The Fairy Queen

Do you remember Dawn, my little Topper doll? After having her lying around without clothes for years because 1. I didn't even know back then what or who she was, 2. I had no idea where to get clothes for her, I had finally made a fancy little dress and accessories for her out of seed beads.
As Dawn is only 6 1/2 inch - compared to the 11 1/2 inch of a Barbie and 11 1/4 inch of a Francie - it may not be instant gratification to make something for her, but it's definitely quicker. I couldn't help myself and had to get more Topper dolls, two more, to be exact.
After making the dragonfly pin, I knew what I wanted to do with one of them.
Dawn was to become a fairy!
Only she's not really Dawn, but one of her friends as the head mark 11C as opposed to 11A told me. She's Jessica who used to be a stewardess (yes, that's what it was called back then). It's kind of funny because last time I had thought that Dawn was a Jessica, and now I fell for it the other way round. I should have noticed that her hair was not as full, but I'm so used to different Bubble Cut hairstyles on vintage Barbies that I simply didn't think about it.

As usually, I made the dress first.
What do you think of when thinking of a fairy? Tinkerbelle? Flora, Fauna and Merry-weather from Sleeping Beauty? Cinderella's fairy godmother? Oh, no Disney fairy at all? Maybe one from a fairy tale book you read as a child? From a fantasy movie?
Do you imagine a long dress, a colorful hat that reminds of a witch's hat? Something short and green? A cloak with a big bow? Something glittery? Something colorful like flowers? That's the fun part about it, your imagination is the limit.
My imagination sent me to a combination of reds and browns with some gold mixed in. I made the dress using the Herringbone technique which has proven to be the most versatile so far, at least for me who's not that much of an off loom beader (yet?). I like the "pleats" in the skirt and hope to be able to reproduce this in a bigger dress eventually.
This time I forgot to take a picture of Jessica just with the dress on, but I'll get to the accessories again later.

Next were the wings. It's two sets of wings which I made in the bead embroidery technique with golden seed and bugle beads. Instead of enhancing the golden look as I did in the dragonfly wings, I used tiny clear AB seed beads with the sequins here.
Sewing the wings on was quite a fiddly thing to do, especially with the arms constantly getting in the way. The hard part was also to sew them on in a way that wouldn't make them move too much, after all I don't want them to fold up in the back, so you won't be able to see them.
I would say this part challenged my patience the most, and yes, there was swearing!
Here's a close-up of the wings.

My first thought had been to give my fairy a wand, but the typical wand with the little star on top seemed a little stereotypical. Instead, I decided on giving her a long staff, something sturdy, something to emphasize her power as a queen even more than the little golden crown of seed beads and coated hematite.
After thinking for a while, I remembered having wood skewers left over from my polymer clay days. I used size 15 seed beads to cover one of them in peyote, going from coated clear beads at the bottom to golden ones at the top.
The Swarovski crystal came in very handy although the story goes that it's really a citrine found by the dwarves and gifted to the Queen of the Fairies ;-) I could have used the same one in a smaller size, but the Queen made very clear that she didn't think small.
For the connection between staff and crystal I glued on a thick layer of golden seed beads to strengthen the thread connection. It was one of the rare times when glue and I made up a good team!
The staff is attached to the hand by means of a little bracelet and I can even move it into different directions without it falling off.

Last but not least came the everlasting struggle with the shoes. As I had already mentioned in my post about Dawn, the Topper dolls have tiny feet thanks to their size. Once again I tried slippers like I made them for Francie before, I tried to make the soles in different sizes and use differently sized beads, but to no avail. Even when I admitted defeat and got back to the sandal design, I still had to experiment with that.
This is attempt #6, I think, the one that finally made me happy. They stay on her feet and they fit the outfit. I didn't have a golden thread, but I have a gold metallic pen coming to cover it and even like this the "golden yellow" was still the best choice.

Thank you if you have made it to here. I'll end this post with a picture that is giving you a better idea of the Queen's size. This is an ordinary step on my stairs, so you see that our fairy is indeed one of the "small folk".
Don't let it deceive you, though, I'm sure she knows how to use that staff, for magic or to hit you with it! ;-)

Dawn was a registered trademark of the Topper Company. I am also not affiliated with Topper in any way.


  1. My 2 favorite things, fairies and dragonflies. I adore her!

  2. Dawn/Jessica is simply wonderful in all ways! I'm especially intrigued by the smaller details in this amazing creation of yours, Cat. The staff (that jewel on top is perfect), the sandals that look so elegant and comfy and her beaded crown and things I could study all day.

    Your work is fabulous and so are you!

    For personal reasons, I'm going to continue thinking of her name as "Dawn." ;)

    1. Thank you very much, Dawn!
      I have to admit that I'm really happy how she turned out.
      As small as she is, she took up her spot between the big Barbies very proudly, too! ;-)

      And no worries, the last Topper I have at the moment is a Dawn again.

  3. I love everything about this! Her little sandals are sooooo cute! The wings are a stroke of genius. And I love that she can do magic with her staff / wand or whack sassy upstarts with it!


    1. Thank you!
      A Fairy Queen has to do what a Fairy Queen has to do and she won't hesitate for a moment! :-D