When I was about 12 years old, my mother brought out a large antique, leather suitcase from the attic. It contained three antique dolls which belonged to my grandmothers.
One (Adelaide) was a 24" Simon and Halbig 1079 in a set of lacey original clothing. The second (Alice) was a beautifully dressed 22" Simon and Halbig 1078, which my grandmother won at a raffle in Atlantic City in 1908 when she was 10 years old.
The third (Louisa) belonged to my other grandmother. She was a later doll from the twenties, a 14" Heubach Koppelsdorf 312. She had never been played with, and had no wig or clothing. I became fascinated with old dolls, the historical aspect especially. I also loved the variety of their beauty and their many expressions. As Louisa had no clothing she became my mannequin and so I eventually made her a large wardrobe, using books from the local library for reference.
Eventually, I started dressing antique dolls professionally, and for many years I wrote a column about doll dressing for Doll Reader magazine.
About 10 years ago, I "discovered" Bleuette. She is an amazing doll, especially for those who love to make doll clothing. As her history spans 1905-1959, it is possible to make clothing for her in a huge variety of styles! Add to this the fact that well documented, commercially available clothing was sold for her for most of the years of her production, which we can copy; plus, many hundreds of patterns were published for her in the French weekly, La Semaine de Suzette. Her personality evolved through the years from the elegant Premieres to the more playful models later on. She is one of the most *fun* dolls to dress!
My patterns for Bleuette and Rosette her sister, are inspired by both Gautier Languereau (the seller of the ready made clothing) and the patterns in LSDS.
The 12" French Fashion doll is becoming very popular, and I am now starting to design clothing for this doll as well. At the present time there are at least half a dozen different reproduction bodies available for this size doll, close enough in size that my patterns could be used with just minor adjustments.
I do not make or sell the dolls, but many fine doll artists do, and many different doll heads are available. Please see the Links for the sites of some of these talented doll artists.
Bleuette and the fashion dolls are similar in that they both are dolls which "need" wardrobes... and doll dressers find it a most enjoyable challenge to make them lots of clothing.
I hope my patterns will assist you in making beautiful, authentic clothing for your dolls! :) My email is given with every pattern, so if you need asistance or just want to chat, feel feel to write!
Dede Noell Kern
To see my flickr photos: