All dolled up, and lots of places to go
By LESLEY APPS
DOLL making is serious business. Even an eyelash out of place can mean the difference between taking home a ribbon or your doll going home empty handed.
In fact it is quite a feat to even win a ribbon at a doll show, according to South Grafton's Jill Gill.
Jill entered five of her dolls in the prestigious Coffs Harbour Doll Show last Sunday and, against 400 other entries, not only took out five first places, but also four rosettes (best in class), and two trophies including Doll of the Show.
Jill specialises in antique reproduction dolls, which must adhere to specific guidelines when competing in shows of this calibre.
"I used to make modern dolls and always thought the antique ones were 'icky', but I really love doing them now," she said.
Jill said she enjoyed doing the research and using authentic fabrics (no nylon) from the era.
Her dolls boast clothes made from an 100-year-old shawl, her mother's vintage dress and the French lace removed from an $18 hankie she bought specifically for her art. "Nothing's too good for my dolls."
Jill said the detail involved was just incredible. "The dolls have to wear two petticoats, splits draws, chemise, corset and cover, and you must be able to dress and undress them with ease."
Jill has been making dolls for about 15 years and said she was greatly indebted to her tutor Marlene Fuller from Grafton Doll Supplies.
"I am so proud of our group and the help and guidance it gives me. Marlene is always putting up my pickiness when it comes to my doll making."
And if you ever doubted just how in- volved these miniature ladies are to make, Jill said it takes her less time to make a real life wedding gown and three bridesmaids dresses than it does to make a doll's outfit.
Now that's serious stuff.