Addy and Esther Walker

This picture was taken back in 2012, when my doll family was very small

Addy Walker was the second 18″ doll I ever bought, Shortly after I acquired Jack and later little Lavina.  Addy loved Lavina and cared for her, because she reminded her of her younger sister, Esther.

Now, Esther is finally here and Addy couldn’t be more excited.

 

She quickly introduced Esther to everyone and then showed her her bed, and the kittens and her elephant and her doll.

They played together all day, and when they were tired they cuddled on the bed happy to be together at last.

 

The Bed

I have always wanted to learn woodworking, primarily so that I could make doll furniture. I finally finished my first project, a doll bed. The plans are from Ana White found here. The bed was pretty easy, though I ended up gluing it together instead of using screws and I liked the color of the cherry wood I used so much that I decided to use shellac to finish it instead of paint. The finished bed is very sturdy and very big, two dolls could sleep in it easily.

I sewed the bedding, with no pattern, I just measured the bed to figure the size correctly.

Evangeline modeled it for me, to show everyone how big and cozy it is.

She likes it so much I don’t think she was keen on sharing it with anyone. But then Lucy, Jack’s dog, jumped up to join her.

And then they jumped around on the bed together.

“That’s not safe Evangeline!” Shouted Jack, as he came to find out what all the ruckus was about.

So, Evangeline and Lucy stopped jumping around and they all sat down on the comfy bed to chat.

Elsie and Caroline Abbott

Captain Abbott was a Captain of a merchant vessel in the early 1800’s. However, when the war of 1812 broke out in America, he took his daughters, Elsie and Caroline, and his crew and set off for safer harbors. On the journey, they accidentally ended up landing on The Island, and decided to settle there. Because of his sailing knowledge, Captain Abbott volunteered to sail between The Island and our world to collect people who might want to live on The Island and bring back goods that might not be easily made by the residents of The Island. Thus, he and his crew are frequently off sailing, while his daughters stay settled on The Island.

(These are entirely original characters created by me)

Caroline Abbott – Even though she is small and slight, she is a full two years older than her younger sister, Elsie, which means she is 12 years old. Caroline is a very proper young lady and much prefers to sit inside reading or sewing rather than running around.

Having traveled a little bit with her father, she has a fascination with languages and studies seriously with Ted, the bear. Due to studying with Ted, she has spent much time around him and Beatrice and has been influenced by them to also study philosophy, art, and the other humanities.

Her mother died shortly after Elsie was born, so she has had to figure out proper lady like behavior on her own and has had to try to teach Elsie. All this has worried her, but thankfully the ladies and mothers of The Island are more than willing to take her under their “wings” and look after her and her sister.

Elsie Abbott – Elsie loves the sea and sailing and ships, and would do anything to someday be a captain of one, just like her father. Sadly, she lives in a time where she is expected to be a lady and not pursue dangerous careers. She hates studying and sewing and being indoors. Instead, she enjoys climbing trees, building forts, helping on the ship when she can, helping at the Larsons’ farm, and running about playing games with anyone who will play with her. She loves joking around and is rarely ever serious.

Even though they are opposites and almost never see eye to eye, the Abbott sisters love each other and would do anything to take care of each other.

Christie-Ann Plays Outside

Christie-Ann and her friends – Sara, a little lamb, Noah, a curly haired boy, Cheechee, a large gorilla, and Pearl, a blonde-haired girl – were lying around outside one sunny afternoon.

“I’m bored,” decided Cheechee.

“We could find shapes in the clouds,” suggested Christie-Ann.

“No we can’t,” replied Pearl, “because there are no clouds in the sky.”

“Look!” shouted Noah, “little ants in the rocks!”

So they all turned over to watch the little bugs march past.

Once tiring of that, they all sat up. All of a sudden, Cheechee noticed the clothesline hanging across the yard.

Being a gorilla, he confidently climbed up the rope and balanced on top of it.

