Monday, April 7, 2008

My Elise Southern belle: Part 1

I've gotten kind of sidetracked lately, so I want to get back to my Elise dolls. There is a long story behind the Elise in the yellow formal, so I'll talk about her next.

I call the outfit a Southern belle outfit, but I don't really know much about it. Although I haven't found anything about it in my doll books, I've seen this gown exactly four times on eBay. The first time, it was on a doll I bought; that same dress is now on the blond Elise in my display case.

The second time I saw this dress on eBay, it was part of a near-complete outfit, a relic from someone's childhood. She called it a Southern belle outfit, so that's how I've thought of it ever since.

The third time I saw this outfit, it was on a tissue mint/mint-in-box Elise. And the fourth time I saw it, it was played with and incomplete — in worse condition than mine, if I remember correctly.

My outfit isn't complete, but it's tagged (inside seam of the separate half slip). Unfortunately, it's had a rough life. It is stained light blue in a few places in the back, and although I tried both washing and soaking the gown (carefully!), I never could get it out.

Also, the elastic on the slip had been replaced, and whoever stitched on the new elastic did a very poor job of it. I'm not an expert sewer, by any means, but I was still able to cut the stitching and (carefully!) repair the damage as best I could.

Thanks to the MIB Elise that I saw on eBay, I was able to restore the outfit in a few respects. I knew that it was supposed to have a wide yellow ribbon sash, with a couple of large red or hot pink flowers at the left side of her waist. I bought a length of yellow ribbon to replace the original sash.

I also know that the hat is supposed to have a black ribbon around the crown.

Finally, the outfit should have gold spike heels and some jewelry: a cameo pendant on a black ribbon choker, and a simple metal or goldtone link bracelet around her wrist.

Fortunately, the Elise I chose to wear this outfit had her own jewelry and a pair of gloves that complement the outfit nicely. However, this story is getting too long for one blog post, so I'll continue it in the next post.

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