Historical Sew Fortnightly: Challenge #5: Peasants and Pioneers - Child's Doll
I think my Peasants and Pioneers project might be stretching the concept a bit. I wanted to create something that I (or in this case, my daughter Jane) would actually use. When I dress out in costume, I don't typically dress as a peasant or pioneer, so what I made is something that could pass for either upper class, or peasant. I made a child's doll. Dolls are made from scraps of fabric and bits of wool roving, and even the poorest of little girls might be able to scrounge up enough scraps to create a small poppet.
Jane absolutely adores her new poppet, and has named her Arabesque (pronounced "Arabesca," she says, and which I'm pretty certain was inspired by her resent love of ballet.) I might later make the doll a new, fancier gown.
In keeping with the theme, Jane's doll is simple...no fancy ball gown or feathered turban. But, the inspiration for Jane's new doll does have all of these things.
You can view the original regency era doll here at the American Centuries Memorial Hall Museum Online.
Jane's doll is about 2 1/2 inches wide by 14 inches long. Everything is hand stitched. I started by sewing together the individual pieces of the body, made of cotton duck. I stuffed each piece with wool roving yarn, then assembled the doll. The hair is also wool roving. I drew on the face with pencil first, then used actual make up to outline the eyes and put some color on her face. The first clothing item I made her was a cotton shift. A cotton cap came next with a tiny bit of ruching to decorate it. Then I made the simple, gathered, linen gown.
A very "peasant" type of gown...don't you think...even if it is only 12 inches long? Does it pass for the challenge?
Just the Facts
The Challenge: Peasants and Pioneers - Scrap Doll
Fabric: cotton, linen
Year: Late 1790's to 1815ish
Notions: Thread, pencil, make-up, wool roving yarn
How historically accurate is it? I would assume it's very historically accurate...made with period techniques, style, fabric, etc.
Hours to complete: Maybe 8 to 10
First worn: First held about a week ago. :)
Total cost: Free, made of bits of scraps.