“Look at me!” He shouted to the others.

“Please be careful, Cheechee!” Pearl shouted back, worriedly.

“Yes, please don’t hurt yourself!” the others echoed.

All of a sudden, Cheechee crashed down next to them. Thankfully, he landed on a pile of leaves.

“Are you okay?” asked Pearl.

“I’m fine. I’m not hurt at all. What do you all want to do now?” Cheechee asked.

“Let’s go see if anything is growing in the garden!” Pearl decided.

So they all walked over to where the garden stood.

And they all climbed up into the raised bed.

Nothing was growing; the heat of summer had killed everything.

“Aww,” sighed Noah, “I really wanted a snack.”

“Me too,” replied Christie-Ann, “I guess we just have to go inside to get one.”

So they all walked back into the house…

…and shared a yummy snack.

The End

Lacey Whites resized Pattern

To finish the Edwardian Undergarments ensemble, a proper little girl really needs a corset cover and a petticoat. American Girl made an 18″ sized pattern for these that you can download for free here. I drafted a 16″ version and a 14″ version so that the littlest girls don’t feel left out.

Lacey Whites 14and16

Supplies Needed:

  • 1/2 yd white lightweight cotton (I used cotton voile)
  • 3 yds lace
  • Insertion lace (optional)
  • 8 buttons
  • Ribbon

Cut out:

2 bodice backs

1 bodice front

2 waistbands

1 Skirt

Sew the shoulder seams of the bodice. (1/4″ seam allowance)

Gather between dots at the neck on the bodice front.

Sew lace to the neck seam right sides together.

Turn the seam to the wrong side and top-stitch the lace down.

Sew the lace to the armhole seam, right sides together.

Turn and top-stitch the lace.

Sew the underarm seam, right sides together. (or sew a french seam and skip the next step.)

Zigzag or serge to finish the underarm seam.

Repeat with the other arm.

If you used insertion lace, thread the ribbon through now. Cut two pieces of 1/8″ wide ribbon about 10″ long. Find the center of the neck and start both pieces of ribbon at the center and thread it to the back of the bodice.

Hem the bodice back by turning under the edge 1/4″ once and then 1/4″ again. (If using insertion lace and ribbon, be sure to catch the edge of the ribbon in this seam.)

Iron the two waistbands  in half along the fold line right sides together and fold one long side under ¼ inch and iron.

Sew the short sides of the waistbands, clip the corners, turn right side out.

Gather the bottom of the bodice between the dots.

Fit the gathers to one of the waistbands. Sew to the waistband. (only the non-folded long edge.) (the other waistband is for the petticoat.)

Turn the waistband right sides out, sandwich the seam into the waistband and top-stitch the waistband down.

Sew the buttons and buttonholes on the back. If you want, you can sew two buttons to the front of the bodice at the waistband, to connect the petticoat to. (not pictured here)

For the petticoat:

If making the 18″ doll version, sew the gusset to the two side pieces.

Finish the seams, either with a zigzag stitch or sew a french seam.

Sew the lace to the bottom hem, right sides together.

Using the tuck placement guide, mark and sew the tucks.

To sew a tuck: Fold the fabric wrong sides together at the middle line. Iron the fold. Sew 1/4″ from the edge of the fold (or 1/8″ for the smaller dolls).

Sew the back seam.

Zigzag stitch to finish the seam.

Fold the fabric under to make a placket at the top and sew.

Gather the top of the skirt and fit to the second waistband. Sew the skirt to one edge of the waistband. Turn the waistband right side out and catch the skirt seam in the waistband and top-stitch down.

Sew a button and button hole to the back.

If you want you can also sew two buttonholes in the front waistband of the skirt, matching the placement of the two buttons on the bodice. (not pictured here)

I think Samantha is a little jealous of Nellie’s pretty new lacey whites, don’t you?

If you didn’t use insertion lace on the bodice, you can hand sew a little bow to the front.

