Victorian Baby Doll Ensemble (Part I)
“Then, in a tray of junk at a county flea market, I found Ethel. There wasn’t much to her–just a china head, filthy with dust. But when I plucked her from the mess, the old impulse blossomed, like a forgotten bulb nudged from dormancy by a kiss of sun and water. “You’re mine,” I said. And for ten dollars cash, she was.
Sewing Ethel’s new body was simple. Dressing her properly has taken some time. I was torn between a sewn costume or a knitted one–but finding the “Baby Doll” pattern in the 26th series of Weldon’s Practical Knitting settled the question. The ensemble is magnificent – complete from the bonnet to the shoes and undergarment, overlaid by a lace robe. Weldon’s was no slouch when it came to outfitting dolls in style – the 24th series had been devoted almost entirely to fanciful, elegant miniature clothing – but this is a masterpiece even by their own standards.
There is so much to the piece that I’ll be presenting in two parts, beginning with shoes and underwear. The shaping of both is simple, but the attention to detail is impeccable. If you’ve a doll of your own in need of clothing, I think you’ll be intrigued. If you haven’t got a doll, this may cause you to go out in search of one.”