Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Thursday, January 12, 2017

American Girl Cecile and Simplicity 1391 again

Remember how two Christmases ago I used this pattern to create a new outfit for my daughter-in-law's beloved Addy doll?

This is the dress I ended up creating (sorry for the kind of dark picture):
I liked it so much I vowed that I would someday get around to sewing one for my own dolls.  And to go along with it, I also wanted to sew the bonnet and hat.

It is SO cold and snowy right now.  But Cecile was a good sport and dutifully posed in the almost foot of snow we got dumped with a couple of nights before.
The bonnet and hat are View F on the pattern.
I love everything about this jacket and bonnet...the cut, the fit, and the style.  It has a very definite 1860's feel to it.
I used a piece of red, plaid corduroy that's been in my stash FOREVER.  I had just enough to make these pieces.  They are lined with black cotton sateen, and trimmed with a black braid from JoAnn's.  The little pewter buttons came from my stash as well.  The buttons are decorative and sit over snaps which fasten the jacket.
The bonnet ties are made from wide, black, grosgrain ribbon.  I diagonally folded up and hemmed the edges because cut grosgrain ribbon ravels horribly.
Bright morning sun!  I love Cecile's eyes.  They are a dark shade of green and match her dress so perfectly.
The snow made for easy posing!  I just stuck her down and the deep snow kept her from toppling over.
And here's the dress.  The skirt is two layers--the underneath has a deep, ruffled hem, and the overskirt is trimmed with lace and braid.
I had just enough lace to trim around the skirt.  I love it when this happens. Makes me realize this project was meant to be.
The bodice and sleeves of this dress were sewn and trimmed just like the first dress I made two years ago. 
It closes in back with snaps.
I bought Cecile (along with Marie Grace) right before they were retired.  They are both gorgeous dolls.  However, for some reason or another, I had never undressed Cecile until now!  I didn't realize how pretty this dress would look on her until I tried it on...the muted green of the fabric matches her eyes so perfectly.
The sun is a little harsh in this photo, but I wanted to show the ruffled trim inside her bonnet.  This bonnet is really very easy to make--there are just two pieces--a back and a brim!  One in the plaid, and one in the lining.  I attached a ruffle from the black sateen to the lining so that it would perfectly frame her little face while she was wearing it.
She wandered over to check out the giant snowman (well, to her anyway!) that my kids had made.  His "eyes" and buttons are actual buttons from my stash.  Do my kids know how fortunate they are to have a mother that's a seamstress?!
Here's a better picture of my two youngest which shows that the snowman isn't a giant afterall...
Enjoy this beautiful day no matter what kind of weather you're having!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gotz Happy Kidz Charlotte Doll and New Dresses!

 This has been my view from our back porch for many days.  Forgotten pumpkins (leftover from autumn) chilling in the ice and snow.   Our little neck of the woods doesn't typically get too cold or see much snow, but this year that has not been the case!  Every morning when I open up the chicken's shed, I breathe a sigh of relief as the hens rush outdoors, seemingly healthy and happy.  How in the world do they survive when the temps dip down into the teens at night?  Crazy!
Among all the excitement of fresh snow and the holidays, I caved and ordered a new doll I've had my eye on for quite a while.  When she went on sale, I just couldn't resist!  Here she is, fresh in her box:
It's a Gotz, Happy Kidz "Charlotte" doll!
Such a serene, contemplative face

Back of the box
Believe it or not, this little sweetie actually stood around in her box for about a week before I finally had a chance to de-box her.  Like I said, it was pretty crazy with the holidays, and I wanted a chunk of time to really devote to setting her free.
Free at last!  But what in the world is up with this outfit?  It has got to be one of the weirdest, ugliest outfits that I've ever seen on a doll I've bought.  Sorry, Gotz company, but what were you thinking?  In case you can't tell from the photo, the outfit consists of shiny, metallic shorts, shimmery gold tights, a white t-shirt with a gold heart motif around the neckline, a tweed-type coat, and white, sparkly, lace up shoes.  I think the outfit as a whole is hideous.  But separately, I think some of the pieces could be cute--like the tights, t-shirt and coat.

She also came with this strange headband that has a top hat attached to it. 
Her thick, brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, along with a separate, smaller ponytail along the front of her face.  I could hardly wait to let her hair down!
So, after making her a new dress and brushing out her hair, here is what she looks like now:
Isn't she so much sweeter looking?
When I was looking through my fabrics, trying to pick out the perfect color for her, this light blue fabric just seemed to jump out at me.
And then I paired it with pretty, white eyelet.
Look how much prettier her hair looks when let down!
A while back, I bought a girl's skirt from the thrift store that was covered with this 100% cotton, ruffled, white eyelet.  I removed it and ended up with several yards of this trim for future projects.  Yay!  I believe it cost me all of $2.50.
Gotz Happy Kidz dolls have rooted hair.  The hair is very thick, silky, and of excellent quality.  It is made to stand up to many hours of children's play, and can even be washed and blow-dried! (on the coolest setting)
I just love that sweet profile.
The back of this dress closes the way I finish most of my doll clothes--with decorative buttons over metal snaps.  In the past, I used to make real button holes, but I've realized that on smaller dolls it can sometimes be harder to manipulate the buttons through the holes.  So now I mainly use this method.
After finishing the dress for this lovely, little lady, I realized that I had never made a dress for my other Gotz doll in this same play line--my Gotz Classic Kidz Louisa:
Isn't she just precious?
I rummaged through my stash of thrifted baby clothes, and found this size 6 month baby sundress which I thought might turn into something lovely:
Again, a beautiful blue and white fabric!  Basically, I cut off the bodice and straps, lowered the pockets, and created a new bodice with some coordinating white fabric and bits of the leftover floral fabric. 
Doesn't she look lovely?
I also added a small eyelet ruffle to the bodice and bottom of the skirt.
Louisa's hair is just as gorgeous as Charlotte's.
By the way, I love both of these dolls' names, so I will be keeping them.  My maternal grandmother's name was Charlotte, and the name Louisa brings up fond memories of one of the Von Trapp children from my favorite movie of all time, "The Sound of Music".
Two, sweet girls in their blue and white dresses.
In case you are interested in purchasing a Gotz doll of your own, check out   I have bought several dolls from them now, and I've never been disappointed.
I just remembered that I promised more pictures of my daughter's new baby doll that she received at Christmas...shame on me for forgetting!  But let's just say that this doll has been very well loved.  My daughter named her "Lucy Mei" and sleeps with her every night.  We made a trip to the thrift store and bought her a complete wardrobe consisting of everything a baby might need, and then some!   She sits in the shopping carts when we go shopping, and we've had more than one person do a double take, wondering if she was a real baby!  I'm thinking of digging out my daughter's old baby clothes that I packed away, just so that I can find the sweet, pink, bishop dress and bonnet that I smocked and embroidered for my daughter when she was a newborn.  I think it would look so precious on this baby!  So until then, here's another picture showing the love between a little girl and her doll...enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and a New Baby!

