Fashion Doll Replica

Replica of Arabella's Fashion Doll

Above are three views of the doll I made to replicate an Elizabethan Fashion doll from a period portrait of Queen Elizabeth's niece Arabella Stewart. In the portrait she is about 2 years old. I decided that the doll should stand not on legs but on a buckram cone (there is a picture of a similar surviving fashion doll in Queen Elizabeth wardrobe unlocked) the edge of the cone is wired with millinary wire. I used porcelain doll hands and arms but used flesh colored femo clay to make the head myself. The upper body and upper arms are fabric . The original doll seems to have pearls sewn on each of the diamond shapes in the skirt but I miscalculated just how many diamonds there where and the diamonds were too small for even the smallest pearls I had. I drafted the pattern on my computer and added a hatch fill to get the diamonds. The gold threads on both the foreskirt, overskirt, bodice and false sleeves was done on the machine with coats and clark gold metallic spool thread. What you see, except for the bodice and the edge work, is the bobbin thread because it was easier to transfer the design to iron on interfacing in pencil and then sew over the pencil lines. The puffs on the gold silk sleeves was done with 1/4 silk ribbon that was sewn through the sleeve fabric. The gold buttons on the foreskirt are small brass beads. Because it was impossible to make fabric tubes small enough to make the small segments of the cap sleeve, I used iron on Wonderunder® to stabilize the backside of the velvet and then cut the strips and sew then into the shoulder strap and sleeve band. The bodice is sewn on the dolls body with 4 thicknesses of the metallic thread and is not meant to be removed from the doll. The dolls hair is glued to the head as well as the breaded bun. The neck ruff is made with a one inch bobbin lace and the wrist ruffs are make with a 1/2” bobbin lace, they are both tide on with twisted cotton cord and are removeable. The foreskirt is glued to the wired buckram cone with Wonderunder® but the over skirt is lined with red silk and is only attached at the waist below the bodice. The underside of the cone is filled with gathered lace to simulate numerous petticoats.

Last Revision: 5 Dec 2004

Copyright Lynn McMasters, © 2007
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