Monday, July 28, 2014

Something Blue Cissy

Beautiful Bride, Cissy

A couple weeks ago I won a box lot of 1950s dolls that included a Cissy doll. Cissy came with a wedding gown, but she needed some serious spa time before her big day. Cissy's original mommy was evidently a vicious little beast! Cissy's hair was ripped off, one finger was gnawed almost completely away, and she had hip splits.

Cissy was missing lots of hair.
This Cissy is an earlier doll, with a pale, porcelain finish complexion and un-pierced ears. I was sure I'd have to re-wig her, because half her hair was ripped off. I hate to do that because these dolls are more valuable with the most original features. However, I was able to style it and give it a new set in such a way that you can't really see the missing hair. I sewed the hair into place and hid the stitches with piled up curls. A tiny bit of her wig seam is still visible in front. Cissy had some cut hair besides the missing hair, but her tight curls blend in the shorter ends, and her veil and coronet of flowers help disguise any flaws even further.

The wig seam still shows slightly.

Cissy's veil and coronet hide any remaining flaws.
Cissy's eyes had yellowed from age and improper storage, she was missing some eyelashes, and she had a chunk of paint chipped off the end of her nose. I cleaned her eyes thoroughly and then I painted over the whites of her eyes with a thin coat of special glass paints in white.  These are used to paint faux stained glass decorations and are available at craft stores. This paint is transparent so it lightens the eyes without looking obvious. Cissy's irises are very green now, but the whites are lighter now. The rest of Cissy's face paint is original and impressive. She even retains her smoky eye shadow!

Cissy's eyes and nose before restoration.

I gave Cissy a partial lash replacement. This is noticeable if you look very closely, but otherwise it's not obvious. I repainted the end of her nose with oil-based paint and sealed it with matte varnish.

Cissy after eye and nose restoration.

Cissy nearly lost her fingertip in a terrible daiquiri mixing accident, but luckily she had a great plastic surgeon. Her finger was rebuilt with hard plastic epoxy and re-painted. The injury is still visible, but she holds her bouquet in that hand so it doesn't really show. Her thumb on that hand has a bite mark in it but it's not severe.

Cissy's rebuilt finger and "diamond" ring.
I repaired small splits mostly inside Cissy's hip sockets. One of her vinyl arms has some tearing inside the socket. I re-strung her head and arms with durable elastic and the arms are tight enough to hide the vinyl inside the body. I left Cissy's head a little loose to protect her seams, but it's tight enough to pose and to allow her sleep eyes to function. There are some lighter spots of paint on the backs of Cissy's legs, so I painted over them lightly and sealed them to help blend them in.

A repaired hip split, the only visible one.
Once Cissy was all cleaned up I focused on her outfit. Cissy came with a beautiful un-tagged brocade wedding gown. I'm not sure whether it's a factory dress or not. I think it could be seamstress made because it has lots of hand sewn work. It's just exquisitely sewn! The neckline is absolutely encrusted with tiny beads. I repaired a couple small holes in the lace puffed sleeves. Under the dress a pretty petticoat adds fullness. I gave Cissy a 1950s coronet of flowers by Madame Alexander. I attached new tulle to the headpiece. Then I gave Cissy a 1960s Alexander wedding bouquet and a vintage glass "pearl" choker. I made her an adjustable rhinestone ring.

Cissy in her vintage brocade gown.
I made Cissy some new shoes by adding new elastic and vintage flowers to vintage plastic bases. The flowers have glass bead centers in blue. I also made Cissy some garters using matching gold elastic with little blue ribbon and glass bead accents, Cissy's "something blue". One of the flowers in her bouquet is blue but it's so faded it's hard to see. I made Cissy a cute set of underpants, but they turned out super tight in the thighs and it's really hard to get them on and off. Sigh... I feel you, Sister! Cissy was supposed to have nylons but my machine kept eating them and when I finally got them finished one got runs all the way up the front, so I gave up on them and threw them out.

One of Cissy's knees is really stiff and hard to bend. I treated it with White Lithium Grease and it's working better now. There is some scraping inside the joints. I've treated all the joints with wax to help stop the scraping.

Cissy's all ready for the wedding now, and she's a beautiful bride! She turned out far better than I'd hoped in less time. I have another Cissy coming soon, and this one will be listed in my store, so please make sure to check:

Cissy bride

Cissy's marked on her head.

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