Monday, 16 June 2014

Costume Dolls

You might recognise this wonderful embroidered top from the header of my blog. It's part of a 5 part set that my mum and I purchased from Port Eliot Festival two years ago, it was hidden away at the back of a vintage tent and we couldn't quite believe the price tag; £15!

I was very interested by the beautiful colour combination and embroidery. So, in order to try unearth it's origins, I turned to my late (and Great) Auntie's costume doll collection. She had a big collection of dolls, including the costume dollies which my mum has conveniently just unearthed from boxes and put on shelves in her home. They are a much under appreciated item, I am forever seeing them at car boot sales in £1 boxes or sitting unloved on charity shop shelves. Not by me though! They are so useful for researching costumes and embroidery techniques from across the globe, as well as being beautiful items in their own right! I used them in combination with a brilliant book I purchased about costume dolls and discovered that the set is Portuguese! 

Look, here is my Portuguese dolly counterpart:

and a Lady dancing in the traditional Portuguese costume:

Source: 1

Today I decided to pair the waistcoat from the set with another folk costume which also belonged to my Great Auntie. It's actually a children's costume, although I think she used it to dress her dollies! The backdrop is a painting by my mum Penny MacBeth (you can see her paintings here)

I hope you've all enjoyed the sunshine finally popping out (I know I have!) Lets hope it's here to stay. 
Linking my folk costume to Visible Monday

Outfit Details

1920s silk children's folk costume, skirt, apron, waistcoat and belt (worn as a headdress)

Portuguese embroidered waistcoat 

Pom Pom headdress worn as a belt- Penny MacBeth

Various bangles- vintage & Penny MacBeth

Broderie Anglaise white shirt



  1. Oh gosh...I love this whole outfit, it's marvellous...beautiful beautiful, I love it so!! And what a bargain too, glad you found it :) xx

  2. What a great find! It's very pretty!

  3. I love this costume - so vivid and full of life. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday!

  4. You look like an explosion of color and texture, I'm in love with this outfit! I have an obsession for anything embroidered - such a score on that vest!

  5. I live in a town just north of the Mexican border and one of my favorite things around here is the beautiful colorful embroidery. You do look just like a living Doll!!! Well done, Lally.

  6. I feel the need to travel and raid foreign market stalls! You look gorgeous, like a real-life costume doll. What a bargain! x

  7. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwww all the wonderful details, awwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    I love the bird, the doll your outfit, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Tons of love

  8. Love all the bracelets! <3

  9. Lally, you look amazing. So full of colour and charm. I ADORE folk costume - i did several card ranges inspired by them. You take it to a different level. That was the most amazing bargain -£15! Unbelievable. Bet it feels amazing to wear such a magical historic outfit. Xxxx

  10. Beautiful! Personal style at it's best is full of specific ideas and history. Love your approach and you manage the riot of color so well! Glad to meet you, Lally!

  11. GIve me colors anytime and you do it so well


  12. your style is awesome! *_* I love your blog!!