I don't know if you remember the article I posted several years ago entitled "The Story Behind My Celia's Wedding Dress Doll" that was part of my "The Story Behind My Dolls" series.
To remind you, Celia and Elmer are my sister-in-laws parents and have been married for close to 60 years. Several years ago they were having a yard sale and Celia had told me I could have her wedding dress to use for material.
I asked her if she was really going to throw her wedding dress away and she replied, "What am I going to do with that old thing?" I told her maybe she should make a doll out of it for her daughter. At first she scoffed at the idea. Then when she'd thought about it, she replied,"That's a great idea. Why don't you do that for me and give it to my daughter." So, I told her I would add it to my to-do-list which was already getting to be multiple years to complete. I put it on the back burner.
After several years of being on the back burner I finally designed the doll and gave it to my sister-in-law for Christmas one year.
In designing the doll I wanted to capture the beauty of the dress. It didn't matter to me whether or not the doll had a face or was faceless. The point was the dress.
So, I sketched out a pattern for the dress and tried to use as much of the original material as I could. Luckily, the dress was still in pretty good shape, as was the veil. Some of the tulle had disintegrated but, a lot of it was pretty much in tact.
The dress had a lace bodice insert with lace sleeves, a satin heart-shaped bodice, a satin covered with lace front panel, and satin covered with fine tulle flowing skirt. The back of the dress had a very long train covered with tulle. There were buttons all along the front of the dress as well as straight up the back. The veil was a cap lined with small pearl beads that had a long section of tulle that would hang down the back and compliment the tulle on the train. The sleeves were scalloped and had a row of buttons as well. There were two layers of tulle underneath the dress as well. Needless to say there was a lot of tulle and a lot of detail on Celia's wedding dress.
Keeping in mind that the sentimentality lay with the dress I wanted the dress to be the focal point of the doll and nothing else. So I decided to make her a self standing, 14" tall, bridal stump doll without any legs. That way the dress would be showcased. I also wanted to utilize the original buttons for their sentimentality even though they were too big for the doll. I decided that three buttons in the front and two on each sleeve would be good.
When the doll was finished I wasn't really happy with her. I thought that I had captured the essence of the dress and, with the exception of the neck, it looked like Celia's real wedding dress. Plus for sentimental purposes it had the original buttons on it. But, I wasn't happy with the doll itself. Her face wasn't quite right, and, whether I liked it or not, the collar was too big.
Over the years every time I looked at the doll I was unhappy with her face. So, last week I decided to re-do her face and revise her pattern.
She has a long lace, satin, and tulle covered multiple 6-panel dress with a lace covered center front panel and tulle covered side, back, and train panels. A beautiful heart-shaped lace bodice with high lace covered neckline is embroidered with fancy lace trim and three lace covered buttons. Her dress has a beautiful long tulle covered flowing train and fancy lace trim adorns her waistline.
Lace covered puffed and lace trimmed long v-pointed sleeves are adorned with lace covered buttons. Pearl trim adorns both the neck line of the dress as well as the veil. A trio of lovely ribbon bows add charm to the top of the train at the back of the dress. Underneath her gown she is wearing a lace trimmed slip, under-slip, and tulle underskirt. She has fiery red hair adorned with a lace lined veil with flowing tulle.
Designer - Linda Walsh Originals