Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Dress for my Girl for All Time MATILDA

Matilda was acting a little indignant that I had made a new dress for Amelia but not for her.  So out came my stash of clothing and vintage linens I buy just for the purpose of turning into doll clothing.
The dress was cut from a skirt and the apron is made from two different linens stacked together.  I also had a beautiful piece of antique lace that I applied to the bodice.
The dress without the apron--the reason I bought this skirt to begin with was because of the tucks and eyelet--I immediately knew it would make a cute doll dress!
Of course, no outfit is complete without the proper undergarments.  I made her an identical slip to the one I made for Amelia, and pair of pantalets from a vintage table linen.
Petticoat slip
Matilda decided to spend some time outdoors with Flora and Fitzgerald.  I recently found Flora the sheep at Goodwill.  Fitzgerald is the goat from American Girl Josefina's collection--I think it's name was Sombrita?  But I think he looks more like a "Fitzgerald" to me!
"Oh, no!  Flora, where did Fitzgerald go?  I can't find him anywhere!" 
Here you can see that Matilda's dress closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.  The apron simply ties at the waist.  I was going to make another pinafore, like Amelia's, but I didn't want to cover up the pretty lace on Matilda's bodice.
"Where, oh where did that naughty little goat run off to?" 
 I added trim to the bottom tuck of Matilda's dress to match the trim on her sleeves.  Her apron is two layers of vintage linens, since I couldn't decide which one I liked better.  I actually love how it turned out.
I was so pleased that I had a piece of embroidered linen in my stash that had the same shade of green in the embroidery as the color of the dress.  Perfect!
"I found him!" exclaimed Amelia.  "He was eating the wildflowers near the chicken pen."
Sweet little Fitzgerald, back in the fold.
Amelia decided to add wildflowers to Matilda's hair while keeping a close eye on Fitzgerald.
So pretty.
Have I mentioned how much I love these dolls?!?  They are so fun to dress and photograph.  They easily stand on their own and hold lots of fun poses, thanks to their multiple, tight joints.  Their hair is gorgeous.  And to think that I didn't really even like these dolls when I first saw them!  I would like to try making them some Victorian style coats, next.  I'm going to take a standard pattern and try shrinking it down a bit.  I'll let you know how that goes, since these dolls are shorter and much slimmer than most of the standard 18" dolls on the market. 
Hope your dollies are able to enjoy a little time outside today as well!

Thursday, July 21, 2016


So sorry I've kept you waiting with baited breath, wondering who was in the box I received last week from A Girl for All Time!  Now without further ado, I introduce you to...AMELIA!

I had been eyeing this beauty for several weeks, and finally made the plunge to purchase her when I had a 10% off coupon code to use, plus free shipping!

Free from the box at last.

Darling straw hat

I really like how much range of motion these dolls have in their neck easy to pose.

Amelia's hair, straight out of the box.

Of course, I couldn't leave it that way for long!  I removed the rubberbands and finger combed it into soft waves.  While it is not as silky Matilda's hair, (Amelia's hair has more texture), it is still very lovely.  I don't have very many blonde dolls in my collection, so I'm very happy to have this blonde-hair/blue-eyed beauty.

Her adorable Victorian style boots.  They fasten on the inside with Velcro.

Here you can see the difference in the face modeling between the two dolls.  Matilda is supposed to be an ancestor of Amelia's...a great-great grandmother, or something like that. 

Because of my 10% coupon code, I also bought the other thing from A Girl for All Time that I really wanted...Amelia's tea set!  It came in this nice, sturdy, hinged box.

Upon opening it, this is the first thing I saw--a lovely tea tray with the sweetest bluebird design.

There's a tea pot and lid, sugar bowl with lid, creamer, two tea cups, and matching saucers.  I only wish that this set also included dessert plates, but that's okay.  I've got enough other doll dishes that I'll be able to add to this one, should the dolls want dessert with their tea!

Trying out their dishes.  Another thing I like about these dolls is that their arm joints allow them to actually hold things.

