Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cissette Sisters

I finally got back to work in my office, after my fabric reorganization and a little setback earlier this week. Actually, it wasn't that small a setback. On Monday night I climbed up to my attic office to ship a $5 sale, the only one all day. I was quite discouraged and became even more upset when I found our water heater leaking all over the little closet where it and my shipping supplies abide. Since the short-sighted builder placed the water heater in the attic, of it leaks it will flood both floors of the house. Thanks to my tiny sale, I caught it before the water came over the edge of the pan. That $5 sale saved us thousands in repair bills, so I'm grateful! The new water heater cost $1400, though, so I am holding a Water Heater Replacement Sale in my store through May 3rd. These Cissette dolls are included, so please check Atelier Mandaline or browse my catalogue.

Cissette would never dream of looking less-than-fashionable, so even though she's just going to the market she wears her fantastic turquoise and gold ensemble. She brings a large matching bag to tote her purchases and wears her reading glasses so she can see the price tags. She doesn't really feel like styling her hair, so she wears a gold mesh snood. Who does Cissette meet in town but her blond sister, Cissette! Blond Cissette is beautifully turned out in her lace trimmed polished cotton day dress from 1957, diamond drop earrings, rhinestone trimmed shoes, and straw hat because she's on her way to her Garden Club meeting. She carries a bouquet to show her fellow flower enthusiasts. Everyone who sees the Cissette sisters agrees they're a perfectly charming pair!

Cissette with a brunette wig.
I've had these Cissette dolls in my office forever. Neither really needed a lot of work, but my office reorganization has kept me from getting them listed. The brunette Cissette really just needed re-stringing and a new outfit. I was able to find turquoise velvet toreador pants, probably from 1957-1958, when they were sold on the dolls and as separate boxed fashions in a few colors. Around the same time I got the pants I ordered a lot of Betsy McCall clothes for the 8 inch dolls and found this polka dot turquoise wrapper in the box. I noticed it matches the pants perfectly, so I gave it to Cissette instead of Betsy. The wrapper isn't tagged and I'm not sure if it's skillfully handmade or factory produced. I sewed a wool felt bodysuit to go under these pieces. The bodysuit makes Cissette's pants quite snug over the hips and rear (I can relate) so they're hard to get on and off. Once you get them on it's a really cute outfit, though!

Cissette's tagged pants are probably from 1957-58.

I got Cissette's shoes ad "gold" necklace from a modern Alexander accessory pack for Alex dolls, who can share shoes with Cissette.

The necklace and shoes came from this set.

A gold snood, bag, and cat-eye glasses from a lot of vintage and modern fashion doll stuff and earrings complete the look. The earrings are unused Premier brand. I replaced the posts with 22K gold plated posts so they won't cause green ear.

Cissette's knees bend.

This Cissette is very special because she has a brunette, rather than blond or Tosca, triple-stitched wig. Vintage 1950s and early 60s Cissettes are far less common with this hair color. I styled her wig. She has a spot in back where her wig cap shows. It's pretty common with this doll. I tried to arrange the hair to minimize it and her gold snood also covers it.

The earrings have 22K gold plated posts.

Brunette triple-stitched wigs are very rare.

Both dolls have this mark.

The wrapper has a small spot.

I made Cissette's wool felt bodysuit.

Her face paint is bright and original.
Cissette's glasses and bag are probably from the late 1960s-1980s.

Blond Cissette wears the matching dress to the 1957 Cissy #2130. Her hat is from her era but I'm not sure of the manufacturer. I added some unused vintage flowers to freshen it up. The dress had some repairs to the waist, so I added a white belt, probably from the 1960s, to cover those. Her slip is vintage Madame Alexander, as are her rhinestone trimmed shoes. Her necklace came in a vintage jewelry lot, and her gold clutch is vintage Barbie or other fashion doll.

Cissette's dress from 1957.

This doll needed more work than the brunette. Her hair is thin and dry, with lots of breakage. Her face paint was faded and rubbed away. Her body had no splits but one arms has some gray scratches I couldn't remove. I re-styled her hair to help hide the thin spots and lightly refreshed her lip and cheek paint.

The face paint was faded.

Cissette's dress evidently belonged to a future fashion designer. Seams in the waist had been re-sewn in multi-colored thread and someone sewed star sequins and beads randomly around the skirt. The back of the skirt has some stains I couldn't remove. I sewed the waist seams properly, which makes it a bit snug in the bodice, and removed the stars.

The dress needed repair.

I took in the waist of a vintage Alexander-Kins petticoat and gave Cissette unused blue Premier fashion doll panties from the 1950s or 60s. Her choker came with other 1950s-60s doll jewelry and is gold elastic with blue plastic beads. Her stockings are modern replacements, shortened to fit her.

Cissette's knees bend.

The refreshed face paint

To make Cissette's diamond drop earrings I got the vintage drops from a lot of old doll jewelry. Then I placed Swarovski crystal beads at the top of 22 Karat gold plated head pins and then added the vintage drops. The gold posts ensure the earrings won't stain the ears.

Cissette's handmade earrings with 22K gold plated posts

The re-arranged triple-stitched wig

The dress is tagged.

There are small stains on the back of the skirt.

Cissette's shoes have clear plastic heels.

Cissette wears a new hair net.

A bouquet helps hide scratches on one arm.

Although neither Cissette is completely original, I feel the combination of vintage and new pieces results in two dolls very representative of their era. I tried to choose pieces that would look as much at home on a woman or doll in 1957 as they do today. I think both dolls are adorable and either (or both! I'm sure the Cissettes would like to stay together!) would enhance any "Golden Age" Madame Alexander doll collection.

Cissette's hat matches her bouquet.
Two late 1950s Cissette dolls

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