Friday, 27 December 2013

Mini Candlewicked Quilt

I am culling my books as I seem to have amassed hundreds over the years, particularly from the 1980s and 1990s when candlewicking and heirloom sewing were the "IN" thing.  However, while I was rifling through the pages of each book in case there was something that would convince me to keep it, I noticed that a lot of the diagrams were either exactly 1/12th scale or near enough to 1/12th  that a little tweak on the computer  

 would fix it.  One book which fitted nicely into this category was "Traditional Country Needlecrafts" by Sue Millard published in 1993. This book is still readily available on the internet. Full of lovely, soft, romantic needlework projects which I never got around to making, it was destined for either the charity shop or the bin until I spotted some diagrams which could be adapted to dolls house size very easily. In particular, there was a double bed sized candle-wicked quilt with the added advantage of  full-size diagrams meant for tracing onto calico and which could be used as inspiration for the tiny squares.  This is one occasion when a magnifying glass or one of those "Mag-eyes" which fit on your head is a must!!  Another absolute MUST with this project is an embroidery frame or hoop to keep the fabric taught while you are stitching.

Here is my first lot of equipment showing the book, embroidery hoop on a frame, pattern for the quilt top which I have traced onto an ivory coloured linen hankie which has been stretched over a piece of cream voile and a piece of thin wadding in the hoop.  First of all I scanned the pattern in the computer and tweaked it so that it was the correct size for my mini bed, printed it out on a black and white printer and then copied it onto the hankie using dressmaker's carbon paper.  I couldn't find the sheet of yellow which would have been better so I used the orange colour.......would you believe it but when I was searching through the Christmas decoration box, I found the yellow but it was too late then.  I have no idea why it was there, maybe I had been carbon-copying some decorations or something many moons ago???? It is now in the drawer with the other sheets so next time I know exactly where to look.

This is the diagram as it is printed in the book.

Here is the book, the b&w printed page (notice how I have enlarged the diagram to make it the size that I needed for my dollshouse double bed), the fabric in the hoop and theads.  In this case, I am using a ball of very fine cream crochet cotton - J & P Coats size 100.

A close-up  photo of the design for the candlewicking in the hoop.  I have an ivory linen handkerchief on the top, a piece of cream voile beneath it and a piece of thin wadding at the bottom. 

This is the full-size design from the book which gives detailed drawings of each square.  Obviously in the tiny 1/12th scale, a lot of the embroidery is going to have to be omitted and the designs used for inspiration only.  Once I have finished the quilt, I will post a tutorial on how to make it.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

7 inch Pedigree Delite Dolls


This blog article has been moved from my previous and now obsolete blog "Anlaby Dollshouse" because I can no longer access that blog.  Instead I am continuing blogging with this new one.  I have created a page in the right sidebar specifically to document the study of these little Pedigree Delite Character dolls. In the 1950s my sister and I were given one of these little Pedigree Delite dolls each by our Mum.  My sister's doll had dark hair and was called Gwenny and mine had blond hair and was called Joanie.  Both were named after girls that we knew. It wasn't until I started collecting these dolls a few years ago that I found out that they came in various themes such as Nursery Rhyme characters, Story Book characters and dolls representing different countries.  Ours came naked in their original boxes and I remember making little dresses for them to wear.

From left to right: a Japanese doll, Little Bo-peep complete with crook, Robin Hood, a couple of African dolls, a pirate and a school boy.

Starting with the same school boy, from left to right: School girl, nurse, Scottish boy, little girl in a blue felt dress (I might give her a red felt hood and cape later and call her Red Riding Hood), a pair of African dolls which need clothes, a English bobby, a dark haired girl waiting for a replacement Irish Colleen dress (I have kept the tatty original one for a pattern) and another pirate.  I have another Scottish boy doll who is Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

TheGrenadier Guard outfit is not on the original doll which became infected with the dreaded "Pedigree cancer" so I destroyed it and put the clothes which were in excellent condition onto a naked doll. His shoes still need to be painted black. In the cupboard I still have two naked blond haired girls, two naked dark haired girls, a naked boy and another African doll with no arms.