Such a pretty set.  I'm so glad I got it.

Now, I have to be honest and say that I really don't like the outfit that Amelia arrived in.  While it is very well made with many pieces (top, skirt, slip, bloomers, camisole, stockings, boots and hat)--I think the outfit makes her look like an old lady!  Just my opinion, of course.  But I don't think that girls Amelia's age wore floor length dresses.  I haven't read her book yet and don't know exactly what year she's supposed to represent, but her dress has a bustle in the back, so I'm assuming it's from 1870-1880's.  While young girls' dresses may have had bustles, they did not hit the floor like their mother's.  I am not a fashion historian by any means, but every picture/photo I've ever seen of young girls during this time prove my point on this issue.  So, all this to say that I had to create her a new outfit.  Above is the first piece I created, a new slip.

It was cut from the bottom of an antique child's slip.  It fastens at the center back with a snap.

Next, I made her some pantalets.  (Bloomers?  Drawers?  I'm never sure the difference between these garments)  They are also made from an antique baby garment, and edged with antique lace.  They fasten at the side with a snap.  By the way, I don't cut up any garments that are in good condition...they are all items that have rips, stains, or are otherwise unsalvageable.

Sweet Amelia in her new dress and pinafore

Cute yellow's how it started out before I painted it:
Much better after I painted it with chalk paint, right?  I mean, it wasn't bad before, but I think it looks so much better with it's new, cheery, yellow shade.

The dress is made from quilter's cotton in an 1800's print.  I bought it awhile back, loving the rose color, and hung onto it for just the "right project".  I think I found it!

It is trimmed with two rows of crocheted lace along the bottom of the skirt.

The puffed sleeves are trimmed with piping and crocheted lace as well.

Is this not the sweetest pinafore ever?  It started out as an embroidered linen which was among the items I picked up at the antique show last weekend.  It cost me a whopping $1.

Here's what it looked like before it turned into a pinafore.

I also used a piece of this linen from my stash since I needed something for the waistband.

The cut pieces, before I started sewing.

Amelia's pretty hair

Pinafore closes at the waistband with a snap under a decorative button.

I couldn't stop taking pictures of Amelia...she's just so pretty!

All the little flowers in her basket were plucked from our yard...the purple ones came from my sage and mint plants.  The yellow ones are just a weed which look so dainty in her basket, don't you think?

Showing off her slip...

...and pantalets.

Cute buggy, right?  Well, it didn't start out very cute...this is how I found it at Goodwill a few weeks ago:

Sorry, the picture is kind of bright, but can you see what I'm talking about?  The entire buggy is covered with gaudy ribbon, lace, ribbon flowers, bead garlands and tulle.

Do you see the bridal veil type thing cascading off the hood off the buggy?  I'm not sure what was trying to be accomplished by this type of decorating, but it's definitely not my style!  I used my seam ripper to remove all the crunchy lace from the hood, and brute strength to tear off everything else which had been hot glued to the buggy.  So. much. hot. glue.  I'm not kidding.  I almost gave up at one point, but I knew how cute it would look if I could remove all the decoration, so I persevered.

Was this supposed to be a decoration for a baby shower, or ???

So much better, right?  The baby in the buggy is a 7" Heidi Ott "Little Ones".  I tore out the cheap satin lining from the buggy and made a new one out of a pretty cotton print.  I'd like to recover the shade eventually as well.

Amelia's dress closes in back with snaps under decorative buttons.  The buttons are a little bigger than what I would normally use, but they were vintage and in just the right color, so it was meant to be!

Completed pinafore

And just in case Amelia doesn't want to wear her pinafore all the time, I embellished the bodice of her dress with vintage, crocheted lace to dress it up a little.  The skirt is very full--about three times the width of the bodice--and it poofs out nicely over her slip, just like a Victorian girl's dress would have done.

I am so in love with these dolls!  If you are on the fence about adding A Girl for All Time to your collection, don't hesitate!  You won't be disappointed.