Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Gene Marshall in New York City

Monolithic Studios' star extraordinaire Gene Marshall makes a triumphant return to the Big Apple.

Gene Marshall in Good-Bye New York suit updated with new accessories.

Miss Marshall updates the stylish suit she wore when departing Grand Central Station for her Hollywood adventure with a change of accessories.  Scarf, train case, and the restyled hat borrowed from Madra Lord's "Top This" costume are from Ashton Drake.  Gloves are from The Couture Touch.  Purse from PD Root.  The original "Good-Bye New York" suit ensemble was designed by Doug James exclusively for Ashton Drake's Gene Marshall Collection.

Gene Marshall in an ooak suit ensemble from The Couture Touch, circa 1940's.

For sightseeing..... for shopping..... for a casual stroll in Central Park..... Miss Marshall will turn to a chic suit ensemble from The Couture Touch.  Brooch is from Robert Tonner's Tiny Kitty Collection.  Shoulder bag and shoes are from Ashton Drake.

Gene Marshall in a 1940's evening ensemble styled by The Couture Touch. Top from D.A.E. Originals.

Miss Marshall pulls out all the stops for New York's nightlife.  The top from D.A.E. Originals' "Star Maker" costume is paired with a velvet skirt for an elegant look perfect for cocktails, dinner, or the theater.  Skirt, evening bag, and bracelet are from Ashton Drake.  Fur and gloves are from PD Root.  A custom hair ornament designed to complement her fabulous rolled hairstyle and earrings are from The Couture Touch.

We hope Miss Marshall enjoyed her stay in New York City.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Something New from Something Old

After WWII the country continued to face a period of economy.  Re-modeling hats became popular as there were several publications dedicated to creative hat making.

In the News:

Miss Violet Waters
While attending a creative hat designing demonstration at a recent meeting of The Thursday Club, jazz singer Violet Waters proudly shows off a new hat made with the help of author and millinery instructor Miss Dorothy Nugent.  An old brown felt disk hat is re-shaped and accented with floral millinery and the green ruffled trim re-cycled from Miss Waters' "My Sunday Chapeau".  A frothy confection promising Spring can't be far behind.


Sunset Serenade Violet Waters appears courtesy Monolithic Studios and Integrity.  Miss Waters' hat, dress, gloves, and jewels are from The Couture Touch.  Fur and handbag are from PD Root.

The Dorothy Nugent Course in Creative Hat Designing was republished by Bramcost Publications in 2009.  This rare work was originally published in 1947.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mixing & Matching Secrets From the Stars

While working closely with costume designers during film making, the stars at Monolithic Studios learned a few secrets for putting together a versatile and chic wardrobe.

Lady Director Ivy Jordan

When mixing a jacket with a skirt, go for contrast such as red with navy.  Director and occasional actress Ivy Jordan pairs the red jacket from Gene Marshall's J'Adore costume with the navy tweed skirt from Ashton Drake's Travel in Tweed ensemble.  A matching hat, scarf, gloves, and jewels are from The Couture Touch.  A beaded knit beret worn as a snood is from an unknown designer.  The dramatic fur muff is from Integrity.

Fashion Plot Gene Marshall

Pair patterns with solids.  A checked pattern with a solid is a classic pairing.  Film star Gene Marshall teams a dyed version of the jacket from Croquet, Anyone? with the houndstooth skirt from Afternoon Off and the blouse from Hello Hollywood, Hello.  A touch of red provides a pop of color.   Jacket, skirt, blouse, and the gloves from Good-Bye New York are from Ashton Drake.  Hat and purse are from The Couture Touch.

More Tips for Mixing and Matching:

  • Don't be afraid to mix fabrics.
  • Pick out a color from a print or tweed to use for the second piece.  Neutrals such as a black and white stripe or a leopard print works with any color.
  • Pull it all together with the accessories.  Scarves are a great way to play with color and mixing patterns.  You can use fabric scraps from vintage blouses and scarves, as well as men's ties.  Even scarves from other doll sizes can work.  I found several from my Barbie doll's wardrobe that works with Gene and her friends.


Lady Director Ivy Jordan is from Integrity.
Fashion Plot Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Make a Quick & Easy Skirt Hanger for Gene Marshall

DIY skirt hangers for the Gene Marshall fashion doll

This tutorial utilizes purchased doll hangers and the torso template from the Ashton Drake Gene Marshall outfit box.  Heavier-weight paper such as wallpaper [recommended] or contact paper along with assorted trims give these ultra-chic skirt hangers style as well as durability.

  • Ashton Drake Gene Marshall outfit box with torso template.
  • Paper for your pattern.
  • Pencil.
  • Ruler.
  • Scissors.
  • Glue.
  • Stapler.
  • Assorted trims such as tiny bows, fabric rosettes, etc available at craft or fabric stores.  Check out the scrapbook section for additional trim ideas.
  • Doll sized hangers approximately 5 inches across available on eBay and some doll shops.
  • Wallpaper or vinyl contact paper available at home improvement stores.  Scrapbook paper will also work.

