A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Progress on Myrtille

I'm making modest progress on the 18" Madame Alexander fixer-up doll that I bought last week. I've named her "Myrtille" just because that name came to me while working on her.

Re-stringing her was not easy--the elastic had to be pulled very tight and I was worried about her composition cracking under the strain. But fortunately she survived it.

Her hair looks in better condition here than it actually is--it's all tangled in back and needs a complete cleaning and restyling. I've restyled a mohair wig only once before, but that turned out well so I'm hoping this one does too.

Below you can see her all together again, and the first two stages of the hair restyling done. First I took a needle and carefully separated all the strands of mohair, lifting them up and untangling them. Then I smoothed the strands in the crown of the wig by gently rocking a comb up and down in it, and being careful not to pull out more hairs than I could help. The ribbon around her head is to stabilize that part of it.

For the next step, I will carefully remove the wig from her head and fit it onto a wig head that I will make for it. I will gently wet, wash, and rinse the hair while I'm rolling it up on curlers with perm-papers. Then it will have to dry for a few days, because it can't go back on her head if it's the least bit wet. Meanwhile I will clean the old glue and fibers off her scalp.

Then will come the exciting day when the wig is glued back in place, the curlers removed and the new curls set free!

Butterick has a few new doll clothes patterns that they have photographed on a vintage doll who looks very much like Myrtille and is also 18" tall. Of course whenever you get into patterns for 18" dolls, you have to expect they'll fit American Girl dolls since they're so popular. Most of the views looked rather large-waisted, like AG dolls. But one--#5864--didn't at all, it looks very lady-like, and that's the one I'm pondering the purchase of.  It includes a formal dress that could a bridesmaid's gown for this doll, who was probably born to wear one. But another part of me thinks it's silly to spend money on a pattern when it's an easy matter to dress her without it.

UPDATE 9/3/2014:  This silly pattern turned out not to fit Myrtille at all--despite the front illustrations and the photographs in the Butterick book. Nope, this is yet another pattern for chunky-shaped American Girl types. I made the View E capri pants and they are huge on her. Now a 19" Penelope (Colette Wolff design) cloth doll is wearing them.

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