Musing about Scottish Dress

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.

b825c2bd952fbeea2b28f0f756325a3b 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. 

il_170x135.284480922 The colours are muted and the dress simple.  I envision wool in the winter and cotton in the summer.

e86c28ee4f214cc0dfee1726f446ba12 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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           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. 

g0061100l  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.

65976bda91ef9b5dfd8a588438f25efa 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. 


A Twinkle

SAM_4469 The day we went to the highlands, I brought my littlest chinahead in my purse.  She is the head I found in London and I made a tiny leather body for.

SAM_4476 Here is Chatty Cathy standing on the wardrobe.  The view from my bed.  The box behind her is THE BOX.  It has my remaining dolls on the top 1/4 area, the rest is bags of their clothes and accessories.

How do I feel about her?  A remembrance of my childhood.  If I examine her, nuances of those times come back in sweet little waves of nostalgia.  But I cannot say that she is the one I lost. I cannot say that I can deal with her non poseable body.  I admire her childlike legs and knobby knees, her lovely modelled hands.  But over all, she cannot do much other than stand and sit and I don’t feel the pull I wish I did.  I want her to mean more, I almost feel the potential, but then it fades as fast as it almost begins.  Putting her up on the wardrobe is the next stop to putting her in the box with the others.  I don’t regret her purchase and I do feel good about the experience, but at this point and time, I am not searching for new doll experiences.

SAM_4477 Rosey’s room remains by my bed.  I still like that she has a place to call her own. 

SAM_4479Yesterday morning the rare Scottish sun came streaming in and I looked up at Rosey.  I liked what I saw and took a photo. 

SAM_4482The warm sunlight on her lovely wood skin appealed to me and for the first time quite a while, I felt the need to interact directly with her, not just in thoughts.  Look at the difference between the last two photo’s.  She went from looking dull and bored with waiting and then suddenly burst into liveliness, ready to play because my interest focussed on her.  This time, instead of me looking for a twinkle of life in her eyes, she was looking for one in mine!

SAM_4484 What a lovely girl she is. 

SAM_4486 Rosey in the sunlight  I adore her.  I adore that I do not have to worry about the sun turning her skin a ghastly yellow.  She continues to be the best poser, the most unusual and the liveliest doll I have ever known. 

SAM_4490SAM_4491  Sigh.  That outfit is one that I made for my old Evie.  It brought back a flood of memories.  It looks so sweet on Rosey.


I think she is not going to go back to just laying there waiting for me to get out of my dolly stagnation.

Ripping and Dreaming

Yesterday I had more knitting woes. 

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When I first started this sweater for Rosey, I immediately saw that the seed stitch patter was really showing this yarn at it’s best.  I loved the multi-coloured “seeds”.  My intention was to just use it as the border, so once I started the other pattern, I was regretting it.  So I though, heck, I’ll make a yoke of the seeds, the main pattern on the sleeves with a nice seed pattern around the wrists.  But when I worked the yoke, it looked too jumbled and neither pattern stood out.  I mumbled and grumbled about whether to rip it all up and start again with just the seed.  You know how it is about ripping up, the work lost is annoying.  What to do? 

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So I ripped up the yoke seeding and continued on with the main pattern.  I do like the pattern, but I think in this case, it would be nicer with a plain or light tweed yarn.  You can see here how the seeds on the bottom are far more interesting.  So even though I finished the back, and started a front panel, I am ripping it all up today and starting with just the seeds.  I know I will regret it later if I don’t.  I assured myself that the next sweater I could do in cream wool in the other pattern.

2012-11-03 002 This dress and pinafore came from a thrift shop bag of clothes a long time ago.  The dress was very long and as I looked at it, I decided to hike it up.  It has a bottom ruffle with a cream lace above it.  I created a pleat above the ruffle and let just a little bit of the ruffle show under the pinafore.  The more I re-do these old doll clothes, the more ideas I get.  Now I want to embroider across the pleat I made, even though it won’t show under the pinny.  Go figure the amount of work I am investing these days and it not amounting to much.  lol.

