Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lois's Wedding Dress Doll (& a tutorial)

Good Tuesday afternoon to you dear friends & readers

Way back sometime mid last year, my friend Lois bought me an order to do for her
You can read about part of Lois's order in this post here 

Scrunched up in the bottom of the plastic bag was Lois's wedding dress.
Although I completed the rest of the order, I can't tell you how many times that dress came out of my sewing room cupboard, then was thrown right back in again . . .(& the door slammed shut tightly !!!)
I decided I had procrastinated enough !!!***
The dress itself was in a sorry state .  .  .

Front View of Dress                                                                          Back view
Lois got married nearly 50 years ago now ... & although the dress in its day, would've been beautiful ... it was now neglected & yellowed with age . . .

This time - for a change - its not my photography making it look yellowed . . . it actually IS very yellow
Though the train was gorgeous, there was very little lace detailing to work with, apart from using the flowers off the train, & the lace up the sleeves. The rest of the dress was quite plain.
I decided I was going to need to make a decent size doll, to do it justice ... so I chose Charlotte by Rosalie Quinlan designs as she is 70 cm's in length
I tentatively cut out my pieces, then I needed to try to clean the fabric.
I dissolved a strong mixture of Napisan in hot water, then made it up to luke warm.  I soaked my pieces overnight, then just rinsed them really well in cold water, then hung them on the line in the sun to dry.  They came out spotless.
(phew . . . what a relief!!)

I made the entire dress using the heavy satin & then used one lace sleeve for a "pinny" at the front.
The sleeves were made from a fine silky organza fabric.
The cuffs became the bodice & I managed to use one button-up cuff for the back so the dress is removable.

I handstitched some of the ribbon roses that were in good condition still, to the hem of the dress

I used more of the heavy satin for her pantaloons & edged them with a vintage lace.  Recently Lois had given me an old powder box filled with some lace pieces that had belonged to her late Mum & this length of lace was in there.

The remaining sleeve was used to fashion some dainty ribbon roses which I used in her hair as a kind of "fascinator" headpiece (& I added some feathers)
When she was finished I realised she needed something to hold in her hands . . .

I still had some larger size ribbon roses that I had removed from the train so I wired these with some florist wire . . .

. . . & made her a bouquet to hold

I love her . . . but I now have a deep respect for the women that sew wedding dresses . . .
 working with the heavy satin & sewing the slippery organza over the top of it all very nearly did my head in !!!! 

-  Beautiful  -

. . .  A Suitcase Planter Tutorial  . . .

My friend Lynda phoned & asked me if I would like a Vulcanite Suitcase she was going to dump??
I said "yes please" - even though I didn't actually know what a Vulcanite Suitcase was  :-)

When Lynda's husband dropped it off he said the lid was split & broken & it was only really fit for the dump . . . 
but I thought perhaps it could look cute planted with flowers ??

Cut your timber lengths on a slant at the top for the lid to sit on

I drilled in two lengths of timber to hold the lid open - I use my ordinary kindling for this job as I find it is sturdy, but not too thick to drill either

Line the case with two big black rubbish bags & puncture some holes in the bottom of the bags - clothes pegs are good to hold the bags from slipping as you fill the case with your potting mix.

Work out the placement of your plants ... you could use just punnets of flowers but as I wanted instant colour, Mitre 10 stores throughout the country currently have 10 potted colour for $10 . . . which I thought was a bargain

Viola . . . one suitcase of flowers ready to grow & spill out . . . one Vulcanite Suitcase saved from landfill.
I just lift the lid to water it every couple of days.
You can read another post about suitcase planting I have done here

Thanks SO much for your visit today folks - rather a photo heavy post I am sorry.
Before I go ... could Trish (who commented on my last blog post) please email me (stitchedbyjulie@hotmail.com) - Trish I am unable to answer your question as you are coming up as a no-reply blogger.

I will leave you today with Jinxy "pondering her stressful life" . . .
Click on the photo to enlarge it - if you wish  :-)

with much love & friendship to you all dear readers.
Julie x0x0


  1. Hi Julie, your little wedding doll is gorgeous. What a beautiful way to use a wedding dress but like you I probably would have felt anxious about cutting into it. So that's what a Vulcanite suitcase is. We have 3 of those in the garage ready for the skip but may now get a second life. The suitcase looks amazing all prettied up with its floral bouquet.

