Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Holiday Dresses are Coming Soon :)

I am in full-tilt sewing mode and working on some beautiful Holiday outfits, including Dresses, PJ's, and Coats / Outerwear. I am still developing my pattern for Cecile & Marie Grace. There are 2 styles I am working on for them. Check back soon or sign up for email alerts if you want to know when something is released. You can also check Dollhouse Designs Facebook page.

The dress pictured here is "Mariah" and has already sold, however I will create a similar dress soon. I like to make each one unique when possible.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coupon Code for October Etsy Purchases

October Coupon Code!

Use: Oct10 to receive 10% off your purchase! Good thru Oct 31

This is Rebecca’s Bright Deco dress. With an Asymmetric skirt and Removable Collar, it is a fun new look for ‘Becca.

Next up: I am working on a Cecile & Marie-Grace dress of Ivory tones as well as perfecting my first Sewing Pattern for release. Details will appear first on Facebook

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Swell Belle Dress - a Blast from the 1940's

I adore old sewing patterns.  Just. Love. Them.

That being said, I find them to be wonderful inspiration for things I want to make for our fave Historical Dolls, as well as interjecting some old style into modern fashions that I sew for my daughter, now 21.
Here is a gorgeous vintage sewing pattern from the 1940's. It is from one of my favorite sites ever: Vintage Patterns Wiki I could not avoid making an American Girl-sized version. It's just too perfect not to emulate :)

From the pointed Basque waist to the curved & pieced bodice, I enjoyed translating these details into miniature. I don't own the original pattern - I am largely a "window shopper", although that would change if I had the means to be a collector.

Also appearing is the finished dress. I drafted it for my own doll sewing pattern. I intend to perfect it and then release it as my very first Digital Pattern for others to use! I am excited about it and can't wait to get it ready and see the results..

I've been working on this converting-patterns-into-digital for awhile now. I am embarrassed to say well over a year! Not this particular one -I created it yesterday for myself our of tissue paper, but the idea in general. I am not the most Tech-Savvy seamstress out there. (Looming understatement.)

I hope you enjoy there little blurbs of back-information to the doll togs I create. Thanks again to all who have been patient in sticking with me. (See previous post)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Milkmaid Glamour

Hello to all!
I have been away so long that I wanted to take a moment to reassure you that I have not fallen through a crack in the pavement! An emergency (and scary) situation with my daughter had taken all of my abilities to navigate the days.

Things are much better now and I am getting back to shipping and stitching. I have had some major delays with shipping some items and I am sincerely sorry –keeping me up at night sorry- for that. I am hoping to get everything resolved this weekend for shipment Monday.
I feel blessed to know so many kind souls that offer encouragement and heartfelt words.
Now I have all of this beautiful Fall and Winter fabric to create with… where to start??

The Milkmaid Gown 

The Polonaise is that oh-so-lovely skirt with the side poufs. Even in the Colonial days, women & girls were every bit as concerned with new fashions as they are today. 
In the countryside, long skirt hems got in the way of milking cows or gathering water. Reaching down and tucking the skirt hems into a waistband or pocket kept them from hazard. Elegant ladies passing by in their carriages might have seen this look worn by their humbler counterparts, simple and wholesome as the style was.

A version of this was created using cords or ties to keep the skirt elegantly in place. It became the surprise darling of Fashion in 1772 and for awhile afterward. Marie Antoinette was so smitten with the shepherdess look, that she had gowns designed to wear when she was relaxing at home in Trianon at Versailles.
While I can imagine a darling country frock to fit a rural AG as she goes off to tend Farm chores (and yes even now I am thinking of stitching one up) it seems that Colonial ladies were quite taken with the very rural and rustic runchings of tucked skirts.
To honor that pretty look, I am finishing a robe à la Polonaise for Felicity and Elizabeth in rich Autumn hues. I created a specially fitted pattern for it. The bodice, or stomacher, is beaded and the entire bodice lined in humble muslin. A long time in the making due to all the hand-stitching, it is quite in keeping w/ the period. I will be listing this on Etsy in a day or so. I hope you enjoy the preview here J
Wishing you Health and Joy, I am so glad you could stop by and read my little scribbling!

Friday, May 6, 2011

What's New at Dollhouse Designs

~  New Listing Available: Auction link on eBay

Victorian Waterfall, 2nd in the Grand Ball Series

Putting a difficult year behind me, I was so relieved & excited to begin sewing and designing again. I've had a slow start and can only be grateful for those of you that have been able to bear with me. 

Truly, there have been many times that my favorite hobby has gotten me though some difficult times. Most of my outfits are brand new patterns that I create as I construct the garment and it's a nice creative outlet. The very best part is that I am usually sewing for someone else, and I get to hear of their joy at receiving the item. That sense of delight never gets old.

My favorite new project that has already debuted is The Grand Ball Series. Made of superior fabrics with unique design touches, I aim for this to be a memorable set. Lots of hand-stitching, beading or other special elements will be used. I will continue through the year and culminate in fashions that span the seasons.
For each American Girl era –or close to it- a special Gala gown will be created. Felicity received the inaugural edition for the Colonial period. Of glorious brocade with a sweeping train that has a wrist loop, it was so fun to put together.

 Up next, this heavenly 1850's Gown is almost ready. Called Victorian Waterfall after the famous site in South Africa, the fabric seemed to mimic water froth and swirls. Midway between pale Aqua & Sky Blue, I followed the water theme by adding flowing tucks on the sleeves and layers upon layers of white lace and ribbon. Beads and Pearls complete the illusion by mimicking little bubbles on the surface of the water. "Waves" of scrolling trim flow across the skirt in even scallops.

I was inspired by images from Godey's Lady's Book, a wildly popular women's magazine from the 19th century. I am putting on the final details to the accessories that will accompany this gown, due to begin auction on May 8th.

I do plan one more Colonial for Elizabeth and there will be many other styles to come from the elegant Regency period to the glitzy heydays of Hollywood.  I have an upcoming Masquerade theme, complete with mask, that I am chomping at the bit to begin.
1st in the Grand Ball Series

Balls were formal dances and children would sometimes attend, depending on the theme or reason for the celebration. One’s best manners and of course most special finery were required. Little girls dreamed of being old enough to attend a ball.

If you would like to sign up for email notifications to receive alerts when I have something go on sale or auction, I will be happy to add your name.

Thanks for “visiting” and I hope your Spring days are healthy & beautiful….