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07 September 2011

Miniature English Culture

The high waisted graceful styles of early 19th century are known as the Empire style. The Empire dress which evolved in the late 1790s began as a chemise shift. Typically the bodice was fitted under the bust line with the skirt flowing gently to about ankle length, Cicely’s skirt is made from silk, but often muslin would be used as this fabric was less costly than silk and was easier to maintain.
Cicely’s neckline is low, with the bodice back short and plain, however, is finished off by the capped sleeves which sometimes  restricted movement.
Throughout the Regency Era lightweight shawls were often worn to accessorise the outfit, especially when a little extra warmth was required.
The look is completed with the low heeled pump, embellished with a delicate silk rose. This type of shoe was made of soft kid, cloth or silk and was very flimsy, and so wore out easily. They were basically little more than ballet slippers.

Cicely looks as though she has just stepped out of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility or Emma, she would be most apt in a social gathering from this era.


03 September 2011


There is going to be a good Doll's House and Miniature Fair at Stafford on the 11 September 2011 - see HERE for details.

I shall be exhibiting a selection of handmade porcelain dolls in both kits and period costume, if any of you are in need of hard to find haberdashery for your miniature projects or would like to have a go at dressing your own doll, come along and see us  - stand number 82.

Here are a few of my new ladies, typical Edwardian nursemaid dressed in the uniform befitting her station and the lady of the house with her daughter.

Tasks of the day for the nursemaid would have been assisting the nanny in taking care of the children of the employer's family. Her duties included tidying and maintaining the nursery. Young girls would work under the supervision of the experienced and sometimes older nanny.  Only the wealthy households, or moderately well-off ones with many children, would employ multiple staff in the nursery.

Everything that a parent ordinarily might do, especially the more onerous tasks, could be turned over to a nursemaid.  Feeding very young children and supervising somewhat older children at mealtime, whilst playing and seeing that they were dressed properly, and other such tasks could be left to a nursemaid while the lady of the house concerned herself with other affairs, such as furthering her husband's career.

Due to this close involvement with her charges a close relationship would often be established, similar to that a mother would herself ordinarily form. In cases where the lady of the household has died, a nursemaid might become even more fully a surrogate mother.