Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crocheting a Dress, 1889 French Fashions for Young Ladies

The smallest crochet hook I could get at Walmart the day that I was last there was 2.25mm, which would be fine for the regular cotton thread, but the colours I had were brown, black, red, and a multigreen.  The cream/taupe I had was a thinner thread.  I went ahead and did a single crochet stitch and it felt soft and lacey because of the size of the hook, but I like it.  I started the flounce, but later when looking at french fashion illustrations from 1889, the older girls did not wear the dropped waist styles. 

After see this, I am inclined to make the thing I started perhaps just a simple summer dress with a low waist, but not particularly dropped.

Hopefully on the next home time, if I can get everything unpacked quickly, I can go through some of the dolly things I packed and for the life of me, I cannot remember it all!  I believe I will have some small objects for Miette that are too old fashioned for the Nisse children.  I also have a wooden lane chest for her, so she can have a hope chest filled with things she makes for her future marriage.  I will put together some scraps of fabrics and ribbons to hand sew a few things too, I especially want to make a nightgown for her.  As badly as I want the apartment, I am most annoyed that the unpacking and errands I must do will keep me from having some relaxing fun time with dollies!  lol
The dress I am working on now is another one of my organic works in progress, meaning I am shaping it as I go without a pattern or a clear picture in my head as to what it will look like in the end.  I like how it looks so far!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Laredo, Texas

The Red Coat is in NO MORE.

I had very little luck at Walmart.  They were out of red ribbon, had an awful selection of buttons.  Sigh.  I decided that since the coat was not going to be one of Miette's favourites, I would go with white.  If only there had been a more muted colour for a contrast.

Lucky for Miette, we were now in Texas and it was hot!  The whole coat thing was started when we were in a blizzard, so much for being practical.  The temp was now 85 and we were sweating.  Off with the coat, and let's redo the hair!  Miette always loves to have her hair done.  Since we had ribbon, we could now use it to hold her braided buns.

We played around with an old dress (much too short so she wouldn;t let me photograph it in full) but I made a quick lace cap and she was pleased.  THIS, she mentioned with emphasis, was the style she preferred.  Pastels and lace and there can never be too many bows, she reminded me.  

Yes, Mon Amie, you are right.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Red Coat Continues to Mutate

I got up at 3 am this morning and had nothing to do while letting husband sleep longer.  I pulled the truck curtain and put on a little reading light and crocheted the red coat to death.

I crocheted around the edges, added to the waist to give it more definition.  The sleeves are split to allow a button closure.  On the right are the button loops.

There is a scalloped edging now around the whole coat.  Now to find the right buttons.

Miette was tolerating another try on, since she spied the embellishment.

 Still she is not fond of the colour at all. I keep trying to tell her that it is merely a warm coat for a cold truck but it is not her idea of refined clothing.

 I used a pin to hold the coat closed, I think that pearl buttons might be an idea.

Miette insisted on a hat, and so in the dark, I made one.  By the time the sun came up, it was done.  It needs ribbon through the bottom of the hat, I made ribbon holes for it.

Well, Miette is re-designing the coat.  We will be digging through the notions bag to see if we can finish this.

In the meantime, she is already eyeing some yarn for a more appropriate coat:


I told her that the eyelash yarn was too modern for her, but she sniffed and said that french girls have an eye for anything stylist.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Red Coat

The red coat is a failure.  Miette insists that it is not her colour, and I have to agree.  I guess I am so use to Nisse Red that I failed to see that Miette is a pastel girl.

Here I am working in the sleeve between the front and back panels

This is the back of the coat with the two sleeves on each side.

Just need to sew the top of the sleeves

Have no clue yet how to finish the front closure.

The coat fits well.

Miette HATES it.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Miette's Coat

I am still working on a coat for Miette.  I used the same lace pattern I used on Audrey's sweater.  I worked up to the waist, creating a front panel of garter stitch, then decreased after a few rows of garter for the waist band.  The needle is on the back panel:

The yarn is not that bright of a red (taked at 4 am with flash because I am impatient that way) it is a soft muted red with coloured specks, the same yarn I made a sweater and cap with for Olwen.

I instantly regretted that I didn't create a thicker waistband so that it would be more defined.  I the pattern holes are there and could have yarn woven through, so that might be an option.  The coat is really not her colour, so if it just doesn't suit by the time it is finished, I make give it to one the the nisse children.  Nice that they are the same size!

I really wish I could make a dress for her right now.  I have to wait until we hit a Walmart and I can get a smaller crochet hook for the cotton threads I have here on the truck.  I doubt I will have any time to pull something together on the next hometime, but perhaps I can quickly sew a few things to hand finish when we get back on board.

