Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bad Hair Day

 You can't be 18th Century, darling,
without the powdered hair.

Even if the shiny wig with ringlets
is a Hollywood invention,
we've come to expect 
our Maries to be coiffured
in glossy, white hair.

I wasn't looking forward to this at all.
I don't think Marie was, either.

Still, before the wig
came the  satin bloomers 
and here they are!

They have elasticated legs
and they need some
 lace and
 ribbons and
 bows and
 roses and
 pearls and 
ruffles and 
embroidery and
flowers and
 furbelows and...
....because they are 18th century
and anything goes.

(What are  furbelows ?)

After the bloomers
came the corset.

Now, I have made a boned doll's corset before
but I'd never put those fiddly eyelets in.

The trick, apparently,
is to keep the hole in the fabric
as small as possible.

Then, I made stockings,

Sorry about the horrible flash photography.

 I'd really put it off as long as I could...
 I had to do the wig.

I have a big hank of costume hair.
It's very bright white
and perfect for
Santa or Gandalf.
It's also loose and
I was really worried about using it.

(I was hoping to link a 
hair wefting tutorial here,
but I can't find it on-line any more.
Essentially, it involves sewing the hair 
onto tissue paper
with a sewing machine.)

I sewed strips of the hair
onto used tumble dryer sheets.
They're white and soft 
and pretty invisible behind the hair.

So, I sewed two strips
and I rolled some loose hair
into a ball.

Essentially there's a row of hair sewn at the front,
a row at the back,
and in between, a big pouf
sewn into a tulle bag
to provide the height.

It's all sewn, 
Ladies and Gentlemen.
No glue.

The tips of the hair I gathered into a topknot
and tucked it into the crown and stitched it in place.

She still looks a little suspicious...

I'm going to have fun,
embellishing her wig
and adding girly stuff to her clothes.

Marie's story starts here.


  1. My Gosh! You go all out, even so far as boning a corset.. a gal after my own heart. I am a slave to detail and to see what you have done thus far, especially with the hair, is magnifico! I love her eyes with the coy expression and the rosebud mouth, just splendid!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeri! I have to admit, I was tempted to skip this step, but she looks so pretty with the corset I'm happy I did it. I'm glad you like the little pout she has. I like doing eyes but I'm not so confident about dolls' lips.

  2. that corset is amazing!! boning...little eyelets...the detail you put into her is fabulous!!!dry sheet for the hair..marvelous!! i have never done a wig of any kind!!.
    i think her lips are perfect!!!!

    1. Thank you, Ann! I have to admit, I did get a little carried away making her. Used tumble dryer sheets are pretty cool things for the doll maker! I used them for interlining bodices as well.

      Back to sewing ribbons and roses.

  3. This is totally amazing!! So much work!!! I am loving seeing all the little details!! You are so talented!! Something I could never do!!! By the way, I love the way her "look" on her face is ;o)

    1. Thank you, Magic Crow! I wasn't sure about her face, at first, but she's beginning to grow on me. As for the boned corset, it was a spur of the moment thing, but I'm glad I did it! I'm now considering 18th century slippers for her. Why not, eh?

  4. Wow...I love the corset and the hair!!!

    I had Antonette's website bookmarked but it doesn't seem to work which is a pity as she had some great how to's there:( She has a blog but it's not very active.

    1. Thank you, Mary Ann!

      It's a pity about Antonette's website. I printed out her shoe-making tuorial, but the hair wefting thing I had do from my (very bad) memory.

      Back to the ribbons!

  5. You did good with the hair. You could use tissue paper which tears off easily once you finish. Her corset is wonderful

    1. Thank you, Shashi! The corset was a lot of fun to make (by fun, I mean I kept expecting things to go wrong, but they didn't)

      I think Antonette's tutorial uses tissue papewr , but I couldn't find the page to check. Mary Ann says she can't find it either, so maybe it's down, or closed. I'll try tissue paper for dark hair as the tumble dryer sheets will show through dark hair.


Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive things you say! I'm thrilled to read them and I reply to each one.