Been a little bit of a mixed week but during it some bits and bobs were achieved.
The arrival of a little wonder
I’d coveted the lovely Ooak figures on eBay made by dillydollydaydream for some time - there is a wonderful page of some examples of Sally Freeman’s figures on ‘carbonmade.com‘ too if there happen to be none available on eBay at the present. I strongly recommend having a look at these lovely active and bendy figures often dressed in knitted fabrics and with super footwear.
Like every nightmare customer, I cheekily asked her if she ever produced them not dressed and she very kindly agreed to make me one, the idea being that I’d dress her as a wee waif peeping in at the Great Hall door.
Well, she stood there for a day or two and every time I went to dress her as intended it did not feel right. She just would not co-operate. Perhaps it was time to dress a little more up market, or in this case a whole lot more.
So taking these images I set about trying to dress the figure, now named Susannah, in garb reflecting their very posh styling.
The idea/story goes as follows. She is one small child of a family who have dropped in at this festive season (whatever it is) in order to pay their respects to the wealthy merchant and his family who live in the private part of the establishment. Part of the family group have stopped off on the way to the Solar/Sitting Room so that the children may gawp at the excitement of preparations.
Sad is it not but I do like a story line to aid me when trying to concentrate.
Because the original intention had been for limited clothing and footwear, Susannah came with such lovely rosy hands and feet and now I was going to cover them up. Criminal to hide such careful and detailed work, I know – shame on me.
Because I was so attached to the kneecaps, I rather rudely did not give her the obligatory stockings, so chilblains here we come.
The whole outfit, with shaped sleeves and overlayed seam detail was probably a bit of a foolish choice to attempt on such a small figure but I enjoyed it immensely. This figure, looking so free and easy of movement when unclothed looks more than a little starched in her best bib and tucker.
As she already had a full head of hair something had to be done whilst work was in progress to keep both it and her face protected from the ravages of moi and the glue bottle, hence the food wrap.
The bodice was cut as one piece and attached by a mix of sewing and gluing and the black picot braid is stitched in place.
The sleeves presented a problem as I fancied a patterned appearance and experimented with various methods of application of same upon a fine, nylon cord. Can’t remember where the fabric came from, but it was definitely the off-cut from the bottom of a pair of someone’s trousers. Anyone out there lost the bottom of their trousers?
Sudden trip down memory lane
Back in the 60s and early 70s when trousers were often very wide, I could get a mini skirt and/or small bag or hat out of the trimmings from any pants I purchased for me. Ah, the few benefits there are for the under 5ft-er have to be savoured when they can.
Back to the plot
The sleeves are sewn and stitched on with a double built up edging at the dropped shoulders as in the Hilliard style painting, though you’d have to go and search for them to notice.
The headdress band is a strip of felt whipped with matching thread.
Her ‘ruff’ is made from the same fine lace from Heverbell Miniatures as her cuffs and headdress holding her hair.
Susannah and the dress
I eventually got the skirt to hang rather less like the above balloon by spraying it with fray stop and wrapping it up tight whilst it dried.
The idea is that young Susannah will eventually have a background of family members in the doorway, hopefully at least one of whom will be wearing something a little lighter in colour .