A Custom Dress

red dressWell, the very exciting news around here is that the ladies at Badgers’ Wood have commissioned us to make a beautiful 1950’s dress for one of their dolls! They very kindly gave me their permission to blog about the project, so I thought I would share photos of the work in progress with you.

Penny (who does most of the planning and ordering for the dolls of Badgers’ Wood) sent me several photos of what she had in mind; the red dress in particular, she said, was the sort of thing she wanted. So I sketched up what I thought it would look like, only in doll proportions, and she liked the results. melindasketchbackmelindasketchfront





Over the weekend, I whipped out a mock-up (which is basically a dry run of the pattern in a test fabric), to be sure that the proportions would really work.  And this afternoon I tackled the collar.

Collars are tricky things, turns out. Penny wanted this one a little further away from the neckline than I’d drawn in the sketch, and it took me a couple tries to get it right. 1950sdressblog-0021950sdressblog-009


On the very left, Melody is sporting the first version of the collar. It was too high in front, though, so in the second version I lowered the point where the collar crossed. The third picture is Lisette wearing the mock-up; since her shoulders are somewhat narrower than Melody’s, I thought she’d be a better indication of what it would look like on a narrower-shouldered doll. (The final dress will have sleeves, but I didn’t mock them up because I know the pattern I have will work.)


Needless to say, the fabric I used for the mock-up, although quite lovely in and of itself, is not the fabric for the final dress!  I went on an expedition to the fabric shop this afternoon and got the real fabric. You can see it here; it’s got two gorgeous sides, one more green, one more gold, and it’s a marvellously soft silk/rayon blend. I wish you could feel it, too! The drape will be fabulous, and I’m planning to use both sides to show off the beauty of the fabric. I also found an amazingly soft cotton and silk sateen, which I’ll use for the lining and some of the accents. Needless to say, it’s going to be a dress that feels as good as it looks!

That’s the scoop on the project so far; I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I work more on it!





PS— to keep updated on the Badgers’ Wood end of the story, check out www.thedollwardrobe.blogspot.com!


Springtime Sunshine

On Tuesday, the sun was shining so beautifully that we just had to go outside and take a bunch of pictures! Here are some of my favorites:  springtimesunshine-026


Lisette and I scheming about what kinds of shots would be cutest!springtimesunshine-014

Here’s Samantha hanging out next to the bench; you can see just how lovely a day it was out in the meadow, with the sun making little spots of light on the grass!






Kirsten and I: two nice little vignettes. Kirsten is so cute! She found a dandelion and picked it (in the interest of weeding, you know) and then posed with it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how charming she can be at odd moments!












Later on: Kirsten and Samantha in a little tête à tête. Don’t they look lovely sitting together in the sun?


Lisette came over at some point, but had to run off and do something (I forget what) while Kirsten  springtimesunshine-050told Samantha and I about the size of the fish in Minnesota, where she’s from! It was really quite astonishing—just think, fish nearly as big as us!  (But then again, I do not pretend to know about fish. Fabric is my specialty!)

And last, but not least, a really nice group shot :springtimesunshine-0061 I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!


Happy Customers

I love it when people post photos of our dresses in action! It’s so exciting to see them doing something out there in the great big world! Here are two of our customers’ blogs for you to check out:

The Verdant dress has found a new home at Badger’s Wood! It’s now gracing the lovely Sundari: http://thedollwardrobe.blogspot.com/2009/04/melody-valerie-verdant-dress.html The cream and all the delicious greens go quite nicely with her darker skin tone, don’t you think?

And for some lovely photos of another happy, well-dressed doll, check out http://americangirlcouturereview.blogspot.com/2009/04/melody-valerie-couture.html where you can see Sonali wearing the Dainty Dots dress. And quite nicely, I must add. Yellow is a great color on her! There’s some really great shots on this blog—two thumbs up for Jess (their photographer!)



Cherry Trees

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re rather fond of plants around here, especially ones that flower. So when I found myself around some gorgeous cherry trees today with a camera….well, here are some of the results. cherrytrees-010They’ve been blooming long enough now that some of the petals are starting to fall, and the ground is covered with little bits of pink, like snow, only softer and more spring-like.




And if you happen to shake a branch, you get showered with petals! It’s very enchanting, and there’s a beautiful faint smell to go along with it.

It reminded me of this idea I had for a hat last year. Its brim would be two layers of chiffon or organdy. Sandwiched between the layers would be a wire frame (for stability), and lots of little pieces of pink paper, cut out like cherry blossom petals. So when you bent the brim up to fit your fancy, the ‘petals’ inside would cascade around and make interesting patterns. I didn’t have any clear visions for the crown; maybe it would be a crownless number, like they had earlier in the century; or maybe it would be an interesting swathe of pink silk. cherrytrees-011With, of course, a very tasteful bow!


Happy Spring, everybody!

Here it is!

The Verdant dress — SOLD

verdantdress-041 Here is the surprise we promised you last week! This dress is truly one of a kind and we worked really hard to make it stunningly gorgeous. verdantdress-145

Graceful hand embroidery, layers of soft green tulle, and bits of Swarovski crystal throughout for sparkle.


Melinda and Melodyverdantdress-142verdantdress-098verdantdress-118 verdantdress-085verdantdress-155verdantdress-064verdantdress-103verdantdress-045