Almost one year ago, I came across this completely, adorable, baby doll on the internet. 
 I think I was browsing Pinterest (dangerous place!) when I saw her.  I was so taken with her face that I had to find out where I could get one.  I showed her to my youngest who fell in love with her, too.  The original plan was that I was going to purchase her for Sophie's 7th birthday back in March.  But for whatever reason, it never happened.  Sophie has not stopped talking about this doll since then, so I figured that was a pretty good indication she would make a wonderful Christmas gift!
Getting a first glimpse as she opened the package...
Baby Mei from Paradise Galleries!
After an outfit change.  Doesn't she have the most adorable face?  Baby Mei is about 20" tall and wears newborn/size 3 mos clothing.  Her limbs and head are vinyl, and her soft, stuffed body has pellets in her bottom for a nice, weighted feel.  These are the only photos I was able to snap today before it got dark.  I hope to get more tomorrow so I can really show how darling she is!  It is safe to say that this was Sophie's favorite gift.
And here's most of our crew on Christmas Eve.  We were only missing our eldest and his wife, both of whom had to work.  The picture is a little soft and out of focus, but it is the only one I got of us all amidst the chaos, so it'll have to do.  My eldest daughter is due to have our second grandchild at the end of January, and my second son and his wife are having our third grandbaby sometime in July.  Next year's Christmas photo will have even more people!  Christmas and family--two of my favorite things.
Hope you are having a Merry Christmas, too! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gotz Elizabeth Cady Stanton 18" Doll

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!  We've had some decent snowfall (several inches--good for our area!) and ice.  Today I decided to venture out in the freezing temperature and show you a doll I've had in my collection for a bit. 
Meet Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
Elizabeth is an 18" doll made by the Gotz Doll company in honor of the American suffragette she's named after.  Only 5000 of these dolls were made, and mine is #4298, which is signed in pen on the front of her cloth torso, along with the date of 2001.  She is jointed like an American Girl doll, and has the loveliest, ash blonde wig full of wavy curls.
The real Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in 1815.  I couldn't find any photos of her as a child, but then I realized that there probably aren't any, since photos didn't become commonly available until many years later.  So this doll is an artist's interpretation of what she may have looked like.
I did find this photo:
Elizabeth with two of her young sons
And this one:
With her baby daughter, Harriet
Elizabeth herself came from a family of 11 children, five of whom did not survive childhood.  She married at age 25 and went on to have seven children of her own.  A little know fact about Elizabeth Stanton is that she wrote many of the speeches for Susan B. Anthony!
This is a photo I pulled from the internet of a doll just like mine, shown in her "meet outfit", because I was too lazy to redress my doll to show you how she was originally dressed:
I read somewhere that this outfit is supposed to represent the school uniform she wore while being formally educated at a girl's academy.  It is a nicely made dress, apron, bloomer, socks and shoes.  It has snap closures.  I kept her in it for awhile just because it's her original outfit, but once I decided to change her, oh my!  That's when I really fell in love with her!  She is really cute.  I mean REALLY.  Some of the photos I've seen of her just don't do her justice.  She's one of those dolls that looks so much better in person, I think.
Don't you love the lamp post?  One of my lucky thrift store finds.
Her hair is gorgeous.
I made the velveteen coat and bonnet many years ago.  It's a little longer in length than I currently make, so I'm thinking of shortening it a bit.  But in the meanwhile, it kept Elizabeth nice and warm out in the snow!
We didn't stay outside too long since the temperatures were dropping down into the 20's.   Back inside, she wanted to check out the dolls' Christmas tree.
I made this dress and smocked and embroidered the pinafore many years ago.  It also is a bit long for my current tastes, so I will probably be shortening this as well.
Elizabeth has curly tendrils at the sides of her temples that fall into her face, so I have pinned them back to show off her pretty face a bit better.
I really love this doll.  If you are interested in adding one to your collection, check Ebay.  There are several listed right now, two in the $50 price range.  But I've seen them sell for even lower than that. I lucked out and got mine at a doll show for $30.  If you're looking for a nice quality doll that has a unique face mold from all the other 18" dolls on the market, then check out Elizabeth Cady Stanton!