Because these dolls are for my own pleasure and not for an investment I am not too worried if the outfits are not genuine or are missing parts.  For instance, my two pirates are similar but one has his sword and is missing his original bandana while the other one has a red bandana with white spots on his head and is minus a sword. One Bo-peep is missing her crook and the chances of me getting another one is pretty remote while the chances of finding two dark African arms is nil.......

Here are my latest acquisitions since I wrote the above article.

This is my Christmas present from my husband.  Two dolls and a copy of a 1953 Pedigree doll catalogue, including pictures of the full range of these little dolls.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Pedlar or Peddler Doll Finished

Well, after 28 years I have finally finished my pedlar or peddler doll - both spellings are correct.  Once I got started on the tray full of goodies, I spent about 20 hours sewing, crocheting, tatting, beading and knitting her wares Her tray is laden down with stock to sell but she still turns around to the tune of  'Hello Dolly'.despite the weight on the front.  I should have written down everything as I made it or found it in my miniature stash because now I can hardly pick out one item from another.

  The hand-made items were:
3 crocheted and beaded jug covers.
1 tatted doily
1 embroidered pincushion
3 yellow wash cloths with red blanket stitched border
1 knitted dish cloth
4 lace Lavender bags filled with real Lavender
1 box of tiny soaps
2 boxes of mini buttons on cards
2 fans
12 teeny "Abel Morrell" needle packets
4 necklaces
2 pendants on chains
10 perfume bottles or cream jars
A box of hand-wound threads on cards
Two framed floral pictures on a hanging ribbon
2 feather dusters

All the rest of the items are commercial such as the scissors, baskets, cotton reels, cooking trays, sparkly necklaces, cameos, books, plates, candles and the mirror, brush and comb set.  I have a tremendous sense of satisfaction right now as this was one UFO which has been waiting and waiting to be completed.  I love her and she will have pride of place in my china cabinet.

Here is the peddler doll next to a normal dolls house doll to compare the size.  The doll on the left is 5 1/2 inches tall while the peddler is 7 1/2 inches tall.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Pedlar or Peddler Doll

I have always wanted a Pedlar or Peddler doll so that I could make tiny little things to put on her tray.  In 1985 I bought two musical dolls from a "damaged/broken items" trolley in our local department store and figured that they would be perfect for pedlar dolls. One had brown hair and played "I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" and the other one was blond and played "Hello Dolly".   In November 1986, I had turned Jeannie into a pedlar doll, took her to a craft fair and sold her for $65 which was a lot of money back then.  I know exactly when the craft fair was because it coincided with the same weekend that my first marriage broke up.

Two days ago and twenty-seven years later, I decided that I would have a go with Dolly and turn her into a pedlar doll for myself.  This is her new look.

She still turns around and her music box still plays "Hello Dolly" but she was a absolute wreck.  Here is how she looked BEFORE the make-over........
Here is the doll before I stripped her, removed those HUGE over-sized hands and cut off some of her knotted hair.  That thing to the side was originally a parasol.  I really loved her pretty little 1980s face though and can hardly wait to fill her tray with goodies.
Before I started dressing her, I checked out all the different types of Pedlar or Peddler dolls on Google.  One thing they all had in common was a red cloak.

I found an off-cut of red flannelette in the sewing room which a friend who used to work in the local  charity shop gave me.  She gave me all of the small or misshapen scraps of material that came into the shop that were unsaleable and would have been thrown away and the red flannelette was among it.   Sadly, the charity became 'corporate'. If she wanted to save the scraps from being thrown out, she would have to pay for them. If she removed the scraps from the skip in the yard, she would be charged with stealing.........needless to say, she and a lot of other good people left and stop volunteering.  Shame.

