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The Setting: Paris, France 1905 Historical Event: the separation of church and state.
The Main Character: publisher Henri Gautier
Monsieur Gautier's business included the publishing of religious material. No doubt the removal of religion from public schools was threatening to his business. "La Semaine de Suzette" a magazine was advertised as "filling the need" for moral instruction. Parents could encourage their daughters to pursue the homemaking arts which include, of course, fine sewing.
A great advertising ploy was used; A darling doll was included with each subscription . In each issue (twice monthly) among various articles, games, comics and stories, was a pattern with instructions to create a wardrobe for this doll. Bleuette and her extensive trousseau was born. Clothes made from these patterns are sometimes referred to as an L.S.D.S. style.
Through the years (1905-1959) different models of heads (mostly bisque) were used for the doll, although the body ( fully jointed composite wood) changed very little. This allows the span of 55 years of fashions to fit all models of Bleuettes. The reproduction models that have become so popular in recent years have been made with attention to this wonderful fact and they can share the same wardrobe as their vintage counter-parts. ( slight difference in feet and tummy )
Early in Bleuettes
nephew , Maurice,
joined the family
business and the
company was now
They soon began to offer ready-made clothes for Bleuette, made by seamstresses in their homes and sold at the publishing house. A beautifully illustrated catalogue was produced to advertise these ensembles. In "Bleuette" parlance they are referred to as the G-L styles.
Bleuettes popularity has sprung interest groups in doll collectors, as well as the artists that clothe and make the reproduction dolls. Please visit the following links to find out more about our darling petite mademoiselle, and hopefully, if you haven't yet, will acquire a Bleuette to call your own.
Thank you for your interest ! I am delighted that you have come to my web-site and are here to find out more about me and my creations.
MY historical background begins as a little girl who loved her dolls with a very serious passion.
Lets fast forward to a grown-up, dolls long retired, but with a resume that included an educational background in textiles and photography. I was focusing on quilts...large quilts when my family was young and we bought a house. A small house, and there wasn't enough floor space to layout my work for basting. I briefly scaled down to small quilts about the same time my daughters were old enough to play with dolls. My career as doll costumer was born.
Shortly afterwards i attended a doll show and came to a booth run by Doll Shoes International and the gracious Joyce Nicholson. Her business specializes in beautifully hand-made shoes as well as Bleuette reproductions. I was struck by the doll's diminutive size, delicacy of features, the group of Joyce's friendly acquaintances , and the fact that Bleuette has an amazingly extensive recorded history. My Bleuette passion was born....the year 2005.
Focusing (over the last 11+ years) on this one special little doll, has allowed me to satiate my curiosity of new techniques, color, fabrics, history of fashion, and a bit of Francophilia* as well!
I hope to inspire doll collectors to seek the exquisite for their own charming dolls, as well as other artists to use the doll world as a jumping off point for their own creativity.
(frăng′kə-fīl′) also Fran·co·phil (-fĭl′)
A person who admires France, its
people, or its culture.