Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rosette School of Dolls

As Monty Python used to say, "And now for something completely different..."

The Rosette School of Dolls, from Soom Emporium in Korea, is a group of six (or seven) girls designed to look as if they were students at a school for young ladies in Victorian England.  Two of the girls have mature "lady" bodies, while the others have an immature or "girl" body.  I love period dress, so buying one of these young ladies was a no brainer for me.  The question was:  Which one?  I found myself leaning toward the more mature girls, Fir and Marguerite.  Each was available in different versions:  a basic version wearing her school uniform, a summer term version wearing a lacy white frock and a languid expression, and a spring version with a fabulous dressy costume.  Both Fir and Marguerite Spring Term were sold out, which was just as well, as I really couldn't justify the price.

I eventually selected Marguerite Summer Term. 

What makes the Rosette girls different, apart from their story, is their size:  47.5 cm. (nearly 18.75 inches).  Marguerite would tower over my other MSDs if she could stand.  The trouble is, I have not found a way to make her stand without flopping over.  I tried every size of doll stand I had and she still wouldn't hold up.  No doubt about it, this girl is made for sitting.  In fact, she is the best sitter I have.  I can set her in a chair or on a bed, pose her, and she locks into place and holds her pose.  She reminds me of the old-fashioned boudoir dolls made to lounge on a bed, except with more poseability.

Other dolls will sit, but often at an unnatural angle or with an ugly show of gaping resin and elastic at the joint.  The Rosette girls come with "kneepans" -- resin caps that can be inserted into the knee gap when the doll is sitting back on her heels, Japanese style.  I tried the kneepans when the doll was sitting in an ordinary chair and they didn't work.  They are meant to cover the joint when the lower leg is bent at a more extreme angle.  Still, it's nice to know they are there.  If I ever make Marguerite a kimono, she can sit in proper fashion.

Dressing this girl will be problematic.  She is not just tall, she is extremely thin. Her legs go on forever.  Nothing that I have sewn previously will fit her.  Bodices and skirts are too short and too loose, sleeves are too short and too wide.  As she is not a wildly popular doll, no one is rushing to market printed patterns.  I will have to devise my own.  Good luck there, because my alterations tend to be hit or miss.  All the more reason to try, I suppose.

Although she has a 6.5 inch head, I find that most of my 6/7 wigs don't quite fit, either.  She seems to have a smaller face than other dolls with the same size head, so that most wigs overwhelm her.  One wig that she is able to wear is the short brown Leeke World wig that I previously complained was small for its size.  Nothing is ever wasted at Resin Corner -- there is always another doll that can wear what the others can't.  (Little Fee Lishe can wear this one, too, but only with her sleep face.  With eyes open, the bangs are too long.)

You'd think, with her length, that she would have comparatively larger feet.  Not so.  Where most MSDs have a 5.5 cm. foot, Marguerite's is 5.3 cm.  Shoes generally come larger than the doll's foot, to allow for socks or stockings and for ease of removal.  It was all I could do to squeeze Marguerite's feet into the shoes that came as part of her costume.  All I could think, as I forced them on, was that here was torture akin to Chinese foot binding.  The shoes would fit better without her thick cotton tights, but then you would see the elastic in her knee joint when she sits and her legs would look ten times thinner than they are.

For now, Marguerite will continue to wear her Rosette outfit.  She works particularly well with the Little Fees so I have pressed her into service as their Nanny.  She is not protesting the role, and heaven knows, they need adult supervision to keep them from running amok, especially now that there are three of them.  Little Fee Ante Petite Ange arrived yesterday.  Once Bambicrony Toto joins them, Marguerite will have her hands full. 

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