Lady Violet Petal

She was so small, I thought I had lost her!  I found her head at the Portobello Antique Market in London and the seller was quick to tell me her history, although I suspected he made it up as he spoke.  Claimed she was a dig-up from (I can’t remember where) and was at least a hundred years old.  I didn’t care, she was the smallest china head I had ever seen and she was dirt cheap (sorry old girl).

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I remember I stuck her in a case of some kind until I could sew a body for her.  I thought it had been an eyeglass case but in the end, I found her in an ear plug case.  No wonder I could not hear her calls.

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I did have some thin doeskin in white, and although her tininess was way too much for my large hands to work with, I gave her a bit of a chunky body.  It could have been made a bit smaller, but I consoled myself in knowing that china heads usually had home made bodies and I have seen some really huge bodies with bad shapes and small heads.  At least she is in proportion without the head.  Poor dear.

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I then took a very old thread bare handkerchief and made her a gown.  This on is sewn on.  I just couldn’t deal with trying to make a removable dress with my sore hands from sewing leather.  She is stuffed with kapok.

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She is nice to hold, the leather is butter soft and she is delightfully squishy!  I wonder what she thinks about her new body?  Do china heads who have lost their original bodies feel happiness to get a new one?  It could be she never had one to begin with.  Did she live in a dollhouse? Or perhaps a cigar box!  She has not spoken a word yet, I think she might be stunned.  lol.

Lilly Has Leg Surgery

I had been considering options to improve Pernille’s legs. Zwergnase made her as a sitting doll. This gave her a large rump and small curved legs, with gathering in the inside seam to make the legs curl. I was able to use heavy gauge aluminum wire to make braces to sort of straighten her legs to make her stand, but it had to be strapped to her body and was visible of course. Her feet were curved too and made to turn inward, so she had to have her large Zwergnase boots on to stand with the brace.

I had thought of remaking her body from scratch, allowing for some sort of sitting and standing ability. I studied some internet directions for cloth body jointing and suede skin fabric and so on. I set the idea aside until I could find the right stuff for doing it. Then last night I was looking in my closet and saw that Paradise Doll that I had tried to sell on eBay and looked at her legs. They were ball jointed at the hip, the leg swirled inside a cup that has the body fabric clipped inside another cup. I cut around the fabric and removed each whole leg unit from the Paradise Doll. Then came the agonizing decision whether or not to cut off Lilly’s legs as they were. Ack, I thinkI had twelve mini heart attacks, but I calmed myself down. For heavens sake I can always recreate a new body or sew the old legs back on. I have made doll bodies before.

It was still a bit nerve wracking to sew the fabric from the legs to Pernille’s legs, and I had to be careful, I saw the sand was loose inside her torso, so I had to keep a plug of stuffing in the leg hole, making another hole in the middle of the plug as there is a knob at the center of the ball joint that helps keep the socket stable inside the body. I wished I had taken a photo of it, but I was doing late night surgery in my room and the camera was downstairs.

Well I have to say that I was extremely pleased with the results! Pernille can stand, sit and has larger feet that help fit the AG shoes better. The legs are too thin for her body shape and wide apart because of her torso shape, but her original legs were just as thin and her feet were smaller. It does take some manuevering to help her stand, and because her torso is very heavy with sand and her leg placement by Zwergnase is completely forward, Pernille must lean forward to stand. I may be able to correct this by placing the legs further back, but I want to think on it.

 I am not going to show the seams just yet, as they are only basted on and I will resew them with stronger thread later. Right now, I want to get a feel for the placement and how I feel about the legs altogether. Here you can see that she does end up with “wide hips”. I would love to find thicker more shapely legs, but I doubt they would have this wonderful ball joint feature. Her height is slightly increased, she is exactly 20 inches tall.

 Here her rump is quite pronounced. But compared to her original Legs:

The straight legs give her an older look, less babyish.

 The ball joint allows for more movement. Her legs can cross, she can point her toes inward or outward. However, no bending at the knee of course and yet, I am finding a new thrill with her more grown up height and proportions.

Another project I have been working on this week was to remove the deep wine colour paint on her lips and soften it with light pink. As you can see in the photo’s above the difference in lips. I just never cared for “lipstick” lips on young girl companions.

 Not the best outfit to show her new legs off with, but I am really pleased and I do believe Pernille (once she gets use to the new sensation) will love being able to walk and stand and get about.

Added later:

Original sitting legs.  This shows how the hip area was set forward.

Now from behind, this is her butt, not tummy:

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Finds, Ollie’s Body, Eyes.

Yesterday was filled with getting Husband on the truck and shopping!

I found so many things that would suit Evie, but put several pieces back because I am still not sure how I want her room to look.  I did find a round table with curvy legs, a rocking chair and lots of bows on clips for her hair.  I also found infant pillow cases in cute child patterns that will work perfect as fitted sheets on her bed.  And a few toys for her to play with.  Oh, and some princess books.

DSC06650 I will paint the table and possibly the rocker when I decide on her room colours.

I finished Ollie’s body:

Before and after:

DSC06624 DSC06635 It took three tries at making a pattern shape, but I finally got the overall shape I wanted.  Keeping the same over all size of the original body, I put all of his weight to the front and gave him the ability to move his arms and legs and to sit down.  Most of the stuffing in the old body was actually in his back!  I really like his belly in front, it’s more realistic. I couldn’t help but noticed that he beamed when in the right shape!

DSC06637 Here you can see the blushing I gave him to liven up his sallow complexion.  My husband laughed, because I gave him a belly button!

I ordered antique glass eyes for the little head in brown. 

Antique eyes for little girl

I will make her a wig out of materials I already have.  But she will have to wait, right now I am in the midst of cleaning the apartment and shopping.  After my Husband hung some of our pictures up, the apartment looked homey and I want to work on making it look the best it can and not like a warehouse of boxes.  So dolly things will take a side step for a couple of days until the apartment is completed (including organizing the sew room) so that I can relax and play and carve a body for the little one.