Sunday, September 21, 2014

Honey's Cinderella Story

Honey as Cinderella

Last week I promised to finish my Honey Cinderella doll and I finally got her done! It wasn't easy; we had a super-busy weekend with marching band and the local Apple Festival. We rewarded ourselves for all the running around with delicious baked apples for dessert tonight. The Apple Festival was great for me. I picked up a super-rare Madame Alexander Mary Ellen doll and a bunch of small doll accessories and clothes at a thrift store. I hoped to have Mary Ellen listed within the week, but my daughter is uncharacteristically taken with her and has been begging to keep her. At 31 inches tall, Mary Ellen is one of the largest Alexander dolls ever made. My daughter loves that she can wear real toddler clothing and shoes. So, we will see if Mary Ellen makes it into the store. If not I will at least write a post about her restoration.

Honey had her original barrettes but her hair was cut.

Honey, as you might remember, came wearing her original Cinderella gown and still had her barrettes in her hair. Unfortunately, someone cut her hair along the way and her dress was in pitiful shape. Honey also had a chunk of paint missing from the end of her nose.

Honey's Cinderella gown was quite fanciful when it was new. The skirt was made of layers and layers of taffeta, tulle, and organdy. The bodice was lined in organdy trimmed with gold loop braid and the sleeves and neck were ruffles of gold-trimmed organdy. Cinderella would also have worn a crown of gold-trimmed fabric.

The tulle and organdy disintegrated and were cut away.
Unfortunately, the tulle and organdy disintegrated and someone cut them mostly away. The taffeta has some age yellowing and staining and some pin holes from age. I cleaned the dress with carpet spot cleaner and set it aside while I worked on the doll.

Honey, after restoration

There is some paint scraping in the joints.

The Effanbee mark

Some marks remain on the body
I started by re-stringing Honey with elastic cord. I soaked off the original red mohair wig and Honey decided to go blond. I found a platinum blond synthetic mohair wig a perfect fit. The style is correct. I would have liked to replicate the original, but I knew I'd never find that two tone gold and copper mohair anywhere. Once the wig was in place I put Honey's original gold barrettes back on.

Honey's original barrettes in the new wig.

I re-painted the tip of Honey's nose and painted over scraping in her joints. Although I waxed these after painting they are already scraping up again. I left some play wear on Honey's body as it won't show under her clothing and is minor.

Honey's face after the nose was painted.

Honey's dress after restoration

I wasn't sure what to do about Honey's dress. In the end I decided to trim the organdy along the waist, which was already cut, as close to the seam as possible. The tulle in the back of the dress wraps around the closure, so I left that because I didn't want to mess up the opening. I replaced the sleeve ruffles, which were partly cut away, with gold tulle. I treated the fraying organdy on the neck ruffle and bodice with Fray Check to stabilize it and prevent further disintegration. Then I glued rhinestones over the front bodice on top of the organdy to draw attention away from the frayed edges.

The dress with a new over-skirt
To cover the skirt and give the dress its original fairytale feel I made a new over-skirt from metallic, sequin-trimmed lace. I hand-sewed panniers of metallic tulle around the waist. The skirt closes with a hook and eye so you can remove it. I made a matching crown and gave Honey a vintage choker of pink glass pearls. The over-skirt covers the cut-away material on the back opening the dress and allows the dress to really stand out like a ball gown.

I thought a little extra volume under the skirt would make Honey look extra-special, so I gave her vintage Madame Alexander crinoline and pantaloons with crocheted lace trim from the 1960s. The crinoline has a tiny hole from age, which I treated with Fray-Check to keep it from expanding.

Honey just had to try the Marilyn pose since she has her new blond hair!

Honey's "glass" slippers

Finally, I made Honey some "glass" slippers from transparent wired ribbon, cardboard, and foil. These are cute. They are a little loose but will stay on for display and posing. The edges are wired so you can cinch them over the top of Honey's feet to help them stay put.

Cinderella shows off her glass slippers.

I think Honey/Cinderella turned out very well. She's a beautifully-sculpted doll and her dress is really fancy. All in all, Honey displays as a restored early 1950s doll. She is very lovely but she doesn't look brand-new. This isn't a very readily-available doll under normal circumstances, and this one is totally unique! You can find her for sale, along with many lovely dolls, in my store, so please make sure to check:

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