The doll's petticoat which covers the cone which makes up her bottom half and which turns on the base which contains the musical box and also her apron were recycled from a linen hankie and her lovely black and grey striped dress used to be a ladies blouse which I bought from the Salvos Charity Shop.  Her black hat was cut from a black maid's dress which I removed from a dollshouse doll in order to dress her as the Lady of the Manor (I don't throw anything away as I never know when I might need it).
NOW the FUN part starts - filling the tray with tiny treasures!!!  Whooo-hooooo!!!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Tree Skirt

I thought my Christmas Tree looked a little bit strange sitting straight onto the carpet - it needed a skirt around it.  I cut out a circular one from Christmas patchwork fabric but it looked odd because the pattern went all one way, it didn't come out from the centre of the circle to the edge.  So, the only way to get an authentic looking skirt was to make it in the same authentic way by which real size patchwork ones are made. As I cut and stitched and glued the pieces together, I kept hopping across to the sidebar, writing up the tutorial at the same time so I wouldn't forget what and how and why I did things in a particular way.
Check out the tutorial under my list.
BTW the patch on the wall next to the cupboard is a reflection from the mirror on the side wall of the room box - you can just see the frame on the left side of the photo. It looks as if I've had a go at stripping the wallpaper.  It is fine in the flesh!

I think that corner looks complete now, the tree and presents are sitting on a Christmas tree skirt.  An added advantage of the skirt is that when small pieces of  "snow" or glitter fall off the tree, they now land on the skirt and not on the carpet.  Well, that's the theory anyway.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sideboard with Runner on top

I knew something was missing from my Christmas Dining room and this was it.  Let's face it, there is no way that anyone would put a full bowl of punch and a sloppy trifle straight onto the polished wooden top of the sideboard cabinet.  So here is the sideboard again, complete with the extras so that if tiddly guests do slop punch as they refill their glasses, no harm will be done..........there is a tutorial to making the runner at the top of my sidebar.
BTW, my daughter wants to become mini so she can going into the room, eat the food and open the presents!!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Dining Room Box

A close-up photo of the Christmas tree with flashing lights and all the cards and presents made from the sheet of Christmas printies from DHEAustralia.  
Today, December 1st, I finished my Dining Room Box decorated for Christmas Dinner. The table is set and everything is ready for the family to come in, sit down and start celebrating.  The presents are piled under and around the Christmas tree and old Uncle Dave has come in early, dressed in his wonderful red Santa Claus suit and beard, all ready to start handing out the presents.  I had as much fun wrapping the mini-presents as I will have wrapping the real-life ones.  The mini-papers, Christmas cards and bunting flags all came from a fabulous sheet of Christmas Printies from Dolls House Emporium.   A lot of the furniture and the Christmas tree and lights also came from Dolls House Emporium. The rug on the floor was hand-made by my long-time friend, Jenni Kirkham and the carpet was bought to match the colour in the fact everything in the dining room was bought to match the rug even the blue and white china. I still need to add a light fitting and cornices around the ceiling but they can come later.....
This is the completed dining room with the presents piled up in front of the fireplace all ready for the family to open.  Santa Claus (aka old Uncle Dave) is surveying the scene.

Another view of the dining room showing the trifle and the Punch bowl on the sideboard. Old Uncle Dave looks as if he has already been sampling the punch!

Right-hand side of the dining room, showing the glass cabinet with my collection of miniature glassware.

Monday, 25 November 2013

My Christmas Dinner setting to be in the Mini treasures Wiki Advent Calendar!

