Tomi Jane, doll dressmaker and designer extraordinaire!
I am an unabashed fan of Tomi's. And she has kindly allowed me to fawn over her work for ages.
Because kindness is Tomi's second talent, right behind creating the prettiest, perfect dresses for my favorite dolls, the Little Darlings.
(Of course I love all my dolls equally! But as a group, the LD's are pretty stellar!)
I am going to gather here all my blog posts and all my photos of our Tomi Jane dresses. Because we have five. Yes, five Tomi Jane dresses.
The photos will be of my Little Darlings at their best. Best behaved, best tea party, best spring party...because that's when we get out our Tomi Janes.
While I gather, feel free to jump over to Tomi Jane's beautiful Flickr pages. And while away an afternoon, sipping tea and imagining what Tomi's pretty dolls would be up to in their pretty dresses.
I have spent many a Saturday afternoon myself, looking, when I should have been polishing my silver.
(Wait. I don't have any silver. I traded it all for dolls....)
Good news and bad news!
First the good news...
After months of abstinence, I followed a link to eBay, from a Facebook doll group.
There I discovered an unusual occurrence...Tomi Jane dresses. Several of them were posted for bids.
I 'watched" several, left, pondered, returned.
And ordered two favorites that I had seen often, when I would peruse Tomi's Flickr pages. scrolling through her years of impeccable sewing accomplishments.
Beauty! And we are thankful to gather two more Tomi Jane beauties to our dolly closets.
The Tomi Jane package arrived when the girls were at the Ocean Beach.
We gave a heads up to Pearl and Anna Zoey, as their photo shoot here was done first.
We brought them to the Dolltown Tree to open the package.
Tomi Jane always includes a lovely note.
The girls are good readers and there isn't a word they don't know!
Even patronage? I'm impressed!
Choices! A pretty tea dress full of patterns.
And a simple white sundress with periwinkle accents.
Perfect. Because that's how Tomi Jane rolls...
Very, very, very special.
So, the bad news...
Tomi Jane says she is done with Little Darling doll dressmaking.
So these outfits are happily added to our select Dolltown Tomi Jane dresses.
Sadly, too. As a Little Darling era of new Tom Jane collections to look forward to, has ended.
But let's not stay sad!
Scanning eBay pages led to another discovery...
The girls are at the river in their pretty Tomi Janes.
I overheard snippets of conversations...
I wonder what Tomi would think if she heard them?
We do our best to be good. As good as the dresses are!
But things get away on us a little here...
Lula, it's "Where are the eggs, please?
Who suggested climbing trees anyway? This is a dress up event!
And Xennia, I don't think one is allowed to nap in a Tomi Jane.... Xennia?
I do think the girls would do their best if invited for tea to Tomi's, with her excellent girls.
I would teach my girls how to hold a tea cup, and how to nibble on their little sandwiches.
And tell them not to put the pretty cakes in their pockets to bring home, if there are any left.
(I won't let them even bring a pretty purse, in case!)
So Tomi, if you would ever like us to come for tea, we'll hop a plane! (So exciting!)
Just give me a couple of months to pass on to my girls good Tea Time Tips!
Everybody is clearing out!
The Ellowynes are gone, and the Tonner guys with them.
Phoebe is doing her best to get Gabby to clean up the trophies that are left.
Birdy has come to tell Zoey and Pearl they have to change out of their Tomi Jane dresses,
because it is Ice Cream time!
Here's a photographer's view of the Dolltown Awards action.
We are pretty much done here, so there's a little extra chaos on the stage!
You can see some of the Dolltowners nearby where they waited for photos...
Tomi Jane's beautiful dress, on her own Little Darling...
Earlier this year, I was thrilled to get two sets of Tomi's Colorways dresses at what I thought were very reasonable costs.
I wasn't in the market for more.
But when I saw this dress of perfection on eBay, and saw its starting bid, I couldn't resist going for it!
In the end I didn't win....
Which means maybe I can get a few sandals for my girls this year.
But is this going to happen every time a Tomi Jane dress becomes available for the masses? Am I going to succumb each time to beauty and possibility, bid, and take the consequences?
I think yes, IF I see it.
