Oh...my...gosh!!! Ok, so I have spent the past 5 or so days being sick and pretty much keeping to my bed or the couch trying to beat this cold/sinus thing. So, what do I do to pass the time? Watch "Criminal Minds", Period Dramas, and peruse Pinterest. Yesterday, I was looking once again for one of my favorite styles of Victorian dress, Sailor Suits, when what should come across my Pinterest feed? THE FABULOUS OHMYGOSH DRESS BELOW!!!!! I was blown away! Yes, it's a doll dress. Yes, it is in the shape of a little girl dress. But you know what? I got so many ideas for a dress in my size from this little gem from the past! I went from drooling over this dress to finding the second sailor dress below with the red accents. That led me down a most dangerous rabbit whole to exploding my Pinterest board that is for Antique Dollies with all manner of doll dresses from the Victorian Era.
Antique Dollies is my Pinterest board than now houses hundreds of dolls and their dresses from the Victorian era to the Edwardian Era. I couldn't believe I had never thought of this before! Young ladies from back then were gifted with dolls that were dressed with the same fabrics, trims, buttons, fashion and color combinations as was worn by children and ladies of the time! DUH!!! It was totally a light bulb moment and I revelled in the knowledge that not only did I have inspiration from sources such as extant garments, fashion plates and photographs, but now I have this wealth of inspiration in these diminutive dresses that adorned little girls' play things!
Let's take a look at how the play things of old can inspire us!
Source: Ruby Lane
Ok...I am in utter and complete LOVE with this dress! What caught my eyes at first was of course the colors. I adore the navy and ivory of this dress. Then there is the sash and the really wide box pleats that are trimmed with two rows of stripes! Fabulous! The way the cuffs are trimmed and can we say buttons???!!! Oh and that beret is so sweet!
Source: Ruby Lane
This dress is so fun. Again the skirt has wide box pletes this time employing more ivory stripes but now there is an addition of lace. I never would have though that lace would look good on a sailor dress! The "V" on the bodice is pretty spiffy as well, the way it is layered.
1830s Romantic Era
Ok, so this is a peculiar dress, but it comes from the 1830s!! Look at her hair! All the colors and textures just make me smile!
1860s American Civil War Era
This dollie's name is Evangeline. I tried to find some information about her and came up dry. The only thing that comes to mind concerning a doll from the 1860s named Evangeline is in the movie "Little Women", Beth March tells her sister Amy, "Evangeline and I will make you some ginger tea." This doll is so incredible! I love her dress (on my Pinterest page, you can see all the outfits she was sold with...). The trim around the sleeves is fun and can you see her brooch???? It looks like a mourning hair brooch! I was blown away! Her bonnet is pretty fabulous as well.
First Bustle Era
No source found.
The first thing that struck me about this dress is the color combination. LOVE the blue shot with brown silk. The trim looks like it is a sort of chenille. I am totally digging the double box pleats that are manipulated at the top to make an "X". The bodice has the look of a faux vest and her hat? So fabulous!!!
I am wanting to make a first era bustle dress to add to my "Eras Collection" and this one has really inspried me. The purple plaid is gorgeous as are the trims of lace, fringe, and velvet ribbon. The pleated section at the bottom of the skirt looks like it would be a fun addition to a costume!
Natural Form Era
This dress is so great! The assymetrical opening of the princess dress is so cool! The color combination is not one I would have thought of before. Of course there are those fabulous buttons and buttons make my heart happy! It looks like the pocket on the side is a huge bow and that is pretty sweet. Her hair is done up in ribbon and that would be a fun thing to do if you didn't want to wear a hat or bonnet!
Source: Ruby Lane, item has been taken down.
The colors of this dress go so well together. I am really digging the ruched trim of the train and 3/4 sleeves. You can see a very small bow of the taupe velvet at the sleeves...
Second Bustle Era
Look at all the ruching on the front panel of the skirt!! This is my kind of dress! The bodice is a bit on the simple side, but sometimes that is a nice thing to see...simple elegance. The double flounce of ruffle at the bottom of the skirt looks really delicate and pretty over the lace. You can see the ruffle and lace theme repeated at the sleeve cuffs and neck opening!
The tailored look of this Edwardian walking suit is beautiful. The color of the dress paired with the fur is stunning. Her hat is epic!! I like big hats and I cannot lie!! You can see how the dress maker was in tune with the times in every aspect of this doll dress!!
Wax Fashion Ladies by Lafitte Desirat
During my mad search for doll clothing, I discovered a doll maker that I had never heard of before. Lafitte Desirat. There isn't a lot about this doll maker on the web, but I did find a book titled "The French Toy" in the form of a PDF file from The Art Institute of Chicago. From April 15th to May 12th, 1918, The Art Institute of Chicago hosted an exhibition of French Toys and the exhibit booklet has a small section about Lafitte Desirat. On page 14 of the French Toys booklet, it states that, "Madame Lafitte Desirat is the daughter of Monsieur Pierre Lafitte, director of the Lafitte Publications, 'Femina', 'Je Sais Tout', etc.". Desirat created wax dolls wearing elegant dresses of the time. I wish more was written about this incredible artist! Her dolls and the dresses are a wonderful inspriation if you are needing some for the Teens era to the 1920s!!
Source: The Met (unfortunately, the link has been taken down on the website)
I love the colors of this dress! The blue and yellow stripe of the skirt really speak to me. The hat is over the top fabulous as well! The ruching up the bodice is super fun as well!
Source: The Met (again, the link has been removed)
I am loving the colors of this dress. They are so soft and sweet. The style is very reminiscent of the Laughing Moon Pattern 104. Hello huge 1912 hat!! Love ya!
Hello 1917 style! Love the fun flowing dresses from this time period. The lace dress is so lovely as is the turban style hat she is wearing.
I have of course started a new board on Pinterest: Lafitte Desirat French Wax Fashion Dolls.
Well, there you have it...my new found inspiration sources! I can't wait to see what other doll dresses are out there that can offer up more eye candy!
Have a marvelously blessed day my friends!!