Vintage Millie August furniture kits

by brae  

I found these two kits at a local hobby store that was having a moving sale.  The fabric seemed a bit rough for scale, though the finished photos on the kits looked wonderful.

I had some ivory muslin in my fabric stash that seemed softer, but I stuck with the original fabric in the end and was glad I did.  :D

My general impression was these kits are very thorough and have excellent detailed instructions, though there were parts that had no illustrations when you could have used some.  I chose to make a photocopy of the pattern pieces before cