Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Story Behind My Victorian "Ladies" Faceless Dolls

I have loved Victorian dolls since I was a little girl and can blame my grandmother for that. You see, as a young girl she gave me a Godey’s Fashion print for August 1870 that belonged to my great, great Aunt Flossie. From that moment on I was hooked. I was captivated by the beautiful dresses and wanted to create dolls wearing them.  But, I didn't want to design a typical Victorian doll.  I wanted mine to be "faceless."

Now you might be wondering why I would want them to be faceless. It's because I wanted each to have its' own distinct personality.

My feeling is that faces overwhelm the dolls personality and have a greater impact on their personality. I wanted the clothing, clothes, hair, color scheme, etc. of the Victorian period to determine the personality of the doll.

As far as I was concerned "Beauty lies not only in what is seen, but what is imagined. I believe the essence of a dolls beauty should determine her personality."

You could compare this to the use of mannequins by museums. Most mannequins in museum dress & textile exhibits are either headless or have heads, but they are generally faceless. Or, they have the sculpted definition of facial features but they are not painted. The idea is to not distract from the beauty of the dress or textile piece on display. The same holds true for store window displays.

I have also been a history buff since I was a little girl and loved doing research for history projects all throughout my school years. I especially loved to research everything and anything about the Victorian Era. Their history, their etiquette, their fashion, their hopes, their desires.... In fact, sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Great News - We've Grouped All Our Cut and Sew Dolls Together

When I was designing my cut and sew dolls I couldn't help but think about my own experiences as a child learning how to sew and thought that cut and sew dolls would not only be a good way to teach a young child how to hand sew but also how to teach them how to machine sew as they could be put together either way. Plus, they quickly see the results of their efforts.

So, when I was designing my cut and sew dolls I wanted to create something that would be a great sewing tool for kids as well as something that would give them a more immediate feeling of achievement. Something they could do without have to go to school and pass a final exam! Something that they could be proud of that they had created. Something to inspire them to want to learn more.

So, back in 2014 I designed my first cut and sew dolls and/or ornaments.  I started small, but this quickly grew to a lot.  I now have 265 cut and sew doll and/or ornaments designs. Plenty of inspiration for learning how to sew.

However, when looking at my cut and sew dolls and/or ornaments I started to think that grouping them into fat quarter sizes (21" by 18") of fabric would really be great for everyone who wanted dolls and/or ornaments by holiday, occasion, season, style, or just plain everyday use.

So, I designed 26 different cut and sew doll and/or ornament groups.  If you want Christmas cut and sew dolls I have 4 groups to choose from.  If you want winter seasonal snowmen I have 2 groups.  If you want baby or baby shower cut and sew dolls or favors I have 3 groups to choose from, and so on and so on.

Each of the groups contains anywhere from 11 to 18 cut and sew dolls and/or ornaments.  So now if you want to decorate for Halloween you have 2 groups to choose from.  Each group fits on a 21" by 18" fat quarter.  So, all you have to do is buy one fat quarter and you'll be able to create simple and easy Halloween cut and sew doll and/or ornament decorations.

Not only are cut and sew dolls and/or ornaments fast and easy, but they are a great way to teach kids how to sew. 

I hope you like my new cut and sew doll, favor, and ornament fabric groups,which are shown below:


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gypsy Annie's Story and Free Primitive Cloth Doll E-Pattern

While "Primitive Andy" is the shyest "dollie" on the planet, and "Primitive Annie" is the sweetest "dollie" on the planet, "Gypsy Annie" takes the prize at being the most adventuresome "dollie" on the planet. She may be a "dollie", but she is a "gypsy" after all. She travels from town to town and lives an unconventional life.

Given how much she travels it's amazing that she was even aware of all the brouhaha she had created concerning the lack of stories for "Primitive Andy", "Primitive Annie" and herself over on "The Dollie Storage Room" blog and Linda's Blog  eight years ago.

You see, she was the impetus behind the letter writing and privately urged their stories being told then. She wrote the notes. If she thought seven years was enough time back then, most assuredly she thinks fifteen years is more than enough to wait for her story. I would have to agree which is why I decided to post her story now.

So, here's her story:

Like many of her relatives "Gypsy Annie" is a fortune teller. It's not an occupation she would have picked for herself. She'd rather be a travel agent, but she had a natural ability for it and so that is what she does for a living.

"Gypsy Annie" really prefers to travel and would love to travel around the world some day. The problem is that she doesn't make a lot of money as a fortune teller. But she's saving her pennies and hoping to do a bit of traveling this summer.

Gypsy Annie has a coffee stained cloth body, embroidered face with black bead eyes, and oodles of freckles.  She has red lace-tied boots and long raggedy red looped hair along the sides and top of her head.

She is wearing a coffee stained,  tattered, and fringed shirt that is gathered at the neck and has fringed sleeves that are gathered at the wrists. Her skirt is gathered at the waist and fringed along the edges. She has a tattered sash and fringe tied around her waist and she is wearing a pair of fringed bloomers that are gathered at the waist. She has a fringed gypsy kerchief tied around her head.

"Gypsy Annie" is a wanderer by nature. She dreams of one day circling the globe. She knows there is something like that in her future. She just doesn't know when it will happen. She's got her fingers crossed for "soon!"

Designer - Linda Walsh Originals
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