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Vintage Trims

lace.jpg (15281 bytes)Doll sewing and Victorian ribbonwork can be made special by the use of beautiful vintage laces, metallic trims., and millinery supplies.  The quality of the old, all cotton laces, and old metallic and velvet ribbons cannot be duplicated by manufacturing processes used today, and it can be very jarring to see a beautiful reproduction doll dressed in polyester fabric and nylon lace.  For all but my most modern dolls, I use vintage materials whenever possible, such as the vintage, all-cotton laces pictured above.  I DO use modern materials, but I am very choosy, and try to find the most delicate, natural fabrics and trims.

Vintage trims and fabrics CAN be very expensive, but there are many ways to obtain these items at a relatively low cost.  First, before you go outvelvet.jpg (12512 bytes) looking for things, STUDY them.  It helps to feel the materials, and even try to dress one or two dolls before hunting, so that you will know a good, natural fabric trim when you find it.  Studying will also help you to know the appropriate weight of the fabric or trim--the lightest weight for all miniatures and all-bisques, with some very supple medium weight fabrics possible for full-sized dolls.

Then, you should ask ALL your older relatives if they have any old laces, trims and fabrics in their attics.  You will be surprised with what you turn up; often trims are sitting around in boxes, unwanted and unused.   Second, go to garage and estate sales on weekends (if you want to sleep in, you'll have to pay higher prices at the local antique mall!!).  While everyone else is fighting over the antique crystal and Lalique figurines, you can be over in the corner going through the scraps box.  Remember, you are sewing for dolls, or doing a ribbonwork piece, and in many instances you DON'T need tons of yardage!

This little lady (on the right) is an example of how a few lovely scraps of vintage trims can make a darling outfit for the all bisque.  I took the bottom piece and sewed a skirt, and attached the trim on the top to be a bodice.  Little millinery pansies create the costume, on this small all-bisque (5 inches) from approximately 1920!!

Top photo:  old laces I found in a small shop in Scotland.  Photo to right: vintage velvet ribbons, especially useful to make flowers and leaves for Victorian ribbonwork 

flowerd.gif (2304 bytes)To visit my Victorian Ribbonwork section, click on the Rosettes!

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