Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rising to the Challenge

Recently a revered woman in the doll world and more recently in the miniature world passed away. The loss of Doreen Sinnett makes us sad. Fortunately for us doll makers her business continues in the capable hands of her daughter, Drena West.
Doreen created many doll kits for those who liked dressing dolls. (There are molds for those who like to do the whole process.) A client that thought my style of dressing a doll would be great for her Doreen Sinnett porcelain sent one such kit to me. What a compliment. Her instructions to me were quite specific, “Surprise me!”That I knew of the client was she liked pastels, closest to white the better, feminine but not fussy, lace and antiques. I tried to pin her down to a period or a style, even asked her where it would be placed in her home. Nothing. By now, I am crying fowl. The answer was always similar, “I have faith in you, you will know what to do, I trust you, surprise me.” It was time to rise to the challenge and dress a doll that would make Doreen proud and my client very happy.Doreen had dressed her hair in a high style reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, yet still appropriate for a mid Victorian ball gown. I hit the reference books with my list of requirements. There were two periods I felt would work with the hairstyle already on the doll. I landed on a ball dress from a design plate from Harper’s Bazaar 1877. I had the dress! Then the painful, yes painful, decision about fabrics. (Usually that s the fun part, but it had to be great.) The doll had tiny dots of fuchsia flowers in her hair and knowing the desire for femininity, I went with pink, a light, almost dusty rose. After deciding on the main color, choosing the other colors was easy. When I am unsure, I use a color wheel.
Finally, bringing the dress to reality was another matter. Many times, I had to make different parts of the gown. My client and I are so pleased with the result. With her permission, I am sharing this figure with you today. I hope you enjoy seeing her. She is 5 ½” tall.
Kathi minipatterns .com

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