Making doll clothes for an antique doll

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While she is being measured for clothes, we thought it would be interesting to go over the fabrics we have assembled to make some clothes. We will start with the traditional doll bloomers, made of fine lawn fabric (a lightweight, semi-transparent or sheer cloth), with lace and pin-tucks.  A slip or chemise, also of a fine lawn and trimmed with lace.   We have a collection of antique napkins and hankies edged in handmade lace, some in the perfect weight of fabric for doll bloomers and a chemise.   Some of these linens are hand-stitched, from a time long long ago, picked up here and there and squirreled away for a time like this.

Next, a peach silk and lace trimmed “bed jacket” (a  light shawl-like jacket, usually of silk and lace, meant to cover the shoulders and upper arms while sitting up in bed) dating from the 1920’s will be re-cut into  a dress.  We found this for next to nothing at the most wonderful rummage sale we know of, the Dorset Rummage Sale in Dorset, Vermont.   Some sales are not spectacular, but when they are really good, they are the best place we know of to obtain silk, lace, kid, and cashmere.   It is astonishing what comes out of the attics and closets of white clapboard New England houses and goes to some of the rummage sales, and how good these sales can remain, year after year.  I wonder if things are bought, tucked away, and then come back after being stored away for years, in an endless rummage cycle of wonderful things (if the things we buy tend do not get used, they must eventually make their way back to find another deserving buyer).   Carefully cleaned and used as fabric for doll clothes (or I’ll take the that cashmere sweater for myself thank you), usually an older or vintage fabric will look more appropriate on an older doll than a brand new fabric.

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A pair of black kid leather gloves will be cut up to make her shoes.   These are also from Dorset.

We will have to buy some silk knit socks, unless we feel up to trying our hands at knitting in miniature…  and that should do it to get her dressed for now.  We may need to consider adding a coat, or a wrap, and a hat.

These lucky dolls have some very inspiring outfits; they have an entire wardrobe, or trousseau!

Any leads for some good silk socks, or rummage sales you particularly love?

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