I am so thrilled because Linda from Mini treasuresWiki has asked if she can include my Christmas Dinner setting into their 2013 Advent Calendar.  Of course she can!!  I feel very honoured to be invited.  Here is a link to the Mini treasures advent calendar from 2011 but from there be prepared to spend a couple of hours browsing through the articles and links to other blogs and websites.
Lots of lovely How-tos and printies to see, make and share.  I love this site and will go back time and time again. Thanks so much Linda for showing me your Mini treasures Wiki blog.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Table set for Christmas Dinner

I spent the whole day working on the Christmas Dinner table for my dining room box.  There is a tropical cyclone up north of Western Australia which means that we down south get cloudy, humid weather that is perfect for staying inside and working on miniatures.  I didn't want the Christmas table to be permanent just in case I want to change it later so I devised a method of making the whole table top removable.

1. I made a template on white card by tracing around the table top.
2. Step two was to glue a piece of dark brown felt on top of the cardboard shape. I used the nearest coloured felt that I could get to the stain of the furniture.
3. I cut the table cloth from a linen handkerchief and I unpicked the lace from around the edge of a cotton handkerchief because it was exactly what was in my head for my Christmas look.  I used the cardboard shape that I traced from the actual table cloth as a template again and measured 1 1/2 inches out from the edge all the way around.  Then I hem-stitched a 1/16th inch turned hem all around the edge by hand which was more difficult than I thought it would be because of the curved ends. Lastly, I slip-stitched the lace on top of the hem.
4. I put a length of double-sided tape around the edge of the table top and then laid the felt covered card shape on top of the table.
5. Finally I laid the table cloth over the top of the felt and lightly pressed it to the double-sided tape with my fingers so that it folded over the edge of the table like a real one would and didn't stick out straight from the table edge.

Every plate, knife, fork, spoon, cracker and food is all stuck to the tablecloth with tiny pieces of double-sided tape so that I can pick the table up and nothing moves or falls off.  When I am ready to change my table, all I have to do is ease the table-cloth away from the double sided tape and the whole thing will lift off, still attached to the felt-covered cardboard.

The table looks pretty bare with only the meat and vegetables but the sideboard which will be on the side of the dining-room will have a full punch bowl with tiny glass cups, a Christmas Cake and a trifle.  There is no Christmas Pudding because personally, I hate Christmas Pudding, it's too rich, I much prefer the trifle.

Hmmm, that cyclone has caused us to have showers, the rain is bucketing down right now, I might go and do something else mini like make some jewellery on display stands for my future "Ladieswear Shop" which will sell mini dresses, underclothes, hats, accessories and perfumes.  However, that is for 2014, I need to finish the diningroom with the tree, stockings and presents brain, as usual, is racing ahead of my hands!!

Friday, 15 November 2013

FINISHED Nursery Room Box for my Sister

Here we have Nanny nursing the baby while her older siblings look on.  Over on the side of the room are her twin cousins enjoying a bottle of milk each.
Today I finished the room box for my sister's combine birthday and Christmas present.  I finally finished knitting the boy's dark green pullover and changing his flesh coloured legs with white shoes and socks to black stockings and brown boots this morning. His blue denim jeans were removed and replaced with fawn knickbockers. This room box celebrates her year  -  2013  - when the number of her grandchildren grew from two to five.  In May, her son and daughter-in-law had identical twin girls called Casey and Tessa and then in September, her daughter and son-in-law had a third child, another little girl called Madeline Grace.

In the room box, I have included the twins in their cots with a bottle each and in the centre of the room sitting comfortably in her rocking chair is the Nanny introducing little Madeline to her older siblings, Robert and Emilia (Millie).  The children have brought their favourite toys to show the baby, Millie has her Teddy bear while Robert rides his Hobby Horse and pulls his wooden train at the same time (whereas the real-life Robert is into Transformers and Angry Birds!) .

If you can see anything that I can add to this little homely scene, please leave a comment to let me know.

The room box, looking left to the twins beneath their Noah's Ark wallhanging quilt.

This is the right side of the room showing the baby Owl quilt and Madeline's overflowing toybox.

A close-up of the family in the centre.  Nanny with Robert, Emilia (Millie) and Madeline (Maddie).

