Sunday, March 23, 2014

Doll Clothes from "Toyes Tiny Treasures"--A Guest Review!

Well, I have made it through my ridiculous week.  It was very fun and exciting, but I can't remember ever being so busy.  I am looking forward to having things back to normal this week, and maybe watching Frozen tonight...after I clean the kitchen.

Here to help me finish out the week in style is my Canadian friend, Melissa, who wrote the wonderful Begoth review earlier this month.  Melissa found a gem of an Etsy shop and had a great experience buying custom clothing for her 16" Tonner doll.  This shop offers clothing for a diverse range of dolls, including Tonner, Blythe, and several BJDs.  Melissa wanted to share her experience and her beautiful purchases with all of you, since we all know it can be quite hard to find just the right outfit for a special doll.  Once again, I am extremely grateful for the help and delighted to put the blog into Melissa's capable hands for the night!

"Vasilisa" by Tonner Doll, wearing a custom Toyes Tiny Treasures dress.

Thank you so much for letting me take over your blog again, Emily! It has been a lot of fun. This review is nowhere near as exhaustive (or exhausting...) as my Begoth review, but I hope you all enjoy it! Maybe it will encourage you to check out handmade goodies for your dolls more? Enjoy!

Toyes Tiny Treasures is a small Canadian company which sells handmade clothes for all sorts of different dolls. All of their items are handmade by the owner, Sue Toye, right here in Canada! Sue also makes an effort to utilize reclaimed materials in her items.

Initially when I contacted Sue I was only going to buy a custom version of this dress in Tonner small-bust Tyler size for my Vasilisa, but after talking with Sue for a while I decided to order just a few more items…

Or, you know, an entire new wardrobe.
Before I show you the items individually, I want to talk a little about customer service because this is one of the hundreds of things that I think is so great about buying from small companies. Sue handles all of the customer relations herself. She was absolutely great to work with. Because all of the items I was ordering were custom, I sent Sue a list of different items I wanted, with information of what colours and details I would like, along with my budget. Let me clarify something about myself: I have (completely unintentionally!) expensive tastes. This would be no problem at all...if I had the money to afford my tastes. So I have learned to send a disclaimer whenever I am ordering something custom, telling the seller that, yes, I do know that I won’t be able to get everything I want, and that, yes, this is just a dream list. So I sent that to Sue along with everything else. She messaged me back quickly and let me know that she wouldn’t be able to make everything on my list but that she would try her best. She also told me that she did not have a Tyler-bodied doll, so she asked me for Vasilisa’s measurements and said she would try to find a comparable doll among her collection. The closest she could find was an Antoinette-bodied Jon, whose measurements were very similar to Vasilisa’s, only with a smaller bust. She said she would keep this in mind while sewing, and off she went!

As items were completed or near completed, Sue sent me photos of them to make sure I liked them, and to ask me about things such as what hem length I would like or to show fit (in case you were wondering, I liked absolutely everything she made). Sue caught onto the aesthetic I like very quickly. She even made a few small extra things for me, all of which I loved! After Sue had made everything she could within my budget, she made a custom listing for me, I purchased it and everything was shipped the next day.

My goodies arrived in a zip-loc like mailing bag, with one of the smaller items in an additional smaller bag:

All that I need to do is open the bag and pull everything out. Common sense in packaging.

The first item to come out of the bag was an ivory peasant dress:

This dress is made out of a beautiful cotton cloth with a visible weave. This material has a historic look  and a very high quality feel to it:

The dress closes in the back with two crocheted ties:

I think my favourite details in this dress are the slightly puffed sleeves. Just look at the tiny gathers:

The construction of this dress amazes me. Every edge is hemmed or serged, inside and outside. Rather than going on about it, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

It is definitely loose fitting on its own,
but it works great as an old-fashioned nightdress, or a breezy summer gown.

No wardrobe is complete without a good pair of bloomers! (Well, at least not in my opinion...). I ordered a pair in black for Vasilisa. They are made out of the same lovely cotton fabric as the peasant dress:

They have an elastic waist and tiny elasticized cuffs on the legs.

All hemmed and tucked under.
There is a fine line to walk when it comes to the volume in bloomers: too little fabric and they are tight and don’t look at all bloomer-like, too much fabric and they look like clown pants. Sue hit the balance perfectly:

As for what I think of these bloomers over all, let's just say I want these bloomers in human size in about five different materials and leave it at that. ;)

Sue included a basic black net petticoat with my order. It is nothing compared to Vasilisa's formidable hoop skirt (which I see as a good thing) but does provide a little bit of poof for her skirts as needed, and looks cute peeking out beneath shorter dresses.

This is the fullest the petticoat and bloomers can make the dress.
I like this level of poof. The best part of all?

She can still sit in this dress! Unlike in her beautiful, but very limiting, stock red taffeta dress...

How did women in the Rococo era ever manage?!
Actually, how did anyone in the Rococo era manage...
Now, here's the dress that inspired this order!

This is not the colour it is in real life.
I love this dress. It is all crocheted by hand, out of cotton thread. The colour is unfortunately a little hard to photograph, but it is a really pretty and unique shade in real life, which looks absolutely gorgeous with Vasilisa’s deep red hair!

This is the colour it is in real life.
It has black accents, including a belt with a crocheted flower. This belt ties in the back, and there are two buttons crocheted onto the dress, which fit into two crocheted loops to close.  

The bodice and skirt are two different crochet styles, with the skirt being a more open, lacy weave. The only thing I don’t love about this dress is the fact that it needs something worn under the skirt to preserve Vasilisa's modesty.