 

The Hunt for the Unicorn

Katarina loved horses. She loved them so much that all her hobbies related to horses. She drew them, and studied them, and spent her time dreaming about them. However, she did not own a horse, and could not afford to buy one.

One day, Katarina and Lavina went for a walk in the forest, and as they were wandering about, they came upon the witches, Canditha and Faithira.

“Could you help me get a horse?” asked Katarina.

“I’m not so sure I have the power to do that,” replied Canditha, “But I know of someone who does: the great and powerful Unicorn of the forest, Steve. If you find  him, he will grant you three wishes.”

“Is he really hard to find?” questioned Lavina.

“That depends on what you are looking for,” replied Canditha mysteriously.

And so, the girls set off to search for the unicorn.

But… they weren’t alone. There was someone listening in on their conversation… it was none other than the greedy monster, Cylder.

Cylder wanted treasure and riches more than anything else, but he was not willing to work at all. The possibility of getting a bunch of wishes without doing anything seemed to him a great idea, so he secretly followed the girls in their quest to find the unicorn.

Poppy was lonely. Luna the fairy had become a great friend ever since they first met, but she was often busy with various fairy duties, and then Poppy was left all alone. She really wanted to be friends with the other girls in town, but she thought they found her silly, and Poppy didn’t think that any of them believed in fairies.

“Hi, Poppy!” exclaimed Luna, landing next to Poppy, “Sorry I’m late… is that why you are so sad?”

“A little,” explained Poppy. “But it’s also because I don’t have any other friends, and I’d like some. I want other kids that will play with me.”

“Hmm…” thought Luna, “I’m not sure how I can help you with that, but supposedly somewhere in this forest there is a great and powerful unicorn, and if you can find him, he will grant you three wishes. Maybe he can help.”

“Ok,” said Poppy, “will you help me find him?”

“Of course,” replied Luna. So they set off down the hill to search the whole forest for Steve, the powerful unicorn.

 

Near the edge of the forest, on the Larsons’ farm, Brianne and Squargles were watching the goats, when Lavina and Katarina, who were still searching for the unicorn, walked up.

“Hello, girls!” Shouted Brianne, as friendly as always.

“Hello, Brianne and Squargles!” they replied.

“What brings you all the way out here?” Brianne asked.

“We are looking for Steve, the magical unicorn, so that he can grant our wishes,” explained Katarina.

“Wow, I didn’t know unicorns actually existed, what are you going to wish for?” asked Brianne.

“A horse,” replied Katarina.

Of course, Cylder was still following them and trying to stay out of sight, but his fellow monster, Squargles, quickly spotted him.

“Cylder!” hollered Squargles, “what are you doing here? Have you accepted my offer of honest work?”

“No, answered Cylder sheepishly as he came out of hiding. “I’m also looking for the unicorn! Then I can get my wish to be the richest person in the world.”

Lavina and Katarina looked very surprised, but they were kind-hearted, so they offered to work together. That way, Cylder could share a wish, as they only needed one.

“That’s very kind of you girls,” Squargles decided. “Are you going to accept it, Cylder?”

“I suppose…” Cylder was still very half-hearted. He had wanted all three wishes for himself, but he realized that this was his only option if he wanted to still appear decent in front of Squargles.

“We could help you all,” offered Brianne. “These goats will be okay here for a while.”

And so, they all set off into the forest to continue searching together.

Meanwhile, Poppy and Luna were resting and watching the clouds float past.

Then Brianne, Katarina, Lavina, Squargles, and Cylder came upon them.

“Hello,” said Brianne, “what are you two doing here?”

“Wait, you can see Luna?” questioned Poppy.

“Of course we can. Why wouldn’t we be able to?” asked Brianne.

“Only people who believe in fairies can see them,” explained Luna.

“Well, we’re all looking for a unicorn, so it’s not surprising for us to also believe in fairies,” replied Katarina.