Thursday, 7 November 2013

More mini Straw Hats

I have been having fun with ten more blank hat shapes which I have made whilst sitting in waiting rooms while my husband has been having treatment. It sure beats doing nothing or reading out-of-date magazines!  I got out my box of feathers, flowers, ribbons and braids and spread it all over the dining room table and set to work with glue and needle and thread. The worst part was clearing it all away afterwards so we could sit down to eat!!

Miniature Owls baby quilt finished

This quilt measures 3 3/4 inches x 3 inches (9.5cm x 7.5cm).  The quilting part was fine but getting the folded edge straight was difficult because of the small size. To the naked eye it looks straight but blown up on the computer ........ oh dear!  Still it looks alright with a hanging sleeve at the back and a rod (cut down satay stick) threaded through it.  I had to make the sleeve and rod because the quilt is glued onto a side wall so you can see the side of it and it would have looked a bit silly glued to the wall with no apparent way of hanging it in real life.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nursery Change Table - after the DIY fix

I have finished adding bits and pieces to the change table in my sister's room box.  The cupboard is full of miniature towels and face-washers while the little basket on the shelf contains tiny plastic containers of baby items.

This almost ended up as a tragedy because it arrived in the post from England smashed and in a real mess.  It wasn't the fault of the seller because she had packed it securely in it's original box and then in an outer box containing shredded paper.  It looked as if the postal service either here in Australia or in UK had dropped something heavy on it. Unfortunately the seller didn't have another one so she refunded my money but seeing as I really wanted a change table it took a lot of time and patience to get it anywhere near to how it was on ebay. It looks OK and will be against the back wall so Sue won't notice the glued joins (I hope).

These are the outer and inner boxes showing where something heavy had been dropped or pressed against them during transit.  The photo above that shows the condition of the change table when I unpacked it.

Crazy Quilt Bed Quilt

I have been asked if I would move my crazy quilted bed cover from my old blog to my new one seeing as it comes under the umbrella of "tiny textiles".  I can copy it to here and it will be in both places.  So far, I haven't attempted another one of these although I am working on a cream-on-cream one.  Other things keep getting in the way though. Anyway here is the quilt copied from the old blog, heading and all.

Dolls House Size Crazy quilt

Today I finally finished the 1:12 scale crazy quilt that I have been working on for the last two or three weeks.  The whole quilt measure 8 1/4 inches x 7 inches or 21cm x 17.5cm and there must be at least two hundred tiny patches, I haven't counted them all.  Each one is embroidered around all sides just like in a real crazy quilt and the tiny black edging finishes it all off.  The edging was one that I bought in England when we were there two years ago but it was sky blue, so taking up my husband's suggestion, I dyed it black and then slip-stitched it around the edges of the lined quilt once it was dry. I am posting this to both my crazy quilting blog and my doll's house miniature blog because it fits them both.  The straight edge is the top while the curved bottom edge is designed to go down the end and sides of a four-poster bed.
I used the stitch and flip method of piecing the tiny patches by hand, using  a  3 mm or 1/8 inch seam and tiny running stitches.

This is a close-up of the bottom right hand corner showing some of the decorative motifs such as a butterfly, Rose spray and fan.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Quick and Easy Quilted Wall Hangings

My sister is a quilter and makes the most gorgeous wall hanging quilts therefore I wanted to add a couple of quilts to her Nursery Room Box.  The thought of joined hundreds of tiny pieces of material together gave me the heebie-jeebies so I tried this quick and easy method. I'm not sure if it is totally legal but I am not planning on selling them or otherwise making money from them so I hope it is OK.  I looked on the internet images for baby quilts and found a few that I thought my sister would like so I copied and pasted them to Microsoft Publisher.  A Microsoft Word document would do just as well.  Here is the page that I saved......

