How did you get interested in sewing? Especially for dolls?
As soon as my mother would let me have a needle and thread, at about age 7, I was making clothing for my dolls. At first, it was because I wanted my dollies to have LOTS of wardrobe changes. The more I did it, the more I realized I enjoyed the sewing itself. I remember getting into the household “rag bag” to find interesting scraps for my creations.
What about Diana made you a fan?
Diana caught my interest from Day One. I loved watching her in her various outfits and she was such a breath of fresh air. And in a way, I identified with her. I will share something personal: my first marriage was a lot like hers to Charles. When the dolls came out, I asked my husband to buy me one for my birthday with the full intention of making outfits for her like the ones the full sized Diana wore.
What drove you to create the reproduction clothing for the Princess Diana dolls / and now the Duchess Catherine dolls?
I knew other Diana fans would love the clothes. As I looked around, I saw that many of the manufactured creations were not very good representations of the real dresses. I knew I could do better and that other fans might also appreciate better copies of the real things.
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 constantly look at my photos, so that when I run across a fabric that will work, I recognize it. Also, I have actually bought fabric that was partially the right thing, and painted it with fabric paint to make it look more like the original fabric. It’s in the photos I have included of the Belleville Sassoon creation in the Organza pastel. I painted the silver-swirled fabric with pink, blue and lavender fabric paint. Also, fabric weight is to be considered. A suiting for a full sized person is going to be probably too thick and bulky for a small fashion doll. I find something in a thinner, lighter fabric that looks like the fabric of the original and go from there.
What keeps you creating the outfits for these dolls?
I love to sew tiny things, accessories and small doll clothes for fashion-type dolls. My first Barbie had a wardrobe you would not believe!! But with the Diana, I have a more realistic shape, and I have to make the patterns from scratch, so the challenge is exciting. The more I do it, the more I love it. And the buyers are so generous with their praise, it feeds my ego as well!!
What would be the ultimate Diana doll outfit for you to create? Or if you have already created it – what outfit was it?
If you are talking about creating one of the outfits that Diana wore, that’s a hard one. I have been saving snippets of trims, lace, and fabric for the day I have the courage to recreate her wedding gown. I already have the pattern pretty much created for the bodice. But if I had to create an outfit of my own, I would create something that Diana would have worn in her happier times, but with a bit of sophistication from her later years. Diana looked absolutely stunning in the Princess Grace dress. I would make something with one of those strapless/sleeveless dresses with the dropped waist. The bodice would cling to her body like a second skin, and the skirt would flow to the floor. It wouldn’t be a tight skirt, but would have just enough material to float around her long legs; a flowing, drapery, and lightweight fabric. I’d use a lavender material and put her in silver shoes and with one of her trademark clutches in quilted silver. Earrings and necklace would be lustrous white pearls with tiny lavender stones to accent. Necklace would be not-quite-a choker with a small pearl and lavender pendant.
Kathy Boles’ E-Mail: email@example.com
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