In other thoughts, I spent hours last night searching eBay for dollies.  I have found a new game, to hunt for ideas for clothing and shoes.

clothing ideas

I have sooooo many ideas for Rosey, I think perhaps I ought to pick a set of clothing monthly and work it slowly as as finely as I can.  In the past I use to have so little time at home to sew that I would do rush jobs.  I want finer quality now, more details. 

Rosey’s Ballerina Costume

I had an old ballerina tutu that someone had handmade.  It was always too big for any of my dolls, but I kept it, thinking one day something will come of it.

2012-10-29 087 I also had another piece of tulle that someone had made into a petticoat?  I thought to combine them, hoping to fill out the skirt.

2012-10-29 089 I sewed the pink to the tutu, tucking it in as I went to make it stand straight out and finish the seam as I went.

2012-10-31 Ballerina Rosey

And here is my angel, in her ballerina costume for Halloween!  I did not have any ballerina slippers to fit, but did find some fabric shoes that would pass okay, I just wished I had some ribbon to tie them up with, but none to be had right now. 

Please see Rosey’s Room for a photo shoot.


I  have been on an embroidery kick.  I am so rusty, (many years ago I loved to embroider) so this is a good experience to get back into it.   I dug through some bags of doll clothes that I had not sorted out for Rosey because at the time I thought of them as too modern.  I still haven’t really decided if Rosey will remain in an era or just be a modern girl, it seems kind of a shame that some of the clothes would otherwise sit in a bag since none of my other dolls can wear them.  Oh well, nothing tremendously important.  I like redoing some of the commercially made ones, a few I have made and a couple of vintage pieces.  It’s a nice change of pace kind of challenge to re-do something already made.

2012-10-07 002 This was made by a lady who sewed in a name tag.  Well made, she may sew professionally.  A simple flannel night gown, seemed too plain so I added embroidery in 3 pink colours.

2012-10-07 003 This is a sweater I knit several years ago, but never added any type of front closure.  So I crochet a front panel with button holes and extended it up around the neck.  I thought it needed something to blend to two abrupt colours, so embroidered a thin line around the sides and around the collar.

2012-10-07 007 This commercially made garment needed more stability in the leg area.  I did a button hole stitch, then a running stitch on the inside to gather it up to a smaller leg opening.  I thought the yellow  needed to be pulled into the garment, so I embroidered a bit of yellow to make it look more blended.

2012-10-07 010I really have no idea what this garment was suppose to be, seems even under pants the yellow waist would disappear.  But the upper part is appealing.  I thought about putting little flowers up the centre panel, but sometimes one needs to know when to stop.

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Here is a terry robe, commercially made.  I used purple, turquoise, pink and yellow floss to liven it up.  I decided to make it look like a braid and just used different stitches that intertwined.  Maybe someday I will put an R and a M on the pockets.

I spent today organizing the area I sit with my sewing box, my knitting and sewing patterns, cookbooks and everything is right at hand.  Loving that.  I haven’t sewn on my machine yet as I cannot believe that I missed packing dressmaking pins!  Today I finally found some at a variety shop.  So I am set to start sewing for Rosey using the Schoenhut patterns. 

Crochet Dress for Rosey

I finally finished the crochet dress for Rosey.  It took much long than I thought and I still need to make the belt.  The bodice is loose fitting because I wanted her to be able to wear a full slip underneath, but I think I could have made it a bit tighter.

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I am debating on whether I want to sew or knit next.  I am just not sure and probably should sit myself down and work out the wardrobe I want to create and stick to projects until they are done.  Still, she is my constant companion.  My husband teases me because I lay her down in her bed every evening and cover her with her quilt.

I changed out Evie’s eyes and wig because her ghostly look was bothering me.  I thought I would just change them about once a week until something clicked.  Evie is fading.  I never thought that would happen.  I wonder for how long?

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.