawers, a shift and layers of petticoats, one embroidered with a Celtic knot design around the hem. Her green cotton lawn underskirt has row after row of pin-tucks, and her floral green gown is open at the front and folded back to show the white lining, attached with tiny buttons to hold it in place. Around her shoulders she has a silk wrap tucked into her gown, and in her hands and hair she has flowers fresh picked from the garden. Over her gown she wears her pretty white apron with more pin-tucks, lace insertion and a frill at the edge.
She weighs approx. 400g, and she is 53cm tall.
Saturday, 10 May 2014
I've also managed to add a pretty piece of silk mousseline around her shoulders before I fitted her gown sleeves and bodice.
I just love this Liberty Tana Lawn fabric I'm using for her Betgwn gown. The colours are strong and well matched, and the fabric is so fine and soft that I can finally see why Liberty fabrics are so expensive. I've always thought before that they weren't worth the money, but I was wrong. The weave of it is very fine and almost feels like silk. And I already have my eye on the next piece I want to buy for a future doll :)
I'm hoping tomorrow to get more done to her outfit once I've done some more work to get some of my poor unfinished dolls ready for the world.
I still need to finish off my poor Storyteller and add the final detail to her outfit and make her her beloved books so that she's ready to go out and tell her tales to any that want to listen to them. And I've also got my little Welsh lady Gwyneth to sort out as well. After months of waiting for her fabric I've had confirmation that it should be here very soon, and I'm really looking forward to getting her all dressed up with her hat and shawl in place.
I really enjoyed making this outfit and will be planning another kimono once I can gather together the fabrics that I'll need and decide which of the lovely ladies I've read about I'll be making.
I wasn't too sure how the bright red would work with such a strong blue for her eyes, but I thing it adds a strength to her: a fierce determination to succeed and do what was in her heart.
I'm in love with Katrina and she's not left her place on display in my living room since she's been dressed, and I'm planning to keep her there for as long as I can :) Or at least until the mask arrives and she finally has to leave me.
It was a complicated dress to make, but I managed to find the most perfect ivory silk taffeta and black net lace that I layered together to make the layers of her gown. There are thousands of tint silver and black seed beads sewn in veins over her skirts and bodice, and over a thousand tiny crystals attached to give her sparkle and make her look glamorous.
I hope your all having a lovely weekend out there. And I hope I'll have lots more to show you this time next week :)
Monday, 5 May 2014
But I just love how they look when their done.
My technique can be used either with hand sewing or machine. And I hope someone out there will find it helpful.
As I'm still waiting on my fabric for Gwyneth (5 days to go until I can complain :S) I started in on the next lady that has been waiting in my imagination. While working on Gwyn I thought how nice it would be to make the same sort of costume, with an underskirt and Betgwn style gown, all in the Spring colours that surround me here in Wales right now. This William Morris print fabric is something I've had tucked away for a while waiting until I decided what to do with it. And with it's fresh greens, blues and golden yellow shades looking so much like the Lily of The Valley I have in my garden it was just perfect for my Madeline.
Step 1 - Measure out and draw lines on the wrong side of your fabric (shown on left of this photo, the front is on the right). You want to draw a line for the bottom of the tuck and another for the top so that when the lines are joined the measurement is halved. A measurement of 1cm will give you a 5mm tuck. The next line should then be no more that 5mm away so that the tucks with stack up properly and not lay with all of your sewing lines showing.
My measurements here are 6mm tuck lines which will give me 3mm tucks with a 3mm gap between. I always sew just below my line fractionally so my tucks are always a little wider and the overlay hides my stitches.
Step 3 - With the wrong side of the fabric towards you push a pin in from the back on the bottom line of your tuck and then back in at the top line, trying to keep the pins at 90degrees to the line so the fold will crease neatly.
Step 5 - Fold your tuck by pinching the fabric so that the pin holes line up with each other and the pin is straight through the fabric. You can turn the pin to secure the fabric more securely without taking it out.
Step 6 - Sew along your line drawn on the right side of the fabric with the already worked fabric nearest to you and that left to be sewn away from you. When all the tucks are sewn lay the fabric face down on an ironing board and with the iron set to the right temperature for the fabric gently hold the fabric slightly taught so that all your sewing lines lay evenly and press. Then turn and press from the right side of the fabric too.
You can back the pin-tucks to give them more stability or to give a neater finish to something like an apron where you will see both sides. Keep your stitches as small as possible and as straight as you can as any wobbles with make the tuck uneven.