Friday, April 10, 2009

The Search for Historical Accuracy

Napoleon woke up long enough to say thank you to everyone who commented about his posts. He also asked me to tell the cats who might be reading this that he'll have more tips about getting the most out of miniatures later. I think he's working on a plan for hiding catnip under the doll's skirts.

While he was sleeping off that 'nip buzz today I got a chance to get back into the studio and work on some new things. Mainly I was excited because I got fabric in the mail this week. I get excited about fabric in the mail anyway, but this order is really special. You see, I have this endless search to find replicas of historic fabric in minature scale. This is not an easy task!!! Actually, finding any fabric in miniature scale isn't easy unless you want to take out a second mortgage. I know I could copy jpegs of old fabric patterns and print them on muslin but that's not quite the look I want.

Have I mentioned that I'm a Virgo? LOL! I have a real obsession with realisim in miniatures and when I want to use a fabric with authentic designs, I want it to be real fabric. Reproductions are fine, but it has to be as close to real as it can get. Even with my Cadillac printer it's just not the same.

So when I found a store carrying repro fabrics I wasn't especially excited. I mean, repros are pretty common but I thought I'd browse anyway. A few minutes later I was dancing around the room and couldn't get my credit card out of my wallet fast enough!!! I found some seriously *gorgeous* prints of 1800's fabric AND some of it was in small enough scale to work for upholstery. Wooooooooooohooooooooooooo!!

While I often take off on trips of fantasy and imagination with my miniatures, there are certain things that I just insist upon when I'm doing a period piece. I'll spend a lot of time researching the era and end up with a notebook full of facts and trivia before I even start on the project. Not that I don't take a few liberties here and there (like putting a bathroom in a Second Empire house..........but I blame that on a divine Ruetters bathroom set that I just *had* to have!) But overall, I like historical accuracy whenever possible.

When I started dressing living room furniture, I set aside the Victorian pieces until I could find fabric that would actually be in keeping with the era. Yes, I know that they could have been antiques that were reupholstered as they were passed down from generation to generation and I'm sure I'll do plenty of those as time goes by, but I felt like I had to at least begin with an authentic look. That's why I was so happy about finding repro fabrics in smaller scale. There just isn't a lot of mini living room furniture on the market that steps outside of the white or solid pastel upholstery and I've been dying to do something about that! Miniaturists deserve to have color choices in their living rooms and parlors!!

I finished the first set today and was delighted with the results. The fabric is a delicate yellow stripe with pink roses vining over it. I think I sat there for an hour after it was finished just admiring how it came out. I need to get it boxed up and ready to post in my Etsy store but I may spend a couple of days just admiring it. One of the best things about being a miniaturist is getting a kick out of the little things in life.


  1. Absolutely beautiful! I love that fabric! :-) Where on earth did you find it?

  2. I agree with Mini Kat, this fabric truly is beautiful. I would also love to know where you found it, so I could find something decent for making bedding, curtains, pillows etc.
    Have a Great Easter Dear,