It was really rather silly and annoying to admit, but my venture into sewing a dress for Maris was like ice skating after many years of not being on skates. Wobbly. I wanted to watch a film, so my plan was to simply hand sew it, but I soon found I had sewn the back to back and front to front of the bodice pieces together and well, I shook my head in disbelieve. This should have been a thing I could do in my sleep!
I have no patterns for her, so I am starting with the simple bodice and attached gathered shirt to get a feel for her shape and size. I already made one adjustment to the paper pattern for the bodice, but I can see I a few more I need to make.
Still, I am not sewing to the point that I am completing it as quickly as I use to. Not sure why, but I set it aside already and I look at it as though I will be picking it up again soon, but then a few days pass and I have not.
Knitting is not going well. I am on my second rip-it-all-up and start again round.
Perhaps I ought to crochet. Hopefully I can find a hook. I am still rather irritable that I cannot get the dolly and crafting stuff sorted without a dresser to put it all in. So I do not know precisely where these things are in the storage closet. Its all hindering my attempts to re-grasp it. But I am not giving up.
In the meantime, I have been researching the scant archives of historical Scottish dress. Not much to find.
I don’t want to keep Maris tied to any time period, so I have been collecting photo’s for ideas. This is the type of dress I envision her in.
The colours are muted and the dress simple. I envision wool in the winter and cotton in the summer.
I also like the idea of the overlay of the corset and open skirt over the under dress rather than a one piece dress. What I would do is keep the overlay simple and embroider the under dress more finely. Eventually of course, a fine ball gown just in case the Queen invites her to tea. I am concurrently reading Queen Victoria’s journal about her visits to Scotland and her love of the people and places here. She often visited the people in the small villages. So it would be possible that Maris would have tea with the Queen!
Notice how much fabric is gathered about the waist in this photo. That is because the plaid was a large piece that could be untucked from the belt and put over the head or shoulders for warmth or protection from the rain.
This, however would be too much fabric for Maris, I think. Perhaps one day I will find a thin enough plaid to be able to give it a try.
This too would require quite thin fabric for the drape. I have a thistle brooch she can use, but I will also keep an eye out for a smaller one for her. It was also used on a shawl type wrap around the shoulders.
Off to find a crochet hook.
I kept trying to find my dolly world again.
I was given some Christmas money, and actually had the chance to bring a new (inexpensive) doll into the fold. Would that help inspire me? Would I find a new love? I found several antique dolls that caught my attention and of course the Zwergnase’s that still cause me such a longing to possess one again. But something was holding me back too. I have done that for so many years…reached out for the elusive doll that will bring something to my life.
I went back into the study and tried to find that which once existed in each doll that remain. So many memories in those faces! Of course, I do realise that I am giving it too much thought and this sort of thing just can’t be rationalised. I picked up Audrey. She was missing her eyes and wig. Her faceup was scratched. I wondered how that happened, since I have not played with her since I did that face up. I picked up Rosie. Come, on, old girl…give me that look that melts the ice within me! Rosie’s wig had come loose and fell off. Sigh, these were just not the magical moments I was hoping for.
Unfortunately, wigs and eyes and all accessories and clothes are buried deep in boxes yet unpacked because I have nothing to sort the items into. This hindrance fosters the inertia and
keeps me just hanging about staring at dolls who stare back with just as much lack lustre in their souls as I have. What a bunch we are!
I don’t know why, I picked up Maris and brought her to my desk. There was no particular reason to. The most recent and the most neglected of the bunch. I had made only one ill fitting dress and at best she sat by my computer and we looked at each other silently many a time. Her face up is bad too. I think that purity seal was not good. I see rubs. So I ordered some Mr Super Clear and will redo any faces that have suffered. I think it is only Audrey and Maris that got redo’s with that brand of sealer.
Maris (Iplehosue Luna) is larger that my old Evie. None of Evie’s remaining clothes fit her. The antique style leather shoes I have do, better than they fit Evie at the time. Silly clodhopper looking shoes though. So I took off the appalling dress and put on a chemise and antique handmade lace trimmed underskirt. I found Alina’s soft blue scarf and put that around Maris’ shoulders. Soon I was pulling some wool out of the yarn box and starting a dress.You have to start somewhere, I thought to myself…just do something….anything! Maris smiled, I swear she did! I gave her a Rudyard Kipling antique small book to read. My knitting I am sure will take ages.
So the knitting was started and we occasionally looked at each other and I was hearing a faint voice from her. So deep breath and knit. See what happens.
I get closer to it.
I find myself wandering into the study and purposefully turning my head to look at the dolls on the top of the bookcases. Each one, with memories embedded on their sweet faces. I realise I am waiting for one of them to speak to me, say something that will make everything all right again. But nothing. Perhaps they are waiting for me to speak first? You never know with dolls.
I am not forcing this….I am letting it come.