“Oh, we are also looking for the unicorn,” Said Poppy.

“Cool! Between us, we have one more wish, so if you want to, you can join us, and we can look together,” offered Katarina.

Poppy and Luna happily accepted the offer and they all went off searching together, laughing and talking and becoming good friends as they explored the forest.

It took a while, but at last everyone reached a clearing, where they saw a figure shining brightly in the afternoon sun. Sitting on a rock in the middle of the clearing was the majestic and powerful unicorn, basking in all his magical glory.

At first, they were all too awed to speak.

“Are you the unicorn?” Katarina asked bravely.

“Yep!” came the answer. “My name is Steve the unicorn. What can I do for all of you today?”

“We are here for our wishes.” demanded Cylder.

“Oh, what are they?” queried Steve.

“Friends!” Poppy said.

“A horse!” Katarina pleaded.

“Riches!” Cylder exclaimed.

“Oh,” said Steve.

 

“Well Poppy, you look like you’ve become friends with all these people, even if you weren’t earlier. Are you all friends with her?” replied Steve.

“Of course!” exclaimed Brianne. “If you ever feel lonely, any of us will hang out with you. Then you could tell me more about fairies, and we can go explore the forest together.”
Poppy smiled from ear to ear.

“And Katarina,” Steve continued, “Brianne works with horses at the Larsons’ farm, I’m sure she will teach you how to ride and care for the horses and maybe let you have one of your own. Is that correct, Brianne?”

Brianne nodded enthusiastically, “Of course! I would love to teach you! Though… we would have to ask Mr. Larson if you can have one, but I’m sure if he saw that you could take care of them and loved them he would agree.”

“Wow! Really?” said Katarina excitedly. “I never would have thought to ask! You all work so hard, and I thought I was too young.”

“No one is ever too young to start learning, according to Mr. Larson,” explained Brianne.

“Now, Cylder,” Steve went on, “True riches are not found in gold or silver. Instead, they are found in good friends and in hard work. Don’t be just a monster hiding in a cave, all the while dreaming of an unrealistic fantasy. That will leave you disappointed in life.

“Instead, work hard and serve other people, like these here, and keep them as your friends. Then you will find the true riches of life.”

With a magical whoosh, Steve the unicorn disappeared, leaving everyone happy and content (and although Cylder was a little disappointed at the moment, he later realized the wisdom of what Steve had said).

All of them had gotten their wishes fulfilled, and they all returned to town in good spirits, enjoying the friendships they had built that day.

The End.

The Bears

These Bears live in a little house, which is filled with books, antiques, and all the little things scholarly bears enjoy collecting. Officially it was Ted’s house and the others kind of just moved in with him, but by now most just see it as the bear house.

Fuzzy Wuzzy – A small little bear; all he wants in the world is to be tall and handsome. Instead he is little and fuzzy. He lives with Ted, but he does not care for books or studying. He does love musicals and the theater and wouldn’t mind starring in one someday. Eventually he ends up in the land of the Little People and he (sort of) saves them all from the dragons, after which the Korean Princess Bear falls in love with him and finds him the handsomest, bravest man ever.

Kuro – Most of the time he lives with the Little People, but, being a cousin of Fuzzy Wuzzy, he sometimes lives with the bears. Unlike his cousin, he actually enjoys reading – as long as the story is high adventure with lots of fighting. He loves to imagine himself as a brave adventurer but ends up merely getting others to do all the work.

Ted – Hailing from South Korea, Ted loves reading difficult books, learning languages, studying natural science, and world travel. In fact, he really is the epitome of the perfect Victorian gentleman. He is a bachelor and really appreciates the quiet life of living alone (or rather, he did enjoy the quiet life of living alone until several other bears moved in with him). For work, he tutors anyone in any of the languages he is fluent in. He owns a massive library and loves tending his little garden.

