Auguste creates lovely doll fashions in crochet. She has been making her exquisite yet durable dresses and separates for a variety of doll sizes and types for many years. The outfits are even more detailed and delicate in person than they appear in photographs. In the middle of a hot steamy summer, nothing looks cooler than the glamorous lacy concoctions of Auguste Designs!
Q:Were you crocheting clothing for people before you started collecting dolls?
A: I started crocheting scarves, then childrens’ dresses & tops when my children were smaller, then a dress for my Mom and later doll clothes for my 2-daughters. I also crocheted fine tablecloths and bedspreads as wedding gifts and gifts for family, and a lot of those patterns are incorporated and miniturized to make the doll clothes now so it was an ever evolving project.
I first learned to crochet from my grandmother when I was 8 and have enjoyed the hobby ever since.
It wasn’t until I saw a crocheted top that was very expensive that I wanted for my daughter for her 16th B-day that I decided I would try to make it myself. After much searching for books with that stitch in it, I managed to re-create the sweater for her….she was ecstatic! So that’s how I got started in making delicate crochet designs in thread.
It wasn’t till my husband passed away (I was only 38) that I started to collect fashion dolls….I guess as a distraction to the loss. I filled the void with this new hobby…but the clothes were soo expensive (I had 3 teenagers to raise). I again used my “crochet skills” to create fashions and later incorporated fabrics with crochet. My daughter loved the idea that I had found my own little “niche” and designed a little website for me. My other daughter took pics for me, my son helped when I had to change heads on my bigger bjds, and my grand-kids helped me pick names for the designs, so it was a real family affair – which I got to share with the whole family!
As more people got interested…even Alexandra Forbes (Photographer and editor for FDQ magazine and also photographer for many of the doll companies such as Dollics and Ficon etc.) noticed..we became good friends…she even published some of my pics in FDQ.
Q: Are all the photos on your site taken by your daughter?
A: For the last 5 years I have been taking my own pics. My daughter doesn’t have the time anymore, raising her children makes it too difficult, so I’ve taught myself how to photograph them. I’m actually enjoying the process and it extends the dolly-fun even more. I’m absolutely tickled when someone comments on how beautifully I’ve caught their etheral look!
Q: So you started with fashion doll clothing and then added BJD clothes?
A: I did start with Tonner fashions because I couldn’t afford the dressed dolls. and later became smitten with the BJDs and since not too many clothes were accessible for me here in Canada…I made my own. Then I was “hooked”…
I didn’t start on the BJDs till about 5 years ago when I was smitten with the work of Rainman. Elfdoll-Ryung, she was my first…and then I got Soah and I discovered Lishe Luts…and then the more realistic they looked(thanks to my faceups by Cristy of Xtremedolls and Stacy Carpenter) the more I wanted to design for them…and usually my designs are more romantic rather than edgy but I do try to combine both. Iplehouse…now they are making the extra tall 65 & 70 cm girls…a bit too tall for my liking, as it would take me about a month-2 months to do a longer style dress for them, so I’m still on the fence about getting that large girl especially with the big busts although I love their facial sculpts.
Q: Do you make commissioned outfits?
A: Yes…I have done commission work, but I have to have the doll myself to make sure I get a good fit otherwise I won’t make it.
A: When I made the “bon-bon” tops I sold at least 50 of those and lots of the dresses with the sequins and lace get made in different colours.
Q: What sort of embellishments do you use on your dresses?
A: I use tiny miniature rosettes & ribbons & bows and fancy laces and hand sewn sequins & Swarovski crystals or anything like feathered fabric & fancy fabrics & combine them with fine lacy crochet.
Q: How long does it take to make a top? How long to make a dress?
A: I usually takes 9-10 hours to make a dress for 16″ size or longer depending on how intricate the pattern is and about 4 times that long for a BJD SD-size dress…some take me weeks to make as I work full-time and can only work evenings and weekends when I don’t have my grandchildren over(6 of them). As I’ve been a widow for 24 years now, I’ve had lots of time to pursue my passion of crocheting….but black takes me the longest to work with as my eyes are getting harder to work that thin thread at night. At 62 I’m slowing down a little but still enjoy dreaming up new designs and having people like them as much as I do!
Q: What BJDs do you have in your collection? What other dolls do you collect? Do you have a favorite doll models to design for?
A: I have a multitude of Tonners, and friends (dolls the same size but not Tonner)…
I have from Elfdoll..Soah, Sooah, Lydia, Hazy, Ryung, June, Eun-A …also Luts Lishe, and Annette, Iplehouse Sylvia modded, also Supia Rosy and tan Rosy and Limwha human & half-elf girl….and Narae large & small also Unoa Lusis and Lati Blue Yern and Goodreau resin Innuendo and smaller girls Sybarite, Ficon Mac, AG,Kinetic, and lots of first Fashion royalty girls and my first doll I ever collected…some Barbie high end girls…I just love dolls & designing for them!
The doll that inspired me the most was my Soah(she is sexy & cute all rolled into one), but body-wise Limhwa & Supia have the most “sexy” body type to design for…I love making them clingy, lacy, romantic flowing dresses and Lishe does sexy bathing suits like no other sculpt!