So this is Harriet. We didn’t play with her when we were little, but I don’t think it’s because Mom wouldn’t let us; I think that, knowing she was the only doll my Grandma saved for Mom, we respected her too much and didn’t want to risk injury. Isn’t she pretty?
I took these photos in a hurry on the morning we left Madison (where my parents life), so I didn’t have time to let the collar dry after wetting it a bit to finger-press it flat. Sorry. This is the dress the Harriet was wearing when Mom got her:
I’ve been thinking a lot about gathering and ruffles lately, which is surprising because I’m not a ruffle-y sort of designer. But I was remembering from school that, in the garment industry these days, you rarely see a ruffle with a ratio of more than 1.5 to 1 anymore. This dress clearly has at least a 2.5 to 1 ratio, I’d say. I like it. It’s not saccharine despite the fullness of the gathers. Maybe it’s the gray of the dress. Or maybe the extreme fullness keeps it from being too flirty and takes it to a more sophisticated level like Christian Dior’s New Look.
And here is the pinafore that goes over her dress, front and back:
I love grey for kids’ clothes, and this feels so subtle and contemporary to me. I’d love to do a pinafore for the Oliver + S line, but it would need to be updated a bit. Much as I love this one (especially those mitred corners!), we’re not a vintage pattern company, so I’d like to give it a contemporary spin.
My Mom’s aunt sewed this dress for Harriet.
She also sewed this corduroy coat with velvet collar and jet buttons:
And this seersucker nightgown, which is missing the gathering ribbon at the neckline:
I love the lace, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen solid-colored seersucker anywhere else. It’s subtle and would also be great for dresses, I think.
Several years ago (ok, more than several), I sewed American Girl clothes for my sisters’ dolls and really enjoyed making them. And even as a child I really appreciated the clothes my Mom made for our dolls; it’s such a thoughtful, intimate gesture, and I think children understand that doll clothes are made for no other reason than their own playing pleasure. That’s a pretty great expression of love, in my book.
We’ve had more than a few requests for doll-sized Oliver + S clothes, and I’m sure that eventually we’ll do something along those lines. But for now, I’m just appreciating all the care and time that went into these. And the details that make them so special.