The Korean Princess Bear – Miss Princess is very quiet and shy. She used to live with the Little People and helped rule over them as one of their Princesses. But when Fuzzy Wuzzy came along, she fell in love with him and now lives with him. She prefers to stay inside or stroll in their little garden and avoids the town. Sometimes she goes out and visits the Little People, though usually Fuzzy Wuzzy is with her.

Beatrice – She is a world traveler and is almost always gone traveling. Every once in a while she travels with Ted, and they originally met while touring China. When she is in town, she spends her time editing and publishing her travel journals, and visiting with the people of the town. As soon as she publishes her latest memoirs, she is off again visiting some new and delightful land.

Edwardian Undergarments Supplies

Supplies Needed:

  • ½ yd white lightweight cotton
  • ¼ yd white flannel
  • 1 package single fold bias tape
  • 15” 3mm wax covered cord
  • 1 yd 1mm cotton cord
  • 10 – 4mm eyelets
  • 9 buttons 10mm, 7mm, or 5mm wide
  • 1 yd – ¼” wide lace

Most of the supplies used in this pattern are easy to find, but a couple are not as much, so I will talk over what I used so you can use either what I used or find something similar.

First is the lightweight cotton. As you can see, most of the girls have their undergarments made from a simple bleached muslin – easy to find at any fabric store. Nellie, however, has hers made from cotton voile, a much lighter weight fabric.

Left is muslin, Right is voile

If you decide to use voile, you cannot use it for the corset. The corset needs a slightly heavier weight fabric than voile. Muslin will work for the corset especially since it is lined with 100% cotton flannel.

Cotton flannel should be easy to find as well as the single fold bias tape. As you can see in this picture, I used a variety of colors of bias tape around the edges. Various creams and tans, white, and pale pink.

You can use whatever color you like. I think I prefer the white on white, and it feels the most accurate. This example is cream with cream edging, but I don’t know if some of that is just due to discoloration from aging.

http://manchesterartgallery.org/collections/search/collection/?id=1958.108

I also found a girl’s corset from this time that was made in blue fabric, sadly I can’t find the picture anymore. Really, you could make the corset in whatever colors you want, though I would try to keep them light so that it doesn’t show under any dresses.

The wax covered cord might be a little more difficult to find. The wax cord is used to add support to the corset and is much easier to use than boning. Originally, I used some I had in my stash (pictured above) but later I bought this and it worked well.

1mm cotton cord is quite small and I was unable to find it at Hobby Lobby or Joanns, so many of the dolls have lacing that is kind of thick. So long as your cord will fit through your eyelets you should be fine.

For the eyelets I was unable to find anything smaller than 4mm at Hobby Lobby. I think something slightly smaller, like 3mm, would look a bit better, especially on the smaller dolls. But, sadly, I have been unable to find any. I have heard that you might be able to find eyelets that would be smaller in the scrap-booking section, so maybe look there, I didn’t remember that when I was looking.

When you do buy your eyelets, make sure they come with some little extra pieces so you can pound them in.

I was very happy to be able to find some teeny tiny buttons at Hobby Lobby, which work perfectly for doll clothing. In the past when I have looked at Joanns I was unable to find buttons that small, so I don’t know if they have them or not. But having your buttons to scale with your doll really make the overall effect much more realistic looking.

For the lace, you can use whatever 1/4″ wide lace you want. Have fun picking the lace out and I hope you enjoy making these undergarments. 🙂

 

The History behind the Edwardian Undergarments Pattern

Corset – For little girls this wasn’t the restricting garment of their mothers. Instead it was a corded (not boned) garment designed merely to encourage a girl to sit and stand with good posture and train them to be ladies.  It laces in the back for a perfect fit (not too tight but not too loose) but buttons in the front so that the young lady can dress herself. Most corsets that I have seen also have buttons or tabs for attaching to the drawers or to petticoats or garters; this doll version does not have them, mostly because a little doll won’t be moving about near as much as a little girl does.

