Be-Petalled pictures up

Hello everyone, and happy Leap Day!

There are now lots of lovely photos of the finished Be-Petalled dress on our custom page — just click on the picture above to see them!

In other news, 1) the Spring Line is underway! and 2) we’re planning to attend the Sew Expo this weekend. We’re already working on our list (oh, so many lovelies to be had…) and we’ll be sure to share some of our finds with you after our trip.



the Rosalie Whyel Museum


We are very fortunate to have a world-class doll museum practically in our backyard! The Rosalie Whyel Museum ( houses some 3,000 dolls that span a goodly distance of history and geography. There are many dolls from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as a few from even earlier (the dolls from the 1750s are hauntingly beautiful.) It’s magical to be separated from something that old by just a thin layer of glass.

Sadly, however, the museum is closing. When I visited last week, they said their last day is March 1st. So, if you are in the region and can make it, it’s well worth the effort! Everything from original Barbies and GI Joes to some lovely ethnic dolls to china and bisque beauties from the 1870s to Kewpies to wooden dolls to English Royalty dolls, and yes, a Samantha doll — oh, and did I mention the many miniature displays? Entire houses, rug shops, pet shops, woodworking shops, toy shops, dioramas of faraway places — all outfitted in astounding detail. Most of them are in 1″ = 1′ scale. Truly astounding.

So, if you can, please go enjoy this treasure before the collection is no longer available for viewing!


Petals, petals, petals!

Well, this round of custom work is winding to a close. But what fun to finish it off with this delightful, petal-liscious ensemble! We’re making a few little changes — perhaps most notably deviating from the original black and bursting into color with a fushcia base and an amethyst chiffon on top.

After a little quick estimating (skirt 20″ or 25 petals wide by 4 petals tall) 100 petals seemed about the right number to make. (Actually we made 108, just to have a couple extra in case something came up.) I thought they’d look great in the chiffon, fluttering about and letting little flashes of fuschia poke through.

Chiffon, especially the silk chiffon we love so much, is notoriously slippery. It’s also very delicate (it holds pinholes excellently! Not really a feature.) To help stabilize the fabric during stitching, we usually back it with tissue paper before stitching, then tear the tissue away afterwards. This keeps the chiffon in place, gives us something to pin to, and also helps prevent the chiffon from getting eaten by the machine.

In this case, the tissue served yet another purpose — we just had to trace the petal outline onto the tissue, baste the chiffon to the top, and then stitch!

One of the petal ‘sheets’ after stitching:

Here’s a view from the back:

Some of the petals, cut out (top) and with the tissue torn off the back (bottom):

Since they’re cut on the bias (rotated 45 degrees), the petals won’t fray very much — they’ll just get a little fuzzy round the edges for effect, while the stitching will keep it in place for the long term.

And, because I know you’re curious, here’s a teaser preview of the finished dress (more pictures coming soon):

Next up? The Spring line!

Custom Work page updated

Just this weekend we shipped off our two most recent custom orders! They were both wonderful projects — but as one was a tailored man’s suit and the other was a tutu, they couldn’t have been more different…

In any case, there are now photos up on the “Custom” page for your viewing pleasure; you can also click on the pictures below to get there =)

Some interesting figures:

We used 24 buttons on the menswear ensemble! Yes, it sounds like a lot, but when you add up the vest (3), shirt (8), pants (2), and jacket (11), that is indeed the truth of the matter.

It took seven layers of tulle to build this tutu. At about 100″ long each, that adds up to 700 inches of tulle, or just over 58 feet! Yes. It’s extravagant. But ah, the poufiness…


tiny pockets!

Yes, this is a tiny welt pocket! It’s about 1 1/8″ long — and yes, you can put things inside it. (Small things, please.)

And yes, this is another tiny welt pocket! This one is only about  7/8″ long. (Just right for even smaller things…)

Why are we making miniscule, working welt pockets? Well, one of our outstanding custom orders is for an 18″ doll-sized suit — pants, shirt, vest, and (of course) a tailored jacket. We finished the pants today and were so pleased with the tiny welts that we just had to share. We haven’t cut out the jacket yet, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted — we’re planning two flap pockets on the outside. And maybe a secret pocket or two in the lining for good measure!