Thursday, July 11, 2019

First Look at Fall

Hot off the press, the July issue of Mademoiselle looks ahead to fall.  It's required reading for the new season's colors, fabrics, silhouettes, and design details.

Dusk to Dawn Barbie

Cover girl Barbie wears the timeless cardigan style jacket and matching slim skirt from Mattel's American Airlines Stewardess (#984) with the blouse from her "Walking Suit" ensemble.  The original bow has been replaced with one borrowed from Gene Marshall's collection.  Handbag is from a Gay Parisienne reproduction.  Fur from PD Root.  Hat and styling are from The Couture Touch.  Dusk to Dawn Barbie is from Mattel.

Shanghai Siren Gene Marshall wearing On the Plaza

Spotted in a fashion ad, Hollywood film star Gene Marshall models a chic suit from Sandra Stillwell inspired by a Betty Rose design.  Gloves and scarf are from Ashton Drake.  Handbag and bracelet from Integrity.  Hat and earrings are from The Couture Touch.  Shanghai Siren Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

And the news from Paris....

Victoire Roux

Mademoiselle Victoire Roux is featured in the magazine's editorial section highlighting the latest hats from Paris.  Blouse is from Bogue's Vogues.  Hat, fur, and earrings are from The Couture Touch.  Buenos Aires Victoire Roux is from Integrity.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

A Forties-Style Fourth

Fabulous Forties Barbie celebrates July 4th pin-up style.


The Fabulous Forties Barbie is from Mattel.  Styling from The Couture Touch.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A Wardrobe Pick-Me Up

An Easy DIY Hat for Gene Marshall & Friends

When your favorite Hollywood star's wardrobe is in need of a pick-me up, here is an idea for a simply chic hat that makes use of a style of hat you just might already have in your collection.  The half-hat [or sometimes referred to as a headband or bandeau hat] was a popular design beginning in the mid-1940's and continued throughout the 1950's.  Several costumes from the wardrobe department at Monolithic Studios included this hat style such as Ashton Drake's Embassy Luncheon and Spotted in the Park.

Sunset Serenade Violet Waters
Violet Waters
This stylish tilt topper pairs the petal half-hat from Embassy Luncheon with a circle of wool felt.  Because wool felt retains its shape, you can easily adjust it to the desired look.  Continue reading for complete instructions for making this hat.   Costume Credits:  Jacket is from JamieShow's J'Adore Gene Marshall.  Scarf, bow, and gloves are from Ashton Drake.  Brooch is from Mattel.  Belt from Integrity.  Umbrella is from Fashion Royalty.  Skirt and styling are from The Couture Touch.

Fashion Plot Gene Marshall
Gene Marshall
For this variation 1/4" black trim was formed into a spiral shape and paired with the hat from Spotted in the Park.  Costume Credits:   Dyed dress is from Ashton Drake's Croquet, Anyone?.  Train case from D.A.E. Originals.  Jacket, gloves, and styling are from The Couture Touch.

Careless Kisses Madra Lord
Madra Lord
Consider alternative shapes such as a triangle with rounded corners.  The half-hat utilized for this style is from Integrity's Adele Makeda Suited Luxury ensemble.  Costume Credits:  Blouse is from Bogue's Vogues.  Bow and gloves are from Ashton Drake.  Handbag from Mark Middendorf.  Skirt from Sandra Stillwell.  Jacket, earrings, and styling are from The Couture Touch.

To make Violet's hat, here's what you will need:

Half-hats.  Shown above from top to bottom:  Adele Makeda Suited Luxury from Integrity, Embassy Luncheon and Spotted in the Park both from Ashton Drake.
Wool Felt.
Dressmaker chalk or other marking tool.
Emery board.
Ruler or tape measure.
A glass or other round object for tracing a circle.
Saran Wrap.
Needle-nose pliers found in the jewelry-making section of your local craft store (Optional).

