Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cissy, With Scarlet Roses In Her Hair

Cissy is all dressed up in green velvet, with scarlet roses in her hair. She's sure to be the prettiest belle of the ball! Unusually, this doll didn't require the extensive restoration I usually perform. She'd already been to a doll hospital some time in the past where she was re-strung and had a knee split fixed.

Unfortunately, the restorer didn't stop there. Whoever it was decided to put an extreme amount of hair gel on her hair. I think Cissy's fancy updo is original to her and whoever restored her wanted to preserve it with gel. This made her hair darker looking and very stiff.

When I got Cissy I tried to wash the gel from her hair without messing up her style. Her hair was very dusty and in need of cleaning for that reason, besides the gel. I think this is Cissy # 2026 from 1958, who had red roses in her hair, or possibly 2098 of 1955 who wore hoop earrings. The roses seem to be sewn into the wig cap with the same thread that secures her hair, so my guess is they are original. The hoop earrings also seem original, as they are very tightly secured in her ears. When I tried to wash her hair the curl started coming out a little, so I stopped. I was able to remove a lot of the stiffness and all the dust.
Cissy had a scrape at the end of her nose which I repainted. While I had my paints out I applied a little blush to her cheeks and knees. Her hands retain their original blush. Then I got sick, as you know if you've been reading my blog, and I set her aside for a while.
The doll, before and after her nose was painted.
I pulled myself together the past few days just enough to try to get a dress ready for Cissy. A few months ago I bought a Jacqueline face Scarlett doll who had been in a storm or wet basement or something. The dress had water marks and rust stains all along the hem.

To restore it, I turned the hem up along the soutache trim and applied a new lace hem. I bought a wedding gown at Goodwill and cut lace from that dress to sew over the stained Scarlett skirt. I sewed this by hand over the course of a few days. Then I beaded it with Swarovski crystals in green and iridescent crystal beads. This has been a good project for me, since I could sit up and sew without much exertion. The dress turned out really well. It's absolutely encrusted with lace and crystals! It's heavy! The skirt flows out into a sort of train in the back. To help the skirt stand out I sewed a slip from tulle and the lining from the wedding gown. I added the original pantaloons  from the Scarlett costume. These have rust stains along the waist, but it isn't visible when they are worn under the dress. I added vintage white shoes with green rhinestones. Then I gave Cissy the original emerald necklace from the Scarlett costume, a vintage pearl bracelet, and I made her a rhinestone ring.

I think this Cissy turned out well. Of all the Cissys I have in my store right now, this is probably the most arresting when on display. I just got a new brunette Cissy, but her restoration will have to wait for me to finish a custom doll commission, a request from one of my best clients. I plan to use the green velvet jacket from the Scarlett costume, which is not damaged, for that doll. Keep watching this blog for that restoration. The Cissy shown here, along with two other Cissys and very many vintage Alexander dolls, are available in my store right now, so please check:


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