How did you get interested in sewing? Especially for dolls?
I have always been very crafty, I can fix things and do any kind of manual job I even changed the tile in my bathroom, painting and repairing small appliances.
What about Diana made you a fan?
The first thing about Diana I remember vividly is not going to school the day she got married, my mother and I were glued to the TV and watched the whole thing.i also remember the day she died, my husband sleeps with the TV on so he knew first thing when that happened and woke me up at about 4 AM that day to watch the news.
I thought her wedding dress was beautiful!. I always admire her taste for fashion, and followed her through the years by always checking magazines or TV appearance, I also remember watching her love story movie, I loved that movie, she was indeed a very special woman.
What drove you to create the reproduction clothing for the Princess Diana dolls / and now the Duchess Catherine dolls?
One day while working late in my office (I am import and purchasing manager in a Chemicals and fertilizer company – the real job), I met the office cleaning crew, and that day I met Brenda and her mother, Brenda is a doll collector, she introduced me to a magical world I never knew existed, she collects Tonner dolls, and is passionate about it. She asked me if I could fix a dress for one of her dolls that did not fit well, the next day she came back bringing one of her American Model dolls and the dress for me to fix.
Brenda gave me my first doll, a 22 inches American Model that my son named Dolly, she is the most beautiful doll with a very classy face. I started making gowns for AM.
One day I got an e-mail via eBay from a lady asking if I make 16 inch doll dresses, I answer no, I only had one doll, she gave me my second doll in exchange for doll gowns for 16 inches Tonner, that is how I got Valerie, my second doll, a beautiful blond Tyler. and I stated making 16 inched gowns.
When Kate and William got married I started to make Kate fashions for my 16 inched Tonner doll, but as I mentioned, she is blonde. So I bought a brunette one to model Kate’s clothes. That is about the time I bought my Kate doll and I started making doll dresses for the real doll. One day I got contacted by a lovely lady overseas that asked me if I wanted to be her “Catherine Walker” (I did not know at the time who Catherine Walker was) and started sending me pictures of Diana dresses for me to make for her doll, she was my inspiration to buy my own Diana doll (I got a good eBay deal from the recommendations I received from Catherine Ford Barbiero as to what was posted on eBay) this doll is my model today.
I try to make every piece as close as possible to the real piece, every detail , the color, fabric, seams, accessories etc.
I love to make every piece and I enjoy very much to see them complete, the best part of this journey is the people that I have met who are now darling friends.
I think I answered the third question in the first answer, I wish I can grow two more hands to make more dresses.
I am aware that at one point in time there was a gal who made fabric to match many of Princess Diana’s actual dresses but to the scale of the doll….. how do you find the fabrics you need for these reproduction outfits you make – no need to give away any secrets – just a general reply. What & how do you search for the fabrics?
I am always in the look for fabrics that look like the original ones, but every time I start a project I research about what kind of material was the original piece made of and the exact color, I am always making more than one project, sometimes 4 or 5 ideas are in my mind so I am always coming across materials that can be used for my projects.
What keeps you creating the outfits for these dolls?
I keep creating because I love to do it.
What would be the ultimate Diana doll outfit for you to create? Or if you have already created it – what outfit was it?
I have not created many of Diana’s outfits, I think lot 19 from the Christies catalog was pretty up there. I think I am still to make my masterpiece.
before I finish I want to thank you Catherine for the opportunity, I also want to thank Brenda and Valerie, you know who you are, I want to thank Betsy for her friendship and my new friend Danielle. also my gratitude to all my customers, the doll collectors. too many to name them all, you all know who you are, thank you for the trust and the appreciation for my work.
Bea’s Contact Info:
Facebook doll page: https://www.facebook.com/doll.dresses.by.bea?ref=ts