  1. Trace a 2-1/2" diameter circle on wool felt and cut out.  Soften the cut edge by lightly sanding with the fine side of an emery board.
  2. In the center of the circle, mark position for two small slits with chalk.  Fold the circle in half and carefully cut open with scissors.  The length of the slits and how far apart they are will depend on which half-hat you are using.  For Violet's hat, the slits measure 1/2" apart and 1/2" in length (fig.3).
  3. You are now ready to insert your half-hat through the cut slits.  Tip:  Cover the ends with Saran wrap to protect any embellishment.  It can easily be removed from the underside.  Tip:  A needle-nose plier will make it easier to adjust the ends of your half-hat. 
  4. For Madra's hat, first make a template from paper of the desired shape.  Place the template on the felt.  Trace around it with chalk and cut out.  Finish in the same manner as for Violet's version.  (fig.1 shows the underside of the completed hat.)
  5. For Gene's hat, 1/4" black trim was formed into a spiral shape leaving room between stitches for Spotted in the Park's hat (fig.2).  Click HERE for a tutorial on making a spiral hat base.

The Couture Touch thanks the following stars for graciously appearing in this tutorial:

Sunset Serenade Violet Waters from Integrity.
Fashion Plot Gene Marshall from Ashton Drake.
Careless Kisses Madra Lord from Integrity.

Friday, June 21, 2019


Violet Waters

Glamorous Violet Waters takes time out from her busy schedule to enjoy the warmth of the summer sun.  Her swimsuit, hat, and beach tote are from Crimson Sun.  Snood from Iced Coffee.  All Ashton Drake.  Eyewear from Horsman.  Heat Wave Violet Waters is from Integrity.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ideas for Recycling a Man's Tie

Illustration from the Chicago Mail Order Company, 1940 catalog.

The classic gift for Father's Day, a man's tie can easily be re-purposed for accessories such as scarves, hats, gloves, belts, and purses in order to update a favorite fashion doll diva's wardrobe.  Because ties are usually cut on the bias, raveling is not a problem, which makes them perfect to use for a variety of details such as bows, piping, and even contrast collar and cuffs.  Look for better silk ties with smaller scale prints or stripes.

Star Entrance Gene Marshall

An off-the-face hat with matching gloves made from a silk tie complement Gene Marshall's OOAK WWII era suit ensemble from The Couture Touch.

A Lady Knows Gene Marshall and Dark Desire Madra Lord

Best buddies Gene Marshall and Madra Lord show a few more ways to utilize a man's tie.  On the left, Miss Marshall refreshes the ensemble from Moss Rose Ivy Jordan by replacing the original pink satin neck scarf with an elegant silk paisley one.  Hat, fur muff, scarf, earrings, and brooch are from The Couture Touch.  Gloves from Robert Tonner.  Bracelet from Facets by Marcia.  Miss Lord wears a 1940's suit ensemble from The Couture Touch.  The shell worn under the jacket and hat trim were made from the same tie as Miss Marshall's scarf.

The Models:  Star Entrance Gene Marshall is from Integrity.  A Lady Knows Gene Marshall enhanced with an Integrity articulated body and Dark Desire Madra Lord are both from Ashton Drake.

Click HERE for more "madcap" ideas for transforming a man's tie.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Borrowed from the Boys

Film star Gene Marshall takes the fedora from Trent Osborn's Playing the Ponies set and makes it her own for a chic 1940's man-tailored look.  A new grosgrain band and a little reshaping refresh this iconic hat style.

Fashion Plot Gene Marshall in Doing Her Part

Appearing on the cover of Woman's Own, a British lifestyle magazine first published in 1932, Miss Marshall does her part for victory by promoting coupon-value designs for daytime.  Hat, suit, and scarf are from Ashton Drake.  Fur from PD Root.  Gloves and styling are from The Couture Touch.

Fashion Plot Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Next Time:  Ideas for recycling a man's tie.

Trent Osborn Playing the Ponies
"Where's My Hat?!"