When we are kids, most of us have pretty active imaginations. We create stories of things we want to do and elaborately act them out. I apparently wanted to open I high end restaurant. I created tons of games with my fancy restaurant and researched food items for my menus. The Black Swan Square was very fancy. We had everything from filet mignon to burgers. I think the highest priced item was $2. I had apparently no concept of money when I was little. I wish I still had the menus I made. Or any of the play food. I had a large collection of play food.
I am not the only one who had active dreams as a child. Lynn Isenbarger (Horsiemama), and her sister dreamed of being bareback riders in the circus. And as Lynn says, everybody knows that they are ballerinas, so they took ballet lessons as well. She shared the story with me as we discussed what she wanted for her new doll. I was very into the whole idea.
Lynn sent me lots of reference photos and said she wanted the doll to have a 50s sort of feel to it. When I first started on the doll I hated how the top of her dress was coming out. We wanted a really flowy fabric, but it ended up being a bit sheer as well. I adding a lining to the bodice and made a very full skirt that I gathered at the waist. I even shared this super ugly stage with Lynn. She sews, she understands that you need to keep on going.
I added the wide sash to cover the gathers and give it, what I felt, was a very 50s feel. And now you know some more of my secrets. This dress, is not a dress, but a skirt and a body suit pretending to be a dress. Part of the reason I don't make removable clothing for dolls is because it is super challenging to get the fit correct. The other reason is that sometimes you can get really nice results if you fake some parts. If this was an actual dress, made in this style, I would still be working on it. Probably swearing and still creating the patterns. But as it turned out, I really like it, no swearing necessary.
Since this bareback rider is also secretly a ballerina, she needed ballet slippers. All the proper ones need ribbon ties. I trimmed up the doll's enormous feet, glued the ribbon ties directly to the feet and legs and then built the slippers over them. Again, a bit of faked detail that made it all come together fairly easily.
The circus costume for the setup Lynn is putting together has orange accents, so we decided that the doll should also have orange accents. I have these pretty orange iridescent flowers and they line the collar and make up her a little flowered headpiece. I put a Swarovski crystal in the center of each flower as well.
In the end, the doll got honey blond hair and bright red lipstick. I feel she has a bit of a Grace Kelly look to her.
She makes a pretty nice ballerina as well. I think she must be performing in Flamingo Pond. Clearly she is not ready for Swan Lake.
Lynn and her sister never joined the circus and I never opened a high end restaurant. I was a waitress at a couple of restaurants (not high end) and that is as close as I ever got. I also make fancy miniature food, I guess that counts. And since that counts I feel that Lynn's miniature circus setup will have to count too. I can't wait to see it.