Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An 18th Century Pin-up

She's all finished!

Here she is, posing
with her little feather fan.

All painted and pensive.
I'm seriously considering giving her a beauty spot.
Yes or no?

Her silly, frilly, little shoes
actually stay on her feet,
unlike some women I could mention.

See the flying shoe?

Everyone thinks this painting is sweet.
It's not. It's naughty!
The whole point of the painting
is that she's not wearing any knickers.
Look at the face of the man at the lower left.
It's supposed to make you giggle!


More pin-up posing.

Tight lacing and bows

A bit of lounging

Shoes and a fan.
A girl can never have too many accessories.

Detail of the wig and corset.

As you can see,
Marie will sit happily
in all kinds of positions.

Marie is inspired by the 
wonderful boudoir dolls
of the Flapper era.
I wish I had one.
The closest I have is the 
Munzerlite doll lamp
I'm restoring

Boudoir or Bed Dolls were dressed in 
exotic or designer clothes,
and were carried around as fashion accessories
as well as used to decorate a bedroom.
I love the idea of a doll for grown ups, 
that could be taken places
or left to pretty up a bed or a chair.

Find Marie in 

Thank you, to all of you who came along
 with Marie on her journey.
Your support and encouragement 
really means a lot
and is much appreciated.

Shared with the wonderful

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Graphic Heavy

First of all,
meet Mr Butterbean!
Isn't he lovely?

It's been a while since we had a bunny,
and Hubby bought him for me
all of a sudden!

Yes, he's adorable!
So is the bunny!

Well, I've done a lot since I was last here.

Technically, Marie is finished.
I need to take some
 pin-up style shots of her.

 here is some more

Marie on my glass table.
This is early morning
(8.00am, is early, right?)
and she's waiting for her gloves and shoes.

These are the soles of the shoes
sculpted from paper clay


I looked at a lot of 18th century shoes
and darling little things they are!

Ribbons and roses and frills.
And the women's shoes were even fancier!

The best little 18th century shoes I know
are made by Anita Riviera, of
Aren't these divine?

A lot of the historical shoes
had decorated heels,
and  I thought that was a lovely idea.

Here are the soles, painted
with flowers and leaves.
Then they are sealed,
and left to dry,
before covering with the fabric uppers.

Marie has her panniers,
and that complete the sum of her clothing.

She has bright coral pink garters 
to hold up her white stockings.

There's a very good reason
she's wrapped in a plastic bag.

A very good reason indeed.

I'd piled up her bouffant coiffure
and it looked ok, 
and it stayed in place.
But Marie had some real problems
with flyaway hair.
She was going to need some serious lacquer.
So, it was into the plastic bag,
and out with the Krylon matte seal.

Once I'd sprayed her
and the hair was set,
and her face paint was sealed
I could finish embellishing her wig.

This is the back.

Paper roses!
Satin leaves!

I added some roses to her brow,
to hold down a stray curl.

I made Marie some ringlets.
I'd twisted some of the white hair
around a chopstick.
Poured boiling water over it.
Dunked the chopstick into iced water 
to cool and set.
Left to dry.

Once it was dry,
 I sprayed it with more lacquer,
let that set and then slid it off the chopstick.

The ringlets were attached to the back of her hair
and brought over her shoulders.

More roses and plumes,
and a big pink satin bow.

And she's all finished.
I just need to take some pretty pictures.

Marie's adventures

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


 First of all, an exciting story!

Last week I went to the dentist
with Hubby ,
because I can't drive
and I'm a little nervous of dentists
(I used to be terrified, 
I'm getting better.
He's a nice dentist)

 When we left the dentist
it was snowing and 
half an hour later
the roads were impassable,
the only route out of the city was closed
and we were stuck.

We walked three miles in the snow 

 I know three miles isn't far,
 and the snow wasn't thick. 
but I wasn't dressed for this. 
I was wearing battered, leaky tennis shoes)

to Hubby's church
where the very nice priest 
opened the flat in the church hall
and let us stay overnight.
He's Indian.
(not Native American.
Indian, from India)
and fed us amazing chicken curry.

The End.

 Yes, indeed.
If you're going to wear a corset, 
you need something to put in a corset
 I tried Marie without her
but she did look a little...unbalanced.
So I made her a couple of
pillows to stuff down the front.

So, now she has a corset
and something for the corset to squash.

Here is Marie sitting nicely
being fitted for her corset.

I won't be using bright green ribbon,
but this neon colour did give me a chance 
to look at several different ways of lacing Marie.

The lacing at the bottom 
looks nice, but 
Marie will be wearing 
panniers on her hips.
So she'll be laced from bottom 
to top.

Now she has a corset, 
with embellishments being added,
and her anachronous knickers
and her lacy stockings.

She still needs;
stuff in her wig
and shoes.

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.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Progress so far.

The story so far...

Marie is all assembled
and I've done all the soft sculpture
apart from her ears.

Her face is drawn

and she's mostly blushed. 

I've cut out Marie's bloomers, but

I'm procrastinating about sewing them because

I chose to make them out of duchess satin.

Sometimes I don't make good choices.

The Story of Marie