Chemise – The chemise was a simple garment worn next to the skin and under the corset. This way sweat and dirt wouldn’t affect the corset and instead would only soil the chemise, which was easily laundered. Being that the Edwardians loved as much lace and frill as possible, this “simple” garment was frequently quite decked out. My version only has a bit of lace on the hem because I intended it to have Samantha’s Lacey Whites worn over it as a corset cover and petticoat. If you wish, it would be a simple alteration to add some lace around the neck and sleeves.

Samantha’s Lacey Whites made from the pattern here.

Drawers – By the Edwardian era drawers had gotten short so that they didn’t show underneath dresses, but they still featured a bit of frill. Because of all the layers of clothing still worn, especially the corset, drawers were generally still split crotch. This made it much easier to use the lavatory, especially if one’s drawers were buttoned to one’s corset. This dolly version is not buttoned to anything but I still figured it would be easier for the dolls if they didn’t have to fiddle with buttons whenever they needed to use the facilities. 😉

Here are the links to some more examples:

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-1eef-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.ca/scripts/viewobject.php?Lang=1&section=false&accessnumber=M2006.110.1&imageID=316076&pageMulti=2

http://manchesterartgallery.org/collections/search/collection/?id=1958.108

http://omgthatdress.tumblr.com/post/39966311855/girls-corset-1890-the-victoria-albert-museum

Edwardian Undergarments Sewing Pattern

(For more detail on the pattern see here, here, and here.)

As I explained in an earlier post here, All my Parkington girls needed proper Edwardian underwear, so I set about making them. This led to me developing a sewing pattern so that others can make proper undergarments for their dolls. This pattern includes instructions to make a chemise, drawers, and a corset-waist. You can purchase the different sizes here: 14″, 16″, 18″

The pattern is rated at intermediate, but most of the individual steps are easy, so if you follow the directions carefully it shouldn’t be too hard. Of course if you run into any problems please don’t hesitate to contact me at TheresaEStruebel@gmail.com  and I will be willing to help you out.

Coming in 3 sizes; 14″, 16″, and 18″; this pattern should provide whatever size you need, fitting Heart for Hearts dolls, Wellie Wishers dolls, Ginger Brook Hollow Dolls, A Girl for all Time dolls, and American Girl Dolls.

If your doll is similarly sized to one of these dolls it might fit, though you may need to tweak the pattern a little, i.e. moving the closures. Here is a table with the measurements of my dolls so you can compare.

Wellie Wishers doll Hearts for Hearts doll
Bust 7” 6 ¾”
Waist 6 ½” 6”
Hip 8” 7 ¼”
Back neck to Waist 3 ½” 2 ¾”
Shoulder to Wrist 4 ¼” 4”
Arm 3” 2 ½”
Wrist 2 ½” 1 ¾”
Shoulder to Floor 11 ½” 11”
Neck 4” 4”
Inseam 5 ¾” 6”
Waist to Floor 7 ¾” 7 ¾”
Head circumference 10 ½” 10”
A Girl for all Time doll Ginger Brook Hollow doll
Bust 8” 7 ½”
Waist 7 ½” 6 ¾”
Hip 9” 8 ½”
Back neck to Waist 3 ½” 4”
Shoulder to Wrist 6” 5 ½”
Arm 3 ½” 3”
Wrist 2 ¾” 2 ½”
Shoulder to Floor 13” 13”
Neck 4 ¾” 4”
Inseam 7” 6 ½”
Waist to Floor 9” 9”
Head circumference 11 ¼” 10”
American Girl Doll
Bust 12”
Waist 11 ½”
Hip 12 ½”
Back neck to Waist 4 ½”
Shoulder to Wrist 5 ¾”
Arm 4 ¼”
Wrist 3 ¾”
Shoulder to Floor 14 ¾”
Neck 6”
Inseam 7”
Waist to Floor 10”
Head circumference 12 ½”