Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Our snow is gone, and hark this! What a beautiful Autumn has befallen us. The days seem to pass so quickly to me, hardly any time for dreams, but I must make time~ for who else shall? Dollys have been very very lively, and all excited....why is it that there is such a feeling of merriment when the crisp breezy air comes? Tascha has finished her repose here at the Inn for now, and has gone away back home, we all miss her Dearly. Emma dressed to say her goodbyes, and while she was waiting for me to say my own fare-thee-wells to Tascha, here she had gathered Grete in her arms and was softy, gently swaying back and forth, muttering little girl's secrets that a goode dollye would never, ever tell............

Emma is wearing a beautiful late 1830's dress of super thin tissue silk in a multi color blue stripe. The height of the huge full gigot sleeves was 1835-6, after this, they began to deflate, in the form of the fullness being tamed down in the form of pleats~ 1837 the pleats at the top of the arm, and gradually made their way down, 1838 sleeves banded down to the elbow, until just an awkward poof remained at the fore-arm, and by 1839-40, sleeves were tight as a second skin with the armscye seam waaaaay up under the armpit, usually making for a horizontal stress fold as seen in pictures of the era~ anyways, looking at unaltered sleeves are a good way of dating. This dress has matching lined pelerine as well.

Silhouette wise, the 1830s are my favorite era, just imagine a whole schoolroom full of sweet little cherubs...and some not so sweet I'm sure, bobbing about and playing in dresses such as this, but in a more washable cotton vis silk.

This dress was in my mind when I designed Tascha's dress, but since Tascha is older, and not a child, I gave her a wider and fuller pleated band on the front of her gown, more grown up. Here you can see the pleating on the sleeves to hold the fullness in, and the superb use of the stripe to lend effect of movement Doesn't Emma look like she could have walked into a store, and picked out a new dollye to take home? She is holding a c1820 patchwork reticule in silks, and wearing a period net cap

I could see a smile stretch on Tascha's face, a feeling of being one and whole again. At one time, a little girl beheld her for the first time, just like this

I hand stitched her dress(Tascha) from mid 19th c very thin calico. I did NOT wash it, as the age marks do nothing but add character and realism~ she loves her new dress. The arm, shoulder and side seams are piped, as well as the front plastron that holds the pleats down.

There are 2 piped bands round each sleeve, and I faced about the bottom 5" of her skirting with heavy polished cotton, as it just didn't hang right without the added weight. She wears her new dress over polished cotton petticoat, corset, chemise and pantaloon, all hand stitched from antique fabrics.

I will be posting her dressing into her corset in the next few days. Dollys like this were used for play, but also to teach the little ones proper dress, and what work was required in getting in and out of everything. Imagine if all they had to do was learn how to tie their shoes....instead of lace up a corset for their sister!
Dancing and Dreaming with dollye...........how I would love to spend all of my days


Barbara said...

Emma looks ADORABLE!!!! But I always say that (must be the "Grandma" in me). Dolly's dress is stunning! I'll bet her "Mamma" is going to be so pleased! What are you working on now??
LY, Mom

Rachael Kinnison said...

Thanks Ma~
Question isnt what AM I working on....its more like, what am I NOT working on. too many things all at once! dollys both olde and new, my Baltimore top is one huge top now, am hoping to have the last of the applique finshed by the end of October to start the quilting....am dressing Marguarite 17th century, dress for my big girl Abby..........trying to get the garden ready for winter~ the snow killed everything, even what Jayson tried to cover. The corn could have really used another month of growing. I am ready to hibernate! More snow for this weekend forecast!~ bring it on I say!
xoxoxox rachael

Julie said...

Hi Rachael,
Your restoration of Tasha is absolutely FANTASTIC!!! You have brought her back to her most EXQUISITE self!!!! Your work is SUPERB!!!
I must admit though, your Emma is the most BEAUTIFUL of them all!!

Sorry I haven't been around to visit in awhile. I have been without a computer since early summer. I am hoping to have a new one by the end of October.
you have a most wonderful day!!!