let me introduce you to Doris

Hello everyone!  It’s been a gorgeous sunny Saturday!  My other half has been out digging in his vegetable garden getting ready to plant some raspberry plants) , animals have been sunning themselves

cats

sometimes, just in the veranda, but most of the time outside, enjoying the garden

merlin2

bjack

(you can see raspberry plants in their little pots, just waiting to be taken down to the vegetable garden ^^

I have been doing some secret sewing . . . can’t show you the finished items, but I can show you fabric

for Titia 01

AND I’ve also been admiring a new “toy”.  Which is where I say “Let me introduce you to Doris!”

doris1

I say new toy, but in fact it’s very vintage.  Belonged to my husband’s maternal grandmother, who everyone called Bonne Maman.  Now, Doris has seen better days.  Bonne Maman was born in 1902 and was a professional seamstress.  This dummy was the model she used when making fitted clothes for all the chic Lyonnaise ladies throughout her entire working life.  Doris lived through WWII and the German occupation of France . . . she helped Bonne Maman (who was a widow) make a decent living and raise her family.  And then, she was put into storage and forgotten about.

She is made of a really thick cardboard, and covered in some sort of wadding which is covered in turn with linen.  In the photo she’s wearing a grubby tight-fitting roll-neck Tshirt that Bonne Maman obviously put on her at one point because the original covering fabric is worn so thin, it has ripped and torn in places. Even looks burned in some areas, so I imagine Bonne Maman actually ironed clothes when they were on the dummy?

I plan on cleaning her up and Doris will then come and join me in my sewing room.  I’ve never tried clothes making before, but am feeling very inspired after seeing what other blogging friends make.  Doris has a rather flat bust, but her  other vital statistics are identical to mine!  She should be an excellent model (especially for my beginner sewing skills).  

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14 thoughts on “let me introduce you to Doris

  1. You could try putting a padded bra on her in the right size. She’s also very slender in the hips – that classic 1930s shape. How lovely that dummies are coming out of closets all over the world! I’ve recently heard about one called Miranda, who finally got to wear a red evening dress that had been waiting to be hemmed for three years!

    • I’m already ahead of you there ^^ Haven’t put a padded bra on her as I don’t wear padded bras, but Doris is now sporting one of my old, tired, bras which will just need a little wadding stuffed inside. Doris won’t get to wear anything as elegant as a red evening dress however, she’ll be lucky if I manage to make a simple tunic lol.

      • But at least she’s out in the sunshine and seeing some action. I like the idea of all these dummies coming out of the closet! Hmmm. Perhaps there’s a blog post there…

    • with my dress sense, poor Doris probably won’t be used very often, but I am glad she’s here. Couldn’t bear to think of her sitting any longer in storage or, even worse, being sold to a complete stranger. This way, she’ll be with family and can keep me company while I patchwork even if I don’t get around to clothes making

  2. your pets all look so happy to be in te4h sunshine, lucky creatures!
    Doris is amazing! I am sure you can find blogs about how to alter her dimensions to better match your own – and then you will become a fantastic seamstress! I have always wanted a dressmaker form, but haven’t found one I like/trust to be accurate that doesn’t cost the earth. And I have to face facts – it might wind up in storage wearing a t shirt. 🙂

    • what actually worries me the most, now that I’ve given her a name, is that I’ll start talking to Doris ^^ I already talk to my animals AND my sewing machine, so why not to a dummy? lol.

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