So yesterday was pretty full with my projects and Charlotte's (glorious) return, but there was still something else that happened. I went shopping! Originally I opted out when asked, but my dad kept asking me if I wanted to go, so I felt he wanted me to go and keep him company, so I went. We ended up stopping at a few second hand stores, we haven't been in a while. The first one was a bust (typical), but the second one I found something interesting.
Actually I found a few interesting things, but only got one. Looking over their toy section I found a couple of 80's Barbies. I knew they were from the 80's by their bold (really bold) eye makeup. I picked them up, checking them out. They were in okay condition, with hair that could use some work, and while both of them were wearing clothes, it was nothing that I really liked or needed (not real Mattel clothes). Also I'm not really a big 80's doll person. I think they're much too new for my collection, plus I really am not a able to work in the 80's style (yet). I did try way back when for Charlotte to make something from the 80's style, but a managed to end up in the 40's, so that didn't really work out. But then I found something that made me put them both back and forget all about them.
What I found was a doll that looked oddly familiar. There was something about her that I recognized, but nothing that I could really place. I have lots of experience with Barbie and her friends/family, but other than them I really don't have that much experience with other dolls (Although I do have some). I can place a lot of them from my general knowledge, but lots of times I have to rely on maker's marks, or wing it based on what I know from their general look. I did check for marks on this one, but all I found was "Hong Kong" written on the back of her head. Other than that I couldn't really see anything, as I wasn't willing to undress her in the store and check for any marks on her body or tags on her clothes. Speaking of her clothes, they were fantastic. This 1910's? era dress, in a pale peach color was beautiful. Much more detailed that what I usually make. I could see that she even had under garments, and still had both of her shoes. While she wasn't the exact size and shape of Barbie, it looked like her clothing would certainly fit Barbie. (When you deal with Barbie so often you do get good at being able to eye things in relation to her.) I could easily see that the shoes wouldn't fit Barbie's feet, but maybe they would fit someone with larger feet (Which would be very, very, very nice). So she came home with me.
At home I was able to look her over a bit more in depth. I was able to take off her clothing and check them out in detail. It turns out she was wearing four individual pieces of clothing. Her outfit consists of a pair of bloomers, an underskirt, a skirt, and the jacket. Originally, I thought her jacket and skirt were attached. Each item is so incredibly detailed that I need to discuss each of them in their own section to convey how meticulously they were created. (I'm going to split this post up into two days, so be prepared for the next part tomorrow. That one will deal with her clothing, next one will be about the actual doll.) So let's get to it!
The jacket; The first part of the outfit, and the last one to go on when dressing the doll. It's made out of some peach colored satin? (I don't know fabrics, please don't yell at me!), and closes in the front with four snaps. Inside it's fully lined, just not at the sleeves. They're just turned in, and suffer from some fraying. The craftsmanship on it amazing. It also has an attached partial over skirt, that has a lace trim. Over on each side on the over skirt there's a single white bow. On the jacket there's row of french knots (if my embroidery term is correct) for decoration, mimicking buttons. Please look at the pictures because my descriptions don't do these clothes justice.
The skirt; The second part of the outfit, made from the same peach satin as the jacket. It also closes with a snap, but it's just a single one in the back. It's construction is rather interesting, and just as detailed as the jacket. It's practically two skirts. Do you see the pleated skirt? You can only see about two inches, but it actually goes up for much longer. It's actually twice as long under the skirt that's over it. The pleats are attached to a different piece of satin, with the overlay skirt attached to if over it at the waistband. If the overlay skirt wasn't there, it would still be a complete skirt, which is impressive. There's some interesting details on the overlaid skirt, such as the lace from the jacket is repeated on it. Also on each side of the skirt there's three layers of gathered sewing, and when the jacket is worn over it, it gives the illusion that the bows on the jacket are attached to it and holding it up. An interesting detail about the pleated skirt, on the underside of the main hem if you flip it up, there's a band of lace sewn under. It's a different type of lace compared to the one on the visible part of the overlay skirt and jacket. From what I see, it's used to make a hidden hem on the skirt as well as to add some strength to the satin. This keeps the pleats sharp, since satin's such a light fabric.
The underskirt; The underskirt it made from simple white linen and uses more lace, although the lace is different from both that were used in the jacket and skirt. It also closes in the back with a single snap. The front of the underskirt is a bit plain. It's just the white linen with a single line of lace at the bottom for decoration, the back is where it gets crazy with details. On the back are seven rows of gathered linen, each with an under row of lace giving the appearance of a bustle. Sometimes the ruffle of linen covers the lace, but under each row it's there. It does suffer from a little gaping in the back, but since there's also a pair of bloomers under it, that's not a big issue.
The bloomers; the last garment that she was wearing. These are made from the same material as the underskirt. They also close with a single snap in the back. These are simple at the waist, and look very similar to the Barbie pants I can make. But at the feet there's quite a bit of decoration, at the bottom they are hemmed with lace, which once again is different from the rest of the lace in the outfit. So far the only matching lace has been the pieces visible on both the jacket and over skirt, all the rest have been different. Above the lace at the bloomers are two rows of pin tucks (is that what they're called?). Interesting note, with these pants they are very hard to take off and put on the doll. Whenever you do the seam in the front gets very stretched when trying to get them over her thighs. Almost to the point of breaking. I doubt this doll was redressed very often, if ever after they went on originally. Just from the few times I had to change them it looked like they might tear, so it wouldn't last many redressing.
Her shoes are very simple off-white pumps. I'm kind of guessing that they were at one time white, and over time yellowed. They are not the best quality with one spot on top actually missing, like it didn't get molded when it was made. They have a hole in both of the heels as if to attach to some sort of peg stand, but she was found without one. They are actually bigger than her feet. They do however fit Sindy. I am thinking about painting them black, but I may not bother.
And that's all she was wearing, a very complex outfit that did not have any tags what so ever. Still have no real clues to figure out who she is. If there's anyone out there who can tell me anything about her I'd love to hear it. Stay tuned for the post about the doll in question, and maybe someone will recognize her.