This gown was the first one I ever made from the Paradise Publications series of patterns.
Prior to this I had only made Annie’s Attic bed doll historical gown patterns, which focus primarily on crochet techniques.
The Paradise patterns include a lot of trim detail with beads or other materials, things I didn’t have a lot of experience with at the time (I hadn’t yet delved into jewelry-making). So, although I’d always been struck by the beauty of the finished outfits, I’ll admit the construction intimidated me at first.
But they were always so stunning to look at, I knew I had to try at least one of them.
I chose this Edwardian gown first because it looked like it used mostly standard crochet (the gown was not beaded), and it had a slim silhouette I knew would stitch up quickly.
I had some experience working with doll-scale flowers and ribbon, so I knew I could handle the bouquet. The necklace looked pretty simple, as well, just a string of seed beads, plus I was good at doing hair from making so many of the Annie’s dresses.
The headpiece I thought might be tricky, though. I wasn’t used to working with fabric lace. (In Annie’s patterns, if there’s something lacy on an outfit, you crochet it. 🙂 ).
But I vowed to be brave and try something new.
I’m so glad I did, because I think she came out beautifully!
She does have one flaw, though. Can you tell what it is? May not be obvious, but of course I see it all the time because I know it’s there. it’s the main reason I didn’t feel I could sell this doll to a collector, so she’s currently on display in my dining room hutch.
The flaw isn’t in the dress, it’s the doll. After all that time spent on getting the hair just perfect and creating a stunning headpiece (that wasn’t as difficult as I feared it would be), it turned out her neck wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the adornments.
On a newer doll, this probably wouldn’t be a problem, but this was a “rescued” doll found on the secondhand market that I had restored to her former beauty. I didn’t know her neck joint was iffy until I had everything fastened in place and went to put her on a doll stand.
The hairdo alone took such a long time to perfect, I didn’t want to start over with another doll, so I decided to keep her as she is. And I do love her.
I’ve come to accept her “pose” as is, and think of it as perhaps a gaze toward Heaven, maybe for a quick prayer on her wedding day before she enters the church.
As Tim Gunn says, we “make it work.” 😀