Risqué Crochet.
The bloomers work perfectly for this though, and I probably would have put them underneath anyways just because of how cute it looks. Otherwise, I completely adore everything about this dress!

One thing which I knew Vasilisa absolutely needed to have was a pair of black and white striped socks! 

I love striped socks! I don’t think you can ever have too many striped socks! Pattern put aside, the construction of these socks is great. They even have a tiny heel:

They are hemmed at the tops, then finished with lace-edged elastic, which both looks good and ensures that the socks stay up. They reach to about lower thigh height on Vasilisa, which is a very good sock height in my opinion.

They're scrunched down just a little in this picture.
Sue also made me a pair of arm warmers to match the socks, as a sort-of extra.

They look nice, but these are the only disappointment from this order. Unlike the socks, these aren’t hemmed on the top or bottom. They are tiny, so that is completely understandable. Hemming a circle the width of a pinkie finger (which the arm warmers are) would be the antithesis of easy. One of the arm warmers is an imperceivable, incremental amount smaller than the other. When I say imperceivable, I mean imperceivable. I cannot see the difference. So how do I know one is smaller than the other? One slips on with no trouble while the other requires squeezing and yanking and squishing, and when it reaches a certain point on her’s staying there. Obviously, this is not good for the stitching down the sides of the arm warmer or the un-hemmed edges, especially the top side. After about three times taking them on and off, there is already fraying on both of them, but there is quite a bit more on the smaller of the two:

So these don’t work fantastically for Vasilisa. I didn’t want to throw them away as they’re just too nice, so I decided to try them on my Begoth, Olivia. They work well as leg warmers on her, and look completely adorable with her faerie theme:

Arm leg warmers!
One of my most favourite pieces I ordered is this gorgeous black velvet capelet. I adore capelets:

It closes with a ribbon, has a full hood, and is made of the most amazing feeling, luscious black velvet. It feels so wonderful to the touch, and looks so beautiful in real life. (Cameras just don’t seem to be very good at capturing the texture of velvet in general).  It is even lined!

The lining is the same black cotton material as the bloomers, and it is sewn in perfectly.
The construction on this capelet is pretty well impeccable. It looks fantastic worn:

However, I had another test in mind for this capelet: The Functional Hood Test. There are so many hoods which do not fit over dolls' heads, or that just look weird when worn up. 

This, hood-lovers everywhere, is not one of those capes:

Vasilisa can wear it the regular way, or it can also be pulled over her face, so it shadows her eyes:

I wouldn't take an apple from her, if I were you.
It's just me!
This last item is one that Sue came up with on her own, and it made me love her. It is a brown waist corset made of reclaimed leather:

This is real leather.
It has real (tiny!) metal eyelets, with a brown satin ribbon to lace through them:

I adore the look of corsets. I do not adore lacing up tiny things. I was a bit worried about this and told Sue as much, so she included a large (and very dull) lacing needle with the corset. I decided to try lacing the corset up without this first try:

Through the first set...
One more set to go!
All pulled through.  Now, tighten one at a time...
All snug.
And tie a bow...
That actually wasn’t very hard at all!  And it looks fantastic!

These items are all so gorgeous. The quality is outstanding and the manner in which they are produced could not really be any greater. I love everything about this order. To finish, here are some of different outfits I’ve come up with so far, using these pieces:

There were a few items I was not able to get within my budget this order so once I get some more money, I can’t wait to order more items from Sue! Toyes Tiny Treasures is a wonderful, ethical and eco-friendly company with excellent products, all lovingly handmade by the owner in Canada! I can’t think of anything more I could possibly want in a company!

All I can think of is that I'd like to own more of these clothes!


  1. The clothes you've purchased are really pretty! :) I enjoyed reading this review.:D

  2. Hello! Great review of the clothes! Your doll is so pretty and the beautiful garments are just perfect for her. I love every piece AND the combinations you came up with! Congratulations with this purchases :-).

  3. Great review - and all the clothes look wonderful!

    It's always a challenge to know which Etsy sellers/crafters/artists are the better ones, so I love seeing something like this.

  4. excellent review hopefully have more guests to share their love of dolls

  5. What a bag of goodies! My favourite is the cape, especially when drawn over the forehead. I only bought a handmade outfit once, it was for MH.

  6. Great review Melissa. Your dolls eyes remind me of the vampire Bella doll from Mattel. Very pretty.

    I wish I had the talent, patience and time to make my own doll clothes. It seems in this day and age, certain skills have pretty much gone to the wayside. I recently signed up for a sewing class that was being offered at the local community college BUT I received a letter cancelling due to lack of interest, not enough people signed up. Someday I will learn, in the meantime I just admire others ability.

    A treat as always, Tina

  7. This was a lovely review. I collect Blythe dolls and there is a huge market of handmade clothing for her on Etsy. It is a lot of fun to buy handmade clothing and I was happy to see that Toyes Tiny Treasures has clothes for Blythe too :) I am often so impressed by the creativity, skill and quality of these tiny clothes. Some are very inexpensive and others can go well above $100. They have inspired me to have a go at making my own with a little bit of success... Thanks for the review.

  8. I want those clothes in human size! Gorgeous!
    – Anna G.

  9. These clothes are so amazing! I really appreciate good doll clothing, it's often hard to find these days. My favorites are the green dress and the corset.

  10. Wow! They're all gorgeous! I especially love the corset belt! It's absolutely wonderful! It looks so beautiful with the white dress and the meticulous detail is just great. The leg warmers are absolutely adorable. She sounds really great. Also, the doll is beautiful, love her features and her hair.

  11. To sit down while wearing a hoop petticoat or crinoline, pull it up at the back as you descend. Being careful not to display your bloomers, of course.