Friday, September 11, 2009

The Edwardians

For several weeks I have been wanting to make an Edwardian Free Spirit. The Edwardian era can be loosely defined as the period of time from the death of Queen Victoria (1901) through the end of WWI (1918).

It is an historically interesting time period, especially for women. Crinolines, hoops, and bustles were gone, and corsets began to loosen up. Women were just beginning to experience more freedom in their lives, from transportation via bicycle to entry into the workplace. And by 1920 they had achieved the right to vote in America.

Children also benefited. They were no longer being dressed as miniature versions of their mothers. The clothing they now wore actually allowed them to play, and some of them even had the leisure to do so.

Both of my Grandmothers were born in the Edwardian period; my Mother's mother in 1903 (she is the one at the top of the page), and my Father's mother in 1904 (here to the right). Imagine the incredible changes these women saw in the course of their very long lives, both of them living into the 21st century. My great-grandfather delivered dry good via horse and carriage; my Grandmothers saw men walk on the moon.

So for me, making a doll to represent the Edwardian period is like very lightly touching my own family history. Gabrielle and Caroline, my Edwardian Free Spirits, are meant to represent two young girls, around 12 or so, of this era. My Mother's mother taught me to crochet, and my Father's mother was an artistic needlewoman. Thanks in a large part to them I am able to create the dolls I do, and happily share them with you.

Coming soon; a basic Edwardian dress pattern for Free Spirit, and some embellishment ideas.

Gabrielle, in the curls, and Caroline, with the French Braid. The lovely fabric covered box, for their Edwardian finery, is from my dear friend Bev.


  1. What an interesting piece of family history. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. So wonderful Beth. I can't wait to see the latest in fashion from you. My latest doll is still waiting for hair although she has borrowed clothes from Gwyneth.

  3. That is truly awesome, I have to say. I didn't know you had such history to put into these dolls! Those two are really cool, and I can't wait to see the clothes you design for them!

  4. Everytime I view your work, I think how stunning these dolls are and how I will have to purchase one if I want one. Crocheting and I do not get along. They are so exquisite! AWESOME STUNNING!

  5. Thank-you all for your kinds words. Pam, the doll itself is made entirely with single crochet stitches, and there is a picture tutorial on my flickr site for all the steps (there is a link to this on the left hand side of the blog page under 'Tutorials'). You might give crochet another try :-)