Sunday, March 21, 2010

A new life for a lovely old 18th century dress

Introducing our newest William and Mary Period doll loosely based on late 17th century antique referred to as Lady Elton.
I am so pleased with this doll and her dress for several reasons. The doll herself looks so much like the antique Lady Elton and her dress, although not an exact copy, is based in part on the style and silhouette of the original.
Nothing is more satisfying for me than to have a doll turn out so well in all aspects but even more, to be able to dress one in a wonderful dress fragment of mid 18th century fabric and trim. We were lucky to get this amazing English bodice piece from a ladies dress, basically the right side and sleeve of a 18th century silk taffeta bodice and the 18th century English fly braid trim that was with it.
Its so rewarding and satisfying for me to be able to take this piece of a dress and give it new life on one of our dolls, a fitting tribute I think to the person who put so much work into this dress originally. The original stitching was so intricate and amazing as was the ruching and I have done my best to preserve and save most all of it right as it was on our dolls dress. The original ruching is still intact as well. Every element of this doll's dress was on the original lady's dress from the 18th century.
I think this doll dress is proof that if we do use fabric from a existing garment, it is a garment that is at the end of its long life and worth as a rare intact garment, and what we do with it gives it a new life for many years to come. Wouldn't it be wonderful to know what the dress looked like on the lady who owned or made it in the 18th century and the long history of the dress?
We hope everyone enjoys the photos. The last photo down is the bodice fragment as it came to us.
The Old Pretenders