Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Elise wedding doll

When my husband and I were planning my wedding, I decided I wanted to put together wedding dolls to match us — not for the wedding or anything, but as mementos — a very special addition to my collection.

I had an Elise-sized replica of my wedding dress — an authentic 1920s wedding gown — made before the wedding, but then didn't go any farther with the project for a long time. I wanted to find an Elise with a hair color and style to match mine, but as I didn't have the time or the funds for the search, my wedding doll was put on the back burner.

Recently and quite by accident, I found the perfect Elise on eBay. She had not only the perfect hair, but also the lingerie: original stockings and a tagged Elise chemise. She also had her original shoes, but since I had 1920s-style T-strap shoes made for the outfit, I just planned to set the shoes aside if I got her.

Get her I did. However, when she arrived in the mail I discovered that someone had painted (!) her soft vinyl forearms with a flesh-toned paint. Luckily, the paint wasn't the permanent kind, so I was able to remove it with some good doll cleaner.

When I took off Elise's stockings, I found another area that had been painted, on the outside of her left leg right above her knee. I immediately suspected a repaired leg split — and sure enough, soon as I got the thick layer of paint and putty off, there it was! The repair wasn't affected by the doll cleaner, though, so I just left it.

Unfortunately, Elise's forearm came off when I was cleaning it, and I spent a very frustrating 20 minutes or so figuring out how to return it to its rightful place. The bright side is that I now know how Elise's jointed elbows are held together, and how to put the forearm back on when it comes loose (which I've seen happen before). This isn't the first time that I've worked on an Elise, but I'll get to that in a future post.

Finally I got Elise cleaned and put back together. I redressed her in her chemise and stockings, and then put the wedding dress on top of that. She now abides in her place of honor among her sisters, where you saw her in my last post.

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