Figure 1.
Step 1.  Position paper underneath the torso template as shown above and trace around it with a pencil.

Figure 2.
Step 2.  At the hip line, measure out 1/8" on either side.  Mark that position with a small dot.  Draw a new line connecting the dot at the hip with the waist as shown in Fig. 2 above.  You can eye ball it or use a ruler.  I found that increasing the width at the hip gives a better fit.  [You will note that the bottom edge will be placed on the fold of your wallpaper or vinyl contact paper.]  When satisfied with the shape, cut out the new pattern.  If desired, label the bottom edge "Place on Fold".

Figure 3.
Step 3.  Please note:  For photography purposes only, my pattern is shown on the right side of the scrapbook paper in Fig. 3 above.  However I suggest folding your paper right sides together when tracing your pattern so you won't have to erase any pencil lines.  In addition, don't give the fold line a sharp crease.  You want your finished hanger to be a little poufy at the hip.  If using vinyl contact paper or wallpaper, do not remove the backing.  Place your pattern on the fold, trace around it, and then cut it out.

To finish:  Turn your skirt hanger wrong sides together, align the top and staple each shoulder as shown in Fig. 3 above.  Apply trim with glue to cover the staples and let dry thoroughly.  The purchased doll hanger will be inserted through the sides and brought up through the top of the skirt hanger.

Here's a tip for aligning your staples consistently.  Measure where you want the staples positioned and mark your stapler with masking tape as shown in Fig. 4 below.  This technique works best on a desk stapler.

Figure 4.

I hope you enjoy making these delightful skirt hangers for Gene Marshall and her friends.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

3 Stylish Winter Suits for Gene Marshall

Fabulous Forties suits, mixed and matched for three distinctive looks, modeled by Hollywood's favorite miniature star.

To Have and To Hold Gene Marshall in a mix & match suit ensemble styled by The Couture Touch

Miss Marshall pairs the tweed jacket from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection with the charcoal grey pleated skirt from Integrity's Daily Threads ensemble.  The jacket has been updated with pockets made from the original skirt.  Trim recycled from other outfits accent the neckline.  A favorite, off-the-face hat style dips ever so slightly to complement Miss Marshall's fabulous pompadour bangs.  Coordinating color-blocked, suede gauntlet gloves complete this smart look.  Hat and gloves are from The Couture Touch.
To Have and To Hold Gene Marshall, restyled and enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.  

Blue Fox Gene Marshall in a mix and match suit ensemble styled by The Couture Touch

The jacket from Integrity's Suited For Fur (sans the fur), belted and enhanced with banding detail on the sleeve, teams perfectly with a basic black skirt.  Completing this sophisticated look is an animal print scarf from Mattel, handbag from Ashton Drake, and fur from Integrity.  Miss Marshall's marvelous tilt topper, gloves, belt, jewels, and skirt are from The Couture Touch.
Blue Fox Gene Marshall is from Ashton Drake.

Spring in Central Park Gene Marshall in Fresh Take restyled by The Couture Touch

A re-take on Fresh Take from Robert Tonner's Ann Harper Collection.  The buttons as well as the hook and eye closure were removed from the jacket.  The addition of a new belt improves the fit of this uniquely trimmed suit.  The blouse from Ashton Drake's Turbulence costume and the dramatic hat from Fashion Plot, updated with feather trim from A Lady Knows, gives this ensemble a decidedly femme fatale look.  Additional accessories include a handbag from Robert Tonner's Brenda Starr Collection, gloves from Ashton Drake, and bracelet from Integrity.
Spring in Central Park Gene Marshall, enhanced with an Integrity articulated body, is from Ashton Drake.

Storage Tip:

Consider hanging blouses, skirts, and jackets separately.  I find this makes it easier to mix and match different suit looks.  Create a file on your computer for future reference by photographing the complete outfit and documenting the name, manufacturer, price, etc.  Accessories such as shoes, purses, gloves, and jewelry can easily be stored in see-through containers with compartments.  Look for ones that are adjustable.  Scarves can either be hung or housed in containers.  My hats, furs, and wigs are organized in pull-out drawers.  The Container Store, craft stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby, or even fabric stores are all good sources for storage ideas.

Miss Gene Marshall

Next Time:

How to make a quick and easy skirt hanger.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

It's a New Year - Time to Go Through Your Wardrobe

Inspired by the Make-Do and Mend era of World War II, the stars from Monolithic Studios will do their part to promote ways to maximize a winter wardrobe.  Look for ideas for updating as well as mixing and matching, storage tips, plus a new DIY project for a quick and easy skirt hanger.  Next week, Miss Gene Marshall kicks off the series with three stylish winter suits.

WWII propaganda poster from Britain's Board of Trade promoting Make-do and Mend.  Artist: Donia Nachshen.  Photo courtesy Wiktionary.