Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Finally.......... the birth

We picked up Le Tout Paris from Bracknell on 10th September 2011.  It is absolutely intact - no pieces missing other than the frames on the inside of all the windows.  This might prove more difficult than usual as six of them have arched tops.  If you go to the photo album (link on the right) you can see how it opens.  This offers yet another challenge as three of the rooms get split when it opens which will mean the flooring and furnishing will need to be thought about carefully. I was aware of these issues  before I bought it so they don't come as any kind of surprise.  The thing where I did get caught out is that the loft doesn't lend itself to making it into bedrooms.  The apex is only five inches (= five feet) at the high point so no-one can stand up in there never mind move around.  I have lost two of my planned rooms.  I  considered putting the maid of all work's bed in there as it would have been marginally better than sleeping on the kitchen floor or in a cupboard as they often did but I suspect my suffragette shop owner had more scruples than that and she has probably increased the extension at the back of the premises to include a small bedroom for Molly.  The roof does lift off which is why I thought it could be furnished.  I presume it was just a good idea for  storing dolls house bits and bobs for a child playing with the house.  Already in this photo I have removed all the blue carpet which fortunately hadn't been stuck down, so it came out easily.  I have to admit at this point I am a bit overawed by the prospect of tackling all the changes I am envisaging.

Let me introduce you to Ellen Bentley.  She is one of my purchases from the Stafford show.  If you want to see the rest of the stuff go to my photo albums. (link on the right), to read about the visit to the show you need to go to the Wentworth blog.

 In case you are wondering she is dusting a jewellery box to put back in the window display.  If I can't find another figure the right size for a customer just coming into the shop then I'll leave the closed sign up and she can be just polishing off some finger marks on the box at the end of the day. 

So............  the absolutely final configuration of the four rooms will be..........

The Salon - the shop display area where ladies will choose what they want to purchase/order:

For fashionable clothing, a woman visited a workroom.............. She sat in a chair and described what she wanted.  Samples were brought to her.  After she had made her choice the goods would be put in her carriage or delivered to her house.  Dresses, coats, shoes were made to measure.  Either the customer would return to the workroom for a fitting after the garment had been cut and basted, or someone would be sent out to fit her at home. 

Above the Salon will be the fitting room - where they can have their dresses fitted and try on shoes, hats and (maybe) underwear.  This will also be the work room if I win a bid on EBay for a particularly nice sewing machine.  If I don't get it I shall rewrite the story and have the actual sewing, like the millinery and shoe making, 'sent out'.

I think that's as far as I can get right now.  We leave for our winter in Florida on the 28th and won't be back until April, so I won't get any actual hands on playing done but I'll keep you posted on any purchases or anything else to do with Le Tout Paris.

I have a trip to Miniatura planned on the 25th - a couple of days before we leave where, no doubt, another fortune will have been spent.

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