Classic Hollywood: Miss Sadie Thompson

Hollywood really loved W. Somerset Maugham's  short story "Miss Thompson" (later retitled "Rain").
It was famously played by Gloria Swanson in the 1929 silent movie

And by Rita Hayworth in 1953

But my favourite version is the 1932 pre-code talkie, starring Joan Crawford. Comparing Swanson's outfit with Crawford's you can see what the great depression did even to glamorous stars!

It is a "torrid (rainy) melodrama" set in the South Seas. Miss Sadie Thompson is an "easy living girl" who is escaping from San Francisco to Samoa and is forced to stop at Pago Pago with her fellow passengers, among wich is notably a righteous preacher.......interesting developements ensues....
As this movie is in the public domain I won't tell you anything more. I rather post the link where you can enjoy it for yourself: Rain (1932)

I like the movie and I like Crawford style and dress. Costanza agreed to model it, she's such a classy and versatile girl!

                                                   I made the dress, hat and bracelets.

  Earrings are IT  (Hot Property Natalia)

Shoes are by PaulZanby. 

Gloves and purse are Poppy Parker's.

I'm pretty happy with this dress, maybe Costanza shall pop up in some future story dressed as Sadie!


Extra: Some of the guys get a face enhancement

I wasn't 100%  satisfied with the faceup of some of the guys, so I checked all the available internet resources  and found out I had just what I needed:
Caran D'Ache Prismalo Aquarelle Pencils! In fact I have a huge box I used for coloring some of my drawings some time ago.

By the way a sample of my drawings (these are illustrations for a short novel I wrote a couple of years ago for my nephews):


so, I picked the colours I needed, sharpened the pencils and with patience started working on the guys.

I damped the tip of the pencil with mi tongue, ok, this is not ladylike, but I did it anyway and these are the results:

Goffredo has got his new mustaches

Enrico had such a bland coloring, now with his new lips I think he's really handsome

Armando got mustaches and lip enhancement

Giacomo has got freckles!!!

As with hair styling I limit myself to little touches, just to have the dolls look exactly how I envisioned them when I bought them.

What do you think?


Bartolomeo: Mad About the boy 5

Taking pictures of the boys in hotel rooms was beginning  to bore me, so I decided to change the style of the introducing photosessions. Of course we will have the "sexy sampdorian" thing, as Sasha can't tolerate any new guy who isn't a true sampdorian to enter the house.

I bought Bernardo some time ago, I really like the Takeo sculpt, and was really intrigued by the Mission Moscow one, but in the end I settled for "In The Mix", as I really liked a lot his screening.

It took me a while to introduce you to him, as I wanted to know him a little better. When he arrived home he looked very sweet but I wasn't impressed by his personality.

He has been loafing around in his underwear and flip flops, until I found out he's an artist!

Nat King Cole - Let's do it


Travelling Dolly 9 - Odette in Oman part 2: Fortresses and doors

For the second instalment of their trip to Oman Odette and Carlo are going to show us two of the main architectural features of the country: the fortresses and the colourful doors.


Watchtowers, forts, castles and strongholds of all kinds dot the craggy landscapes of Oman. Built by rulers - and would-be rulers - of the past, many of whom  played a role in the country's history. 


Much of Oman's tumultuous history is written in the stone, stucco, and mud-brick dialects of its defensive architecture. The craggy countryside bristles so naturally with fortifications that it is difficult to imagine the landscape without them, from the chains of watchtowers perched along strategic mountain passes, to the great bastions guarding the coast and the historic capitals of the interior. As the political turbulence of the past subsided into history, however, the fortresses coveted by conquerors seemed destined to crumble into oblivion - until the 1980's, when the government of Oman began an enterprising program to restore the country's fortifications using traditional techniques and materials.


