January 13, 2012

Daenerys in Blue

Daenerys' first ensemble features a delectable and ethereal valyrian gown in celestial blue. An elegant creation made from cream and light blue chiffon, this gown is secured by a delicate white ribbon around her neck. Carefully placed pleats add soft shaping to this draped gown. Additionally, a single silver pendant adorns the bodice.





























Daenerys does not require much jewelry to enhance this sophisticated dress. She wears a braided silver headband and silver and diamond earrings.

















The dramatic back drape accentuates the low, open back, which falls gracefully into a split train.


























As Daenerys walks along the palace terraces, her gown floats gently around her, forming eddies of cream and blue.





November 15, 2011

Layering Chiffon

I have been working on the first gown for my Daenerys doll. This gown has simple lines with some pleating in the back and a train.

To achieve the color and look I had imagined, I decided to layer two pieces of chiffon in different colors. I layered cream over light blue, resulting in a pale blue that reminds me of clouds. I love the softness of this color. I also adore the fact that I could create a gown that was paler than a pastel, but still had some color in it.






October 29, 2010

The Eirwyn

The Eirwyn- front detail

The Eirwyn gown is one of my original designs. I wanted to create a formal gown that captured the grace and delicate beauty of snow.
















july2010 068.JPGThe Eirwyn gown is made from a vintage wedding gown, originally created in the 1950's. The vintage wedding gown had a bodice of Chantilly lace over duchess satin; its full skirt featured several tiers of tulle with lace appliques and lace flounces.                                 





Eirwyn means "snow,"and the Eirwyn gown captures the delicacy and lightness of a snowflake. The lace bodice gently flows into a satin waist, from which lace tendrils branch out over an ethereal tulle skirt. An elegant lace flounce drapes dramatically over the middle tulle tier and dips into a cathedral-length train.





































The sleeves of the Eirwyn gown are like small puffs of air, capped with snowy lace.
























 A column of tiny pearls graces the back of the gown.
























 The multiple layers of tulle and lace create intriguing patterns in the full ball skirt.


This vintage lace is almost 60 years old. It is still in good condition.

The lace had many intricate designs, which could be used in different ways. When I started identifying motifs for my gown, I tried to use motifs that were the right scale for the doll. If I used all of the lace motifs in full-scale, the design of the gown would have been overpowered by the lace; and, therefore, my main concept would have been ruined.

By draping the delicate lace patterns and layering the fine tulle, I was able to achieve a gown that captures the ethereal beauty of snow and evokes the same sense of delight.

The vintage Effanbee doll wearing the Eirwyn gown

























































May 20, 2009

From my Sketchbook: Masquerade Gowns for Little Princesses

Earlier in the year, my nieces asked me to design some gowns for a masquerade ball. I was delighted with the idea of designing ball gowns for young ladies (approximately pre-teen in age). I had a lot of fun thinking about different gowns that would be fit for a young princess.

I did not draw the masks that would accompany each gown, but it wouldn't surprise me if I designed a few masks in the near future.

While my nieces will not be hosting a masquerade ball this year, I have decided to keep the designs in mind for future projects. I might make a porcelain little girl who needs a ball gown.

Here are some of my favorite design ideas (the colors are suggestions):

Camille The Camille dress is a satin or velvet gown (with a black velvet sash) and a tulle underdress.

ElenaThe Elena gown is a satin gown over a satin petticoat trimmed in lace.


 MelodyThe Melody gown is a satin empire gown trimmed with pearls and crystals. This gown could also be made with an embroidered organza.

MorganThe Morgan gown could be made in satin, brocade, or velvet.


MirandaThe Miranda gown is satin with a brocade stomacher and petticoat (inset or full).

LydiaThe Lydia gown is satin with a satin petticoat trimmed with laces, pearls, and ribbons.


October 20, 2008

A Trendy Jacket for Autumn

I recently completed an Autumn jacket ensemble for a My Twinn doll. My daughter and I shopped for the fabric together, because we were giving this ensemble to her friend. We selected royal blue ultra-suede and accented it with a black micro-suede collar and black buttons.

I based my jacket on a pattern from Morrissey Patterns. This jacket is an unlined jacket with one button under the chin. I added the ruffles to the hem to make the sleeves full-length and to add a stylish embellishment to the garment.

Royal blue Micro-Suede Jacket


Rosie tried on the jacket

September 19, 2008

Finishing Touches: The Perfect Shoes

When you are putting together an ensemble for a doll, you must never forget the shoes. Whether this doll's character is a fashionista or a fairy, her shoes should help you tell her story.

You can buy shoes for your doll from a manufacturer or you can design and make custom shoes for your doll. I have done both. My decision to make or to buy shoes is based on my vision of the doll. There are times when I have found the perfect shoes, and there are times when I have created them.

When I was creating the doll of Mary, I designed and made her leather sandals, because I didn't want to adorn her feet with modern sandals or slippers. I found soft leather and metallic findings to create a simple sandal.

When I was designing Miyoko, I knew I would make her shoes. The geta and sapporo that geisha wear are very unique. I gathered as many pictures and descriptions I could find on these shoes. In human scale, these shoes are carved from wood. I created my sapporo from clay and ribbon and painted the bases to resemble lacquered wood.

Miyoko's sapporo, black lacquer base pained with pink and white cherry blossoms, with a yellow bandOne of a kind Sapporo

I also made the booties for Bianca and Celeste. These dolls are the size of small infants, and I could have purchased baby shoes for them. However, I decided it would be more fitting for each of them to have booties that matched their special ensembles.

One day, I'll make a Cinderella doll; and,  she will definitely have stunning shoes. Most likely, they will be an 18th-century slipper, lined with silk, featuring a glass (or glass-like) heel and a crystal-beaded upper.

I have much more to learn about shoe-making; and, I am certain that I shall be making more custom shoes in the future. It is a daunting task, but it is worth the effort.

If you are interested in making custom doll shoes, I highly recommend The Art of Making Beautiful Fashion Doll Shoes. These shoes are truly beautiful.

The Art of Making Beautiful Fashion Doll Shoes: "From Beginning to Last"

April 01, 2008

Lucia's Mask

I made a feather mask for Lucia to wear to the ball. I made her mask using felt as the base and layering small pink and purple marabou feathers. After I shaped the feathers, I added the clear and aurora borealis Swarovski crystals.

jewelled and feather mask

March 19, 2008

Designing Lingerie for a Modern Fashion Doll

I am currently costuming a 23" modern fashion doll, who I have named Lucia. Lucia is destined to be the belle of a midsummer masquerade ball. I am in the process of creating her elaborate ball gown.

I like to create undergarments for all of my dolls. This makes them more complete.

Lucia is a contemporary doll; so, I decided to create contemporary lingerie for her. I followed some guidelines from an article about doll's lingerie written by Catherine Mahler in Doll Crafter & Costuming. I made her lingerie out of gold lace ribbon. She is wearing a strapless bra, thong panties, and garters.

Here is a view of Lucia from the front:

full lingerie set


Here is a close up of her bra:lucia's bar