|Pin the tail on the donkey - game (entry by DollMum's daughter in the made and assembled by teenager category)|
I helped her adapt a pattern to make very simple t-shirts for Laura and Edmund (with no shoulder seams or need to set sleeves) however they required bias binding around the edges which she stitched on using the sewing machine then hand hemmed them on the inside. Baby Amy's outfit was a bit more complicated - I had a romper pattern which she used, however it meant putting elastic into the leg edges, another technique to relearn as she had previously made the gathered shorts with sailing boats on them for Edmund. She sewed bias binding around the neck and back opening. All the outfits required her to sew on press studs, for the romper 2 poppers by the crotch and one on the back. She was glad that she had trimmed the sleeves with lace, as it looked pretty and was quicker to do than the bias binding! She made a skirt for Laura from a fat quarter of pretty fabric, gathered with elastic at the waist and a patterned stitch at the hem in contrast thread.
Laura wore the Winnie the Pooh with Piglet drawing, Edmund the Eeyore drawing and Amy the Winnie the Pooh with his honey pot drawing.
The handkerchief around Edmund's eyes was an ancient one from my mother's collection of hankies (it even has a hole in it so she folded it so he couldn't peep!). For the tail I gave her several short lengths of grey wood tied with a ribbon and she decided to braid/plait it before inserting the drawing pin.
|Edmund wearing the handkerchief, Eeyore t-shirt and holding the tail with its drawing pin and ribbon|
|The Birthday banner behind Laura and Edmund|
|Eeyore on the easel as Edmund tries to pin the tail in the right place|
|Baby Amy in her Winnie the Pooh romper while holding her rattle|
My dress a Sasha entry was a favourite pass time - for a doll festival it felt right to enter 'sewing for and playing with dolls' as this is something I enjoy doing, an old fashioned and very useful skill. This gave me the lead for period of costume - one of my favourite Louisa May Alcott books is 'An Old Fashioned Girl' - the story of Polly Milton who visits her rich friends the Shaw family in the city and becomes an example to her friends of truly embodying the essence of life in the face of financial poverty. In one chapter, she successfully distracts the bored 6 year old sister Maud of her friend Fanny by helping her make clothes for her dolls as she sews clothes for her own younger sister's doll back home. Later, even Fanny who has 'outgrown' dolls, gets happily involved in sewing for them, much to her grandmother's delight.
The book was published in 1870 and was probably set in the early 1860s period. The book mentions that Polly wore simple grey or blue merino dresses with a bow in her curls. So I bought some dark blue wool fabric and decided that Florence would be Polly for this display. However I didn't have a girl toddler for Maud (the perfect excuse to seriously look for one).
|Setting up my Dress a Sasha display - An Old Fashioned Girl - sewing for and playing with dolls (DollMum's entry in made and assembled by adult category)|
|'Polly' in her dark blue merino dress, sewing for dolls|
By contrast, little 'Maud' (my new Iona, Maud is not her new name), wore a fashionable slightly off the shoulder 1860s child's dress with puffed lace trimmed sleeves, red boots, lace trimmed pantaloons (which were just going out of fashion) and crinoline (just coming into fashion) to display her full gathered skirts. I made the crinoline with white pipe cleaners and ribbons. Both pairs of boots were made by Lisa Hartley (who delivered the new little red boots to me in record time).
|'Maud' in her 1860s dress with crinoline and pantaloons holding her dolls|
|'Polly' and 'Maud'|
I had found some very tiny, short embroidery needles in their original packet in our local Oxfam shop, we already had the small cotton reels and sewing pins, the tiny scissors from a sewing kit had ugly red plastic handles which I spray painted silver and I made the miniature pin cushion. The trimmings were for miniature dolls clothes which I carefully rolled up and placed in two tiny dovetail boxes I had made years ago and placed them into the wooden chest. The tiny buttons were for miniature dolls too, the bowl I put them in was also from my dolls house. Polly's sewing (a partly made skirt) includes one of the needles which was really difficult to thread as the eye was so small.
|Polly's sewing basket, complete with fabric, needles in needle case, cotton reels and scissors|
|The reels of trimmings in their wooden boxes in the chest|
|The antique doll (which came as displayed, only wearing a scarf, in her own little card board box) along with the pincushion and buttons on the table|
Polly has her sewing basket complete with scissors, cotton reels, sewing needles, pins in her pin cushion and a box with trimmings, fabric and buttons. She is making a dress for the antique doll as Maud plays happily with her redressed dolls.
|An Old Fashioned Girl - sewing for and playing with dolls by DollMum (with the book in the background)|
After we had set up our displays we had a look at the others then went to join everyone else for the next bit of excitement in the ball room - the Gift Exchange. Each of us put a number (our registration number) in a bowl. The first person with a gift drew a number from the bowl and the person whose number was called went up to receive the gift, then drew the next number. This worked really well.
In the exchange my girl gave one of my toy kits and the Sasha sized Halloween felt glove puppets I had made. These went to Ellen C. My girl received a lovely white dress (made from a vintage tea towel) with a vintage mini Holly Hobbie doll to go with it, a perfect companion for Sasha. Later she also received a surprise extra gift as Peggy had been given a super little American flag outfit by Shirley B and decided that it would be perfect for the youngest English visitor. This outfit became Laura's (now famous on the Sasha Morgenthaler group on Facebook) travelling clothes as she explored the USA in our road trip after the festival. Thank you Peggy and Shirley for your generosity with this additional gift.
|My girl at the Gift Exchange with Cheryl C who gave her the dress and Holly Hobbie|
|Sheila explains about Holly Hobbie to my girl at the Gift Exchange|
|Raffie, the Elke with repainted eyes, and her lovely outfits and accessories|
|Raffie and her accessories|
|The beautiful 'calendar girl' donated by Ellen C with her lovely outfits donated by several different people, one for each month of the year|
|'Calendar' girl and some of the outfits|
|'Calendar Girl' outfits|
|A long table of Helper Raffle items|
|Surveying the Helper Raffle items|
|Looking at the Helper Raffle items|
|View towards the Children's Fund Auction items from the 'Experts' tables, as Anne V set up her 'Expert' display|
The next post is all about the Experts tables as Baby Mabel had her big moment.
If you've missed it, see part 1 of the Festival.