Oman is a land of 1,000 forts - at least. They tower above the treetops of inland oases. They ding to the cliffs above ancient ports. And over virtually every village fortified watchtowers perch atop handy crags high enough to command a view of approaching enemies. [from Saudiaramcoworld]
Omani Doors

Hand carved from great broad slices of huge teak mahogany or shishum timbers the traditional Omani Door is both defensive yet welcoming to guests. The  household Omani Doors were individually hand carved often with the name of the owner cut in attractive arabic script with geometric floral and other traditional patterns expertly carved and more designed to welcome guests. Great hand made spiggots, ancient locks and wooden bolt systems finished off what some would term as the only furniture in an Omani house other than the marriage chest and the windows ! [source: Fortantiques website]

Odette poses in a Gregory Prescott's inspired photosession

Next Instalment: Wadis and Desert

Previous Instalment: The Cities


8th March: Women's day

On 8 March 1914 In London there was a march from Bow to Trafalgar Square in support of women's suffrage . Sylvia Pankhurst was arrested in front of Charing Cross station on her way to speak in Trafalgar Square.
In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women's Day in Saint Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on March 8 on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.Women in Saint Petersburg went on strike that day for “Bread and Peace".

We've come a long way since those days, but there's a lot still to be done for equal rights, education and wages!

In spite the fact they may seem just fashion horses, the girls here are very conscious about these problems so they asked me to pose in front of the Wall of Dolls in Milan. The Wall of Dolls is an installation unveiled during menswear fashion week in june 2014 to shine a light against the increasing wave of violence against women which is rising all over the western world.

They also wanted to pose in front of this installation by Francesca Biasetton in Genoa's Palazzo Ducale, inspired by the "Zapatos Rojos" project.

Zapatos Rojos or Red Shoes is an art project realized by the Mexican artist Elina Chauvet. It deals with a city route which consists in lots of pairs of red or red-painted shoes to commemorate the many cases of violence against women in the whole world. In particular, her first work was realized in Ciudad Juarez, the border city between Mexico and the United States, where for the first time it was used the expression “femicide”. Here, indeed hundreds and hundreds of women were abducted, raped and then killed since 1993.

On a lighter side: In Italy to celebrate this day men give women yellow mimosas branches, mimosa blossoms also mark the beginning of springtime!

A great Women's day to all of you!

Aretha Franklin  and Annie Lennox: Sisters are doin' it for themselves


Hommes Fasion tutorial: a V-neck sweater from a sock!

When I began sewing for dolls I started wondering how to make them some nice sweaters, I expecially like skinny sweaters for boys. I can't knit or crochet, so I patiently picked and put aside old socks and also bought some cheap ones.

As part of the Tartan Craze collection, I have to make several more. Today I'm going to show you I sew a V-neck sweater.

I can't draw patterns with measurements, please check April's wonderful blog where she explains in full detail how to draw one.

This is my first real tutorial, so be patient and, as always, comments and advices are more than welcome!

Material: a sock, thread, needle, pins and velcro.

Let's get started. The sock, I'm showing the pair but we'll need only one:

I'm going to use the upper part for the Torso and the foot for the sleeves (I'm trying to be frugal with fabrics!)

I usually use a cotton pattern drawn by me or some useful piece of original IT clothes for measurements:

Mind to leave seam allowance and cut  the rear in the back (I will add velcro to close the rear of the sweater. I don't want to risk ruining the guy's beautiful hairdos!)

Wool is everything but a firm fabric so before starting to wipstitch  I stitch the torso with pins and try it on the doll (Alessandro obliges again as our model)

It looks fine, so I'll wipstich the whole lenght, then fold around the neck and sew it with the smallest stich I can manage, then assemble the front.

Now I'll asseble the whole torso, starting from the shoulders

then the sides,

and last I'm going to fold the bottom to the desired lenght.

Now it's time to work on the sleeves. First I cut the heel and toes of the sock foot.

Then I take the lenght of the sleeve on Alessandro's harms, shape the the sleeve with pins and then I cut  and wipstitch them.

then fold the cuffs.

Now let's sew the seam (before we model the shape and then reproduce it identical on both sleeves).

The hardest part to figure (for me) was how to sew the side seams: first turn the sleeves from outside out, and place them into the torso (which is still on the inside out)

fix them with pins and then sew them toghether

Let's turn the whole sweater outside out. Now we just have to sew some velcro on the back.

Alessandro is satisfied, now he wants his new trousers!