Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Chanel Plan

Once there was a little girl who loved to sew dolls clothes. She had learned from her mother, who liked nothing more than to help Santa out by dressing a doll or two at Christmas. When she was about ten, her Grandma introduced her to an Aladdin's Cave of a shop: a sort of market stall with walls, with offcuts and roll ends and bargains.

It's still the best place in town to buy fur and felt; and I was over there the other day looking for a big piece of black felt. Because that doll dressmaking? It's a hard habit to grow out of and I haven't managed it yet.


I got two new books for Christmas:


One I found in a museum gift shop and it's aimed at girls starting to sew. But of course I was pulled in by the vintage Sindy dolls who feature inside. The other is from Japan and it's the latest release from a series called Doll Coordinate Recipes. The best place I've found for Japanese craft books is Pomadour24 on Etsy. The text is in Japanese, but the pictures are plentiful and easy to follow - and all the patterns in this one are cut from felt, which makes the clothes quick and easy to make up.

I bought some new shades of red and blue because our Madeleines suit bright, clear colours; but I didn't want to use it all up experimenting as I tried out the pattern sizes. So I came up with my Chanel Plan. One big bargain piece of black felt, one of white - and a wardrobe of Chanel inspired monochrome basics. 


And then the snow came on and I decided to whip up a warm cloak fast, so I pulled out a piece of grey. I'm going back to balck today, though: there's a dress pattern I'd like to try next. And some long trousers might be good if this weather is going to keep up....

Happy Sunday!

45 comments:

Jennie Hart said...

Well I read the title of your post and looked round for my coffee and slippers :)

Well done on making such sophisticated but cute clothes, how nice that your love for it has continued.

alexa said...

She has such a lovely face! You've dressed her beautifully - though I was a little concerned at the bare legs and feet in those shoes in this weather!

Linda said...

Love it Sian! What gorgeous doll's clothes, you are clever sewing those tiny clothes! I recognised her as a Madeleine doll straight away. I think we have one still in it's box stashed away somewhere. I used to love watching the tv show with DD when she was little!

Lynn said...

So cute! What patience you have to make such tiny clothes!

Angelfish said...

Such a sweet little outfit. You're so good at working in miniature. I'm quite drawn to these Japanese sewing books. I saw one that features a beautiful array of summer clothes but wondered how easy it would be to follow.

Kirsty.a said...

Wow. Could you make me a cloak in a grown up size??

Ruth said...

There really is no end to your talent, is there? I can only hope that you are blessed with a few grand-daughters in the years ahead.

helena said...

ahh chanel - can't beat her design asthetic

Barbara Eads said...

That is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I don't know how to sew, so, I appreciate the fine work of others. Now the big question. Is Madeline your doll, or "the small ones"? She's darling.

Karen said...

Your title is perfect as those outfits are truly stylish! My mother made doll clothes for my dolls, but though I was a seamstress for many years I never got into doll clothes.

KathiJo said...

Sian, they are so cute and not something you see every day now. I have a single dogtooth coat made for one of my dolls by a lady who lived nearby, I must find it, maybe for a STS precious thing? K x

Karen said...

I love this post Sian and especially love that you still make doll's clothes. I have fond memories of both my grandma's teaching me to sew and kit by making doll's clothes but that's another story waiting to be told. x

S said...

Sweet! I see that for seamstresses language is not a barrier - that is fabulous.

Irene said...

You are clever. She looks so modern and stylish. Every little (and big!) girl's dream. She definitely needs those trousers though, at the moment... x

scrappyjacky said...

Love the fur coat...and if your weather is anything like ours....she definately needs the trousers.

Sian said...

Ruth: Grand daughters sounds like a nice idea :)

Linda: a boxed Madeleine doll is quite valuable now. they go for quite a bit on ebay!

KathiJo: that would be a perfect Sts. I'd love it!

Miriam said...

I so love this Sian. A good pair of classic cut trousers and more substantial boots I think though before she goes out.