So I don't know whether to stop perusing eBay for things I do need,
in case my eyes land on TJ's unmistakable creations,
or ask Tomi to hike her prices up beyond my reach (wouldn't take much),
or just do extra jobs around the neighbourhood when I find my dolly piggy bank empty and a TJ dress on eBay offered for a song.
I am disappointed that I lost the bid.
But let's be realistic.
It's just that we have a talent show coming up, and this dress would have, I am sure, INSPIRED a song...from at least one or two dollies here. And applause from others.
I didn't win it but I am thinking of blowing up the photo of the dress a little, printing it, cutting it out and adding shoulder tabs...
So I can put it on my dollies and PRETEND it's ours.
I don't think Tomi Jane would mind...
Success! Doll dressmaker extraordinaire, Tomi Jane, had several dresses in her eBay shop, tomijanesews, for a short time. I JUMPED at the chance to acquire two matching sets for our Little Darlings here in Dolltown... Yay!
We decided to match up dresses using 2 more designs. This classic style is my very favorite for its versatility. Our Little Darlings have several to choose from! The pretty purple flowered dress was from Kathy at tkctcrafts. And Pachom Suesuwan's pink flowered dress, minus its cute white shrug. was also from eBay, at pachom10.
Tomi does a beautiful job with her dress designs, sewing, knitting...
Even her doll dressing and photography are spectacular.
She has been featured here on Hiya Dolly more than once...even before we had her dresses here in Dolltown!
Check out her work on Flickr. Lots of Helen Kish and American Girl photos too!
Colorways! Tomi Jane called this pretty series Colorways, a term used by dressmakers to describe a fabric available in a variety of colors. Here Tomi has added matching hair circlets in that cute crinkle ribbon.
So cute! This is a new design for me, from Joyce at prairiemoondesigns, This style has a lot of skirt, little cap sleeves, and opens at the back for ease of dressing.
And I notice there are lots more fabrics available since I last visited her site...
Tempting! Especially at those prices!
Dolltown spring diorama!
This is a doll background, with a white picket fence.
And this adorable flower wagon just arrived in Dolltown, a gift from a friend and Dolltown supporter, Mischelle.
Cute and useful! :)
More photos from the photo shoot...we took lots of cute photos of our Little Darlings!
Darling Lil" Bee is a shop on eBay and Etsy selling adorable sundresses, like this one, for 13" Dianna Effner's Little Darlings...
Just a few months after I decided I could live in a caftan and a shawl for the rest of my life, after a lifetime of fascination with clothes, shoes, and fashion generally, I dropped into the world of doll fashions.
Opening my childhood trunk of Barbie and other doll clothes reignited the admiration I have for the dressmakers to the dolls. My mom herself knitted and sewed very cute Barbie clothes. This is not an easy task!
And it is a joyful task that many skilled artisans engage in, as a hobby and as a living. Sewers, smockers, knitters, cross-stitch experts, hat and shoemakers bring their talents to the creation of tiny fashions, to the delight and gratitude of doll collectors-who-don't-sew, or don't want to-like me.
I am immersed now in choosing wardrobes for a variety of dolls. And I am filled with admiration for the wonderful people who provide dolly wardrobes. So I want to acknowledge a few of them here, and add photos (or links to photos), names of the artists, and the shops on-line that provide the beautiful fashions...
Erin Green made this lovely sundress and matching hat, and provides shoes to match... And she has a wonderful selection to choose from at her eBay and Etsy shops.
And if I skip a shopping trip to buy a new T-shirt for myself, and spend another day in my beach sarong, I can peruse her adorable choices and provide another pretty dress for another Little Darling. A sacrifice I am willing to make....
Keep an eye out here for more photos and write ups of some of my favorite doll dressmakers!
Most sell their doll clothes, like Erin's here, and Janice Mundy at Sew Sweet Designs for Dolls, and mrsbobbinsews on eBay.
and Kathy Groulx on Etsy.
And doll dressmaker Tomi Jane's exquisite work is worth a look (on Flickr) for doll fashion lovers like myself!
So, if you are a lover of doll fashions, or are in the market for some doll clothes
(especially for 13" dolls like Little Darlings, my focus at the moment) Stay Tuned!
For now, let's go window shopping at Darling Lil' Bee! So fun!
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