I am missing the children so much!  I yearn for them.  Yet, Miette is very good company, she is such a good travel companion.  I never thought I would love a little antique girl like this. 

Bronx, NYC

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nisse's Are with Evie and Evan

There will be a pause in recording the play of the little Nisse's.  They stayed behind with Evie and Evan while an attempt to secure an apartment is in the works.  They are well taken care of until they return on the truck.  Hopefully they can join us again in March.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Newark, NJ

Miette's Bun

We are staying the night in a hotel, so Miette has had her hair done and she has found a place on the bed to sleep.  Her journal is here:
I am still enjoying her company. She is giving me a much needed girl talk, even though we have a language barrier. Her hair is easy to arrange, and after I gave her hair a dose of shine oil, it looks much better. I cut two crystals off a flower arrangement and used them as hair forks. They were twisted on wire and worked just like a hair fork would. This bun is a tri-bun, hair parted into three sections, make a twisted bun with the center hair, then twist up the one side and then swirl around the bun over the top, the other side, twist and twirl around the bottom of the bun. I thread a needle with thread and gently weave through the hair to hold it. Snip a few threads to release the hair style.

Hackensack, NJ


Sunday, February 7, 2010

The New Little Old Girl

A lot has happened since my last entry...I am just now calming down!

On the last day of home-time, I had an urge to go to the Antique Market, partly because I just wanted to "get away" and walk, partly because I had such an urge to look at any antique doll that I could find.  There aren't many in this area, there are a handful in a shop on Academy and a few overpriced ones at the Antique Market.  There is a stall there that I really like, it is all vintage dolls for very reasonable prices.  She had a Chatty Cathy there the last time I went, I wanted to see her again too.

This is my favourite vendor:

The Chatty Cathy she had:

This one she wanted $65 for:
It is an effanbee vinyl head and hand chinahead repro.  She is goofy looking, but I thought she might do well on the truck.  But that is too much for what she is.  I am not interested in collecting, I am interested in play value.

With her red head resting against the box, I was intrigued, but for some reason did not pull her out to look at her.  She looked to be about 18 inches tall. 

As I mentioned, most of the dolls are all overpriced, not good condition and not really antiques.  It's rare to see something truly old and truly beautiful.  I have fluctuated consistently back and forth about whether or not I want an old doll.  I don't want one that is so delicate and fragile that I would fear playing with her.  I don't want one that is too big, yet all of the cabinet dolls I see are so expensive, even with cheap badly made bodies that they had back then.  These dolls were not expensive in their day! 

I looked high and low and found nothing that really pulled me.  I looked once again at the Chatty Cathy, but she looked so blank.  Mine was dark haired, this one is light, so it didn't click.  As I made my 3rd go around (in case I missed anything, I stopped in a stall that I didn;t think had dolls, in fact, I am not sure why I did, it was the kind that had frilly stuff, not the usual type of stuff that attracts my attention.

I found this doll there, she had a broken neck and was only $20:

 And she had 3 of these commerically made porcelain dolls for $37 each:

But way back in that tall dark cabinet is where I found little Miette:

She looked different from the rest, more refined and with a gentle look.  She didn't have those blank staring eyes.  Her eyes were smaller than the other porcelain dolls she had, the others had cloth bodies.  When I asked to see her, the moment I held her I knew she had a compo jointed body and was thrilled!  She curled up in my hand which is always a weakness of mine.  I was instantly smitten with her.  Then I saw the price tag and gulped.  $175.  Nope, I couldn't have her.  Not after the $200 I spent on Zoeline and Pandora.  Not after getting Olwen for my birthday.   I put her back and went to the other Antique shop, didn't see anything under $300 and then to Tuesday Morning and looked at the Gotz doll I have wanted for a long time, but even she didn't pull me anymore.  I was hooked on Miette.

When I got back to my parents house I told my mother that I wanted her, that I was going to try and sell two other dolls to make up the price, I figured if I could make up any of the cost, my husband might consider the expense.  He over heard me when he came up for dinner, and asked me about it.  During dinner he said..GO GET HER!  I rushed out the door as soon as dinner was over with and had only 1 hour to get into town and grab her before they closed.  I made it by 15 minutes!  This time I brought my camera and rushed to get the pictures I have with this entry.

I held her all the way home.  I liked how she felt in my hand.  I liked how heavy she was.  I liked her sweet looks, her charm.  I saw that the embroidery on her dress was the monogram M....she said her name was Miette.  Sigh.  Lovely name.  Sounds like mini-me.  And what was the first comment my husband made?  She looks like you.  lol

This entry is long enough, I will try and get all the rest entered tomorrow. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010