Friday, March 20, 2015

Sasha's Dancin' Boots

Sasha in a traditional folk costume.

I am extremely proud of myself. A few weeks ago I ordered bulk lots of padded envelopes, bubble wrap, and tape for my eBay and Young Living sales. I'd gotten to the point of shipping several items each day and buying shipping supplies at retail stores was too expensive. Naturally, in the way of things, not only did my sales drop by half the minute I took such a big step, but my friend who is single with a wonderful job told me she had "some" boxes and bubble wrap for me. On picking them up I found almost half her garage covered in boxes and packing material. "Sometimes I go on a little shopping spree," she said. Of course it's wonderful of her to save these things for me, since they are really quite pricey, but arriving home with my wealth of riches and adding them to my order I found myself with my whole living room full of stuff and no idea where to store it. I got to work on the closet in my office, which is the size of a typical coat closet and holds our water heater as well as my shipping supplies and my easels and large canvases. I removed everything from the closet and sorted it in stacks on the bonus room floor by size or flat rate postage or whatever. My son came home from school and asked if I'd robbed the post office. Organization, however, allowed me to fit everything, including my new supplies, in. As soon as I finished I had three new sales, and I really enjoyed picking my boxes and envelopes from my orderly stash. I hope it will be good luck and mean my dry spell is over! I'm nearly finished with the great fabric re-organization in my office as well, so I finally had a chance to get in there and work on doll stuff a bit. I finished a European folk costume for 16 inch Sasha or similar dolls.

Years ago when my sister was little more than a baby she insisted on dressing herself every day in a pair of Cabbage Patch Kids bikini underwear, a striped sweater, and a pair of galoshes she called her "dancin' boots". What's interesting about this is today her daughter insists on wearing one pair of pants and shirt every day. They don't match and when my sister tries to take them and wash them my niece cries and says she's "not beautiful." My niece's outfit also involves one certain pair of shoes. Another famous family story is that of the time my uncle was taken to buy shoes when he was around five or so. In the whole store not one pair of shoes fit without hurting him except a set of cowboy boots. After the cowboy boots were promised, the other shoes amazingly began to fit him! Maybe shoe obsessions are a Scandinavian thing.

Sasha's new outfit certainly boasts a rockin' pair of red faux leather lace-up boots. The outfit came on a tourist-type doll, most likely from the 1960s. That doll's head was broken off and can't be repaired. I don't know what country she was meant to represent. Her outfit resembles some Norwegian bunad, or traditional costumes, but is also similar to Polish, Russian, and even Italian dolls I've seen. Therefore I'm just listing it as a European folk costume. It's definitely a dancing costume, I think. The lace trimmed slip is meant to peek out with movement, and I can imagine the streamers on the shoulders flying out in a wheel with a dancer's pirouette.

The tunic top

Spots I couldn't remove.

There are no panties included with the ensemble. Instead, the undergarments consist of a long tunic blouse and a slip trimmed with crocheted lace. Both these have spots I couldn't remove. The slip has a huge mark, but I was able to hide it. The slip was too large and the elastic needed replacing. I replaced the elastic and then took a large tuck in the waist, which allowed me to hide the spot in a fold of the slip.

The underclothes

The slip has a spot.

I hid the spot in a fold.

One of the reasons this outfit looks Norwegian to me is the rose-patterned skirt. Rose prints are so popular in Norway the traditional folk painting there is called "rosemaling." This has some small frayed spots, as do the ends of the ribbons, but I treated each with Fray Check so they shouldn't enlarge. None are very noticeable.

The most striking aspect of the outfit in my opinion is the elaborately beaded lace-up vest. I'm not sure how to describe the fabric. It's kind of like a thick fuzzy flannel or a really thin, sort of stretchy velvet. I suppose it's supposed to resemble velvet or possibly suede. This is trimmed with both beads and sequins arrayed in sunbursts, stars, and other geometric patterns. Some have been lost over time, but there are so many that's only visible on very close inspection.

The complete outfit.

A red plastic graduated-bead double-strand necklace is included with the set. This ties in the back with red ribbon to match the vest and boots. I added new stringing to the beads to reinforce the original string, which was starting to stretch.

The bead necklace

The vest has elaborate beading.

The whole set is topped off by a net apron with lace trim to match the frothy lace of the neck and sleeves. I can just see Sasha whirling in the arms of her partner on National Day. She's ready for her dance! Sasha is just modeling and isn't included with the outfit. The set should fit other 16 inch dolls like My Friend or Tomy Kimberly. The sleeves might be rather long on the My Friend dolls. You can find this outfit and may other dolls and clothes in my store, Atelier Mandaline, so I hope you will check.

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