A selection of four quilts which I figured Sue would like the best from the 100s on the internet.  These are placed on an A4 sheet and when printed out were the perfect size for 1/12th scale wallhangings.  Each one is roughly half of the width of A4 plus borders. This was not a particularly economical way of doing it because I can see that I could have got at least one more quilt on the page but I was raring to go.......

Once I was happy with the results, I printed the page out onto a sheet of fabric attached to paper (I bought a commercial packet of fabric sheets). Then I pulled the paper off the back and cut out the four quilt panels leaving a border around each one.    Here is the finished quilt ready to hang on the dolls house wall.

After I had completed the quilting around all of the lines (including the ark, water and palm trees), I hand-stitched a strip of striped border fabric along one side, cut back the excess fabric and wool felt to 2mm from the stitching line and turned the border fabric over to the back where I glued it down firmly leaving the small striped border at the front.  I worked on one side at a time, stitching, cutting off the excess, folding it over and glueing to the back.   It measures 4 inches or 10cm square and looks just like the real thing.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Gathered Knitting Stitch.........Plain and Purl only........Easy!!

This is the pattern I used to knit the two quilts for the cradle and the larger experimental one.  It came from a book published in 1984 called "Knitting Encyclopedia 1500 patterns" by Mon Tricot.  I have never seen it before and it was soooooooo easy!!  I used 1 ply wool and the finest needles that I could find but 3ply baby wool would be OK so long as one set of needles used were two or three sizes larger than the other set.

For the tiny quilt I just worked the basic pattern, crocheted a shell edge around the four sides and added some tiny pink bows.  For the larger quilt I made the actual quilt in plain white then worked an edging of single crochet stitches around all four sides in yellow then another row in pink. Finally I crocheted a frill around the edge made up of three treble crochet stitches into every pink single crochet stitch.  Then to finish it off, I stitched a row of pink stem-stitch along the bottom edge of every plain stripe of knitting and a row of yellow thread along the top edge.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Pattern for the Striped quilts

These are crocheted in pastel 1 ply wools but crochet cotton size 14 or 20 would do as well with a 1.25mm hook (US size 10).  I used white plus five pastel colours. Starting with white thread,
1. Make a chain of 46 stitches. 
2. Work a single crochet into every chain.
 Don't cut off white thread, take it up the side of the work.
3. Join in a pastel colour and work a treble crochet into each stitch.  Work two chain to turn.
4. Repeat previous row. Cut thread leaving about 3 inches to use for sewing into the quilt later.
5. Work two rows of sngle crochet with the white again and leave attached on the side.
7. Repeat with another pastel thread working two more rows of trebles.
Alternate with the single crochet rows in white and the treble rows in pastel until the quilt is the desired length ending with a row of single crochet in white.
 Sew all the ends from the pastel threads and the starting thread  from the white thread into the quilt so that are secured and invisible.  Cut off the threads close to the quilt.

With the white thread, work a single crochet into every stitch across the previous row of white sc then down the first side working four stitches into the pastel treble stripes and two stitches into the white stripes. Continue across the other end working one stitch into each of the ones in the first row and the back up along the third side.
Work two more sngle crochet stitches into the two white ones at the end of the row to bring yourself to the corner of the quilt.
 Miss the first sc from the previous row and work five treble stitches into the next stitch.  Miss the next sc from the previous row and work a sc into the next stitch, creating a shell.  Repeat all the way around the quilt and end off with some secure stitches before weaving the tail of white thread into the work and cutting off the excess thread.

Knitted Outfits for the baby and for the Second twin

I wrote about these outfits in my old blog but seeing as this one is all about the Nursery room-box for my sister, I thought that I should include the photo in this blog as well, so here they are again, Casey and her little cousin Madeline.

I used the same stitch on both of these dresses although the white one has the whole skirt knitted in pattern while the  pink one just has a bottom border.  I used the little vintage doll for the baby because my sister bought it many years ago when she thought that she might get into miniatures as well.  Luckily for me, she didn't.........

