Visitors peeping in – Susannah

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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.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Sally Freeman – undressed 1/12th scale doll

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Would-be-waif in doorway. You can see how very small she is

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.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Hilliard style painting of young girl in full ‘fig’

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Corner of painting by Holbein, I think

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.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

One very small leather shoe with laces (and such nice little kneecaps)

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.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Cling film cruelty

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

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Nylon cord sleeve with whipped running stitch pattern (somewhat ‘drunkenly’ applied it would seem) and edged with top,curly edge of lace

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

The painting detail of sleeve head

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.

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Stitched sleeve head

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

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Waif in formal dress – the ruff looked OK pre attachment but I couldn’t get it to be a ruff when in situ.  (Probably should have gone for a stand collar)

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

And in the doorway being nosey

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 .

theinfill - Tudor to Jacobean period dolls house - miniature figures

Something a little like this perhaps. Though they do look a little like a song and dance act, don’t you think?

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4 responses »

    • You’re more than kind. Just been reading your blog and was both moved and interested to see that you’ve been voluntarily offering training in IT office skills. I used to do a little IT teaching at a local college here and I know how useful your work in this field is.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and finding time to comment. Now get some rest and have a good Christmas and New Years. 🙂

    • Ah, but each of those 3 figures have since found new employment. The man (having grown his hair long) is now part of a steampunk enterprise, the boy is at the other end of the hall and the girl is upstairs in the long gallery. They do insist on moving around 😉

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