Sunday, 30 August 2009
This close up shows how beautifully Trudy Grant has sculpted her doll to give her a cleavage, a nose and deep sockets for her eyes. She has used wool tops for her hair coaxing it into a late 1950s/early 1960's style to compliment the dress.
Saturday, 29 August 2009
This is the vintage dress pattern that Trudy Grant used for her dolls dress. She reduced all the pattern pieces by 75% on a photocopy machine and made up the dress complete with facings by following the pattern's enclosed instructions.
This absolutely stunning doll was made by Trudy Grant on 'Vintage Fashion Dolls' at Central Saint Martins Summer School 2009. Trudy has used a 1950s dress pattern reduced down to quarter-scale and a Liberty print from Shaukat Fabrics on Old Brompton Road, London SW5.
Friday, 3 July 2009
My favourite Barbie book is 'Barbie Fashion Volume 1' By Sarah Sink Eames. Each page has pictures of the full sets of Barbie's clothes with accessories from 1959 to 1967. If you are planning to treat yourself to this book you may want to shop around for a better price than the one that I have found on Amazon.
Several books have inspired the development of 'Vintage Fashion Dolls' at Central Saint Martins and I refer to some of them when I teach the course. The most inspiring for me is 'Theatre de la Mode Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture'.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Eleanor Leafe has used fabric pens to draw in the face of her doll. Although dramatic and perfect for the Oscars, the dress has been draped and made from simple shapes of satin cloth.
Briony Holly Helen Bush has used a 'Trickmarker' (self erasing fabric marker) to plot the facial features of her doll before completing it with embroidery. http://www.stitch1knit1.com/acatalog/prym_fabric_markers_trickmarker_haberdashery.html
The face of Barbara Taylor's doll has been painted, embroidered and needle-sculpted. The paints that she used are called 'Pentel FabricFun Water Colour Dyes'; available on line or from the Central Saint Martins college shop; Southampton Row site.
The 'Théâtre de la Mode' dolls were made towards the end of the second world war and toured the world as ambassadors for French couture fashion. Made in 1/3 scale (a third of the full human size), their clothes and accessories were perfect miniature replicas of the collections from the fashion houses that the represented. These dolls are now on display at the Maryhill Museum of Art, Oregon
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
I had made several attempts at writing a doll making course for Central Saint Martins but could never quite get an angle that would suit the needs of our students until I saw 'Miss Lachasse' and the 'Theatre de la Mode' fashion dolls at the V&A exhibition 'The Golden Age of Couture'.
Monday, 4 May 2009
While you are looking for vintage dress fabrics you may also come across vintage dress patterns. If reduced by 75% on a photocopy machine, a dress pattern with a 34" (86cm) bust will fit the 'quarter-scale' dolls made on Vintage Fashion Dolls at Central Saint Martins.
Liberty prints can be found on Ebay, at antique fairs and car boot sales but be sure that you know what you are looking for because they can be expensive. Better still, ask anyone you know who was or still is a keen dressmaker. You only need small pieces and may find that they have a few leftover scraps. http://fuzzylizzie.com/liberty.html
From top-to-toe Julie Goodman's doll is wearing a hat made from milliners sinamay, a broderie anglaise blouse, a Liberty print skirt and felt slippers. Liberty's Classic Tana Collection includes fabrics that were designed for them in the 1920's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's. Many are small-scale florals which are perfect for dressmaking in quarter-scale. To make an ankle length dress for your doll, the absolute maximum amount of fabric that you will need is 50cm.
Friday, 1 May 2009
This photo of Fiona Macandrew working on her fashion doll will help you to visualise the size of a doll made in 'quarter -scale'. Quarter-scale pattern blocks are used by pattern cutters when working out a particularly complicated pattern before doing it in full-scale; when working on a computer and when working out how much fabric is needed. Patterns made in quarter-scale can be blown up by 200% to a full-scale garment pattern.
Sunday, 26 April 2009
The dolls were inserted with wire so that we could photograph them in different poses. Susana's doll is seen here sitting on a box of vintage pearls in a simple shift dress made from a vintage handkerchief. The accessories have been made to pick-up the orange of it's embroidered flower.