Components of the Nursery Room Box

Because this room box specifically celebrates the birth of my sister's three grandchildren who were all born in 2013, everything is geared towards the twins who were born at the end of May to her son and dau-in-law and the little girl born in September to her daughter and son-in-law.  By Christmas, I want every drawer and every cupboard filled with goodies for the babies even though no-one will be able to see them unless they either pull out the drawers or open the cupboards.

So here are some of the completed items of furniture which have been finished off with sheets, towels, blankets and quilts not to mention the babies who all have either knitted or crocheted clothes.

These chests of drawers both have the same contents in the drawers, ie. a pair of white towels in the first, a blanket in the second, a pair of coloured sheets in the third and a baby album, metal bootees and a dummy in the fourth.  Behind them is a 4"x6" photo printout of lots of photos of the twins (two copies of each) for me to cut out and glue in the Baby Albums.

These are the twin dolls in their cradles.  Each cradle has a fitted bottom sheet, top sheet, pillow with a pillowcase and a crocheted striped quilt.  Pictured on the flat quilt is the twin in the yellow crocheted dress which, unfortunately I didn't write down the pattern for as I went along.....sorry.

This is the baby's cradle which is smaller than the others.  It has the fitted bottom sheet, top sheet, embroidery pillow and a knitted quilt.  I loved this knitting pattern so much that I made another, bigger quilt with a frill around the edge. The other quilt underneath is a crocheted one in white with a pink thread woven in and out of the treble crochet.

Finally the toy-boxes.  Each box contains an assortment of toys which are glued in place so they are not removable. The twins will have the dark stained toy-boxes while the baby will have the white/yellow one.

Christmas Tree or Fun with the Bead box

I have spent a couple of lovely hours raiding my box of broken jewellery and loose beads from unpicked necklaces and making ornaments and baubles for the dolls house Christmas Tree.  I wired them onto four strings of metal beading then wound them around the tree so that it is like our real size one - dripping in baubles, tinsel and lights.  When I make my dining room box, it is going to be set for Christmas dinner which gives me the excuse to indulge in the best crockery, cutlery and accessories like crackers and napkins with tiny napkin rings, yummy Christmas food and the very best embroidered table cloth to show-case it all.  What tablecloth?  I haven't even thought of that yet....... not to worry, here is the tree finished albeit a bit lop-sided where I pressed it into the corner of the dining-room to see how it would look. So now for the presents to wrap in mini Christmas paper and bows.

Big Sister, Little Sister

These two dolls are going to be maids in the big house.  The smaller doll was supposed to be an old lady with her white hair but her face is really young so she will be a little scullery maid.  Here they are modelling their matching underwear of long pantaloons with matching half petticoats which were cut from a long length of voile with insertion and edging lace.  The length of fabric was originally   part of a job lot of vintage and antique laces that I bought on ebay and I managed to cut five pairs of pantaloons and five petticoats out of it, making sure that the lace edging remained on the bottom edge of each little garment. The Nanny in the rocking chair also wears a set.

Anyway, the story with these two girls are that they are sisters.  The big one is eighteen and has been in service in the big house for six years already while the little one is only twelve and this is her very first day at work. She is extremely nervous (I think you can see that in her anxious little face) so her big sister is making sure that she settles in alright.  I really must start naming my little people, starting with these two.......... I think Charlotte (Lottie) for the big sister and Mary Ann (Polly) for the little one.

Lottie started life as another one of those maid dolls dressed in a plain black dress with a white apron trimmed with nylon lace.  Her petticoat was a smidgin too long so I had to sew a tiny 2mm tuck around the bottom. Unfortunately, part of the original treadle-machine stitching was not quite straight making the hem uneven.  Still, it will be covered up by her dress and no-one will know that a lady sewing a long length of lace to the bottom of the material about a hundred years ago went off the line for a couple of inches!!