  2. Wow Julie, what a wonderful remake you have done on the wedding dress, it looks truly wonderful! I bet it was a bit nerve wracking... You have totally done it proud xxx

  3. You have created an heirloom that will look beautiful forevermore, Julie! 'Tis such a lovely keepsake. You have done a fabulous job stitching those tricky fabrics. The bouquet finishes the doll perfectly. Love the suitcase. Such a clever notion to plant flowers in it.

  4. The doll is beautiful, a wonderful keepsake for the owner of the dress, must have been very scary cutting into something so precious!. I like your suitcase display - very pretty. Betty

  5. Wow! You are so clever - the doll is fantastic, and love the idea for the suitcase - looks great!

  6. Julie you are so very very talented!! The doll turned out so lovely, what a great way to use a wedding dress. Then you go fill an unwanted suitcase with flowers.....unreal, such a fab idea. Jinx is far to well fed to need to go bird hunting, and anyway that pole is in her way!! Bless her.

  7. What a gift you have Julie! The doll looks amazing, such a great idea to make a bouquet as well, just perfect.

  8. That doll is so beautiful.... wonderful idea! I have a suitcase just like that I think flowers might be filling it next year, Thanks for sharing. Lovely photo of Jinxy.

  9. Jinxy!!!! behave yourself! beautiful doll, I bet Lois will be delighted with her new keepsake. Great do up for the old suitcase.

  10. What a joy it is to visit Julie. How gorgeous and precious is that doll. I adore it! You are so clever. Oh and that floral beauty in the suitcase...beautiful xx

  11. A wonderful heirloom doll Julie. I am always inspired by your cleverness.

  12. Hello Julie,
    I am amazed at all those buttons on the original wedding dress. You did such a lovely job creating the doll. Working on those fabrics must have been so hard. Does she have a little wedding garter under that dress.
    The suitcase garden is lovely, a new word for us to learn as well. Vulcanite, hope I can use it in conversation somehow!

    Happy days.

  13. Beautiful job you have done with the wedding gown Julie. Your suitcase looks wonderful. Hugs Shirley

  14. What a beautiful dress, just stunning well worth all that sewing. Your suitcase flower garden is sweet - a terrific idea.

  15. O-M-G! That doll is so beautiful, I have my wedding dress stuffed in a suitcase in the loft with no idea what to do with it, BUT could I cut it up? Mmm not sure, last time it saw the day? 25 yrs ago this coming October...maybe time to do something with it. I might need some pointers from you. The suitcase looks great :D Naughty kitty ;)

  16. I love the suitcase planter box. What a neat idea! I have an old suitcase that I have been trying to figure out what to do with. I think I just found my inspiration!

  17. Dear Julie, I do have to say that I do so love your particular brand of creativity because it incorporates the most wonderful use of a certain kiwi kind of ingenuity. You don't just create out of imagination, you set your mind to a task & you come up with the cleverest of clever outcomes!! To salvage the essence of memory, of the wedding dress, in such a way, is just fantastic!! Glad the napisan worked out : 0 The antithesis of Parisian Essence! Such a great save on the suitcase. Love the Mitre 10 deal. Might have to pop around the corner myself this weekend. I've just been sitting sieving seeds...goodness the junk that gets in with them. Some seeds are easy & others are quite a bit of bother like the honeywort...but worth it. How's the cat hugging mission going? Much love from the menagerie here x0x0x

  18. Wow!! Your doll has turned out incredibly beautiful. What a fine job you
    did on the outfit, love the flowers in her hands. You've made that suitcase
    look a million bucks!! Love your companion ponder their stressful life. lol
    Cheers, Anita.

  19. Lois's Wedding Dress Doll (& a tutorial). Good Tuesday afternoon to you dear friends & readers. Way back sometime mid last year, my friend ... wweddingdresses.blogspot.com

  20. Hey Julie, what a great work you have done! I just loved this wedding dress and doll is looking cute in that. The idea of making bouquet is just amazing. Well Now I also need to book a fabulous dress for my sister who is getting married at Los Angeles wedding venues. Any idea from where we can get beautiful yet dress in budget?

  21. You have got really creative ideas. You can also take help from the Plus size wedding dresses if you are going to be a bride soon. This will simply help you to get some more ideas for your beautiful doll too and you can wear it if you are a would be bride.


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