My Izannahs have a “new” red dress to share. The 19th century print fabric of the dress is still vibrant and beautiful, and is the main thing that drew me to the dress upon first sight. This dress has had some ill treatment in it’s life time, before finally ending up on eBay and making it’s way here to me. I can tell that it was originally made to fit a doll exactly the same size as my antique 18-19 inch tall Izannah Walker dolls. At some point, someone decided that they wanted to put it on a larger doll – and they were in a hurry to do so – because rather than altering the dress properly they just hacked away at it with a pair of scissors! The bottom of the sleeves were snipped, with a pair of pinking sheers, up through the ruffle, wrist band and gathering, to allow a larger hand and arm to fit through the sleeve. Then the original neckline and upper part of the dress was cut away to the bretelle ruffle, to accommodate a doll with a larger neck circumference.
Even though this dress is far from perfect the girls and I love it. The color is a wonderful Turkey red that I am very partial too and the trim is ingeniously embroidered cotton tape, which is a very thrifty way to add a charming accent to the dress.
I can happily say that when you are a doll collector and doll maker, buying a new dress for one of your dolls is every bit as exciting now as it was during childhood. I am equally as thrilled with this dress as my 11 year old niece was, with her carefully chosen purchases, during a recent trip to The American Girl’s Place in New York. The love of dolls runs in our family!
I’m adding this dress to my pile of dresses from which I will (hopefully) be drafting and selling patterns. The pile is getting rather sizable, so don’t hold your breath 🙂 The good news is that it’s much faster for me to make a pattern that is only for my own use, so if you love this dress I can certainly make you one when you order a custom made doll or just an extra dress for one of my Izannahs that you already own.
Everyone attending the second session of my Izannah Walker Doll Making Retreat October 1-3, will have a chance to examine this dress, and the others in my collection, in detail.