Ladkyis said...

although I am a quilter and a maker of wizards robes I never succeeded with dolls clothes, too fiddly for me I like things that can be made by yesterday

Jo said...

She looks adorable in the clothes you've made her.

Alana said...

That doll is super cute, of course I think the hair colour is perfect:) Yes, she does need trousers or ski pants in this weather, maybe some moon boots.....oh! Maybe a ski outfit a la Cloisters!

Rhona said...

You are so very talented and I love the outfits you've made. I also hope you are blessed with granddaughters one day because I know they would love this. xx

Alison said...

Your Madeleine is very lucky to have you around!
Alison xx

Missus Wookie said...

Like everyone else I'm so impressed with your creativity and talent. Princess got into creating doll clothes but never 'proper' from patterns for a while, that's gone at the moment. Glad you still like to play :)

Sandra said...

What a lovely posy, oh and she's just adorable. I often am amazed at the talent you have, I there anything you don't do :)

Jimjams said...

LOL - what a cute doll and she's beautifully dressed. I'm still waiting for a circus update ... have I missed one recently?

Nathalie said...

What a talent you have! She looks so cute and classy in her outfits!

Melissa said...

I am smiling at your enjoying your book written in Japanese . . . because the photos are good enough for you to use your own unique talents to create the pieces.

Carmen said...

I love your Madeleine and I just adore that she is still getting one of a kind Sian pieces.

Gorgeous post, gorgeous piccies :-)

Amy said...

Very cute indeed - what are you planningto do with all the dolls and their clothes?

Mel said...

So cute! I used to love making furniture and bits of food from fimo for my doll's house.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

She is utterly adorable! What a sweet face. :) Lovely clothes. My Sindy (which is still at my mom´s) was dressed in my Tubular fashion: a tube of fabric with holes for the arms. :D

Za faran said...

sian I am so glad that you never grew out of this cute habit, because, seeing these clothes and your lovely, lovely doll is making me feel all excited and girly again! I used to make little clothes for my dolls too years ago!

Denise said...

Ho beautiful they are.I wish I could do that sort of thing.Lovely photos Sian x

Sian said...

I'm delighted so many of you are fellow fans :)

Amy: each doll has a carry case with a wardrobe and hangers so we pack them into their cases and put them on our doll shelf until we want to play again

Gail said...

That is absolutely adorable! Making clothes this small must be a real adventure. BTW, yes she does need some trousers if your weather is anything like ours this week. :)

Abi said...

So beautiful Sian. You are so talented!

Sandie said...

Beautiful photography - you are very patient making such small clothes. Lucky Madeleine!

Elizabeth said...

How absolutely adorable your doll is. I hope neither of us ever out grows making doll clothes.

Beverly said...

What a lucky doll she is, getting a sophisticated new black and white wardrobe! The cloak is awesome. Talent, Sian...you have it by the boatloads :)

Sue Althouse said...

She is adorable! This makes me wish I knew how to sew.

Ifa said...

Sweet! You have great patience...I am not sure I can sew small dresses. I would love a Chanel suit myself.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oh, Sian, your doll outfits are adorable! I started sewing doll clothes when I was eight years old, then outgrew it for a while. When Carrie was little I loved making clothes for her Cabbage Patch doll and Barbies.

Gosh, I would love to go to your fabric store. It sounds lovely!

Chipper said...

Those are adorable! I made clothes for my hairless Barbie (inherited from someone who liked scissors). My Grandma would give me scraps and I would make clothes, mostly dresses and I wasn't even a dress wearer!

Louise said...

wonderful Sian - you should have your own etsy shop to sell them in. Have you ever seen

http://kirstyfish.blogspot.co.uk/

she sells felt and makes felt things...don't think i've ever seen dolls clothes though.

Jennifer Grace said...

She looks great, very classy! I wish I was good at sewing dolls clothes, but every time I try I get into a bit of a pickle! Perhaps I just need a good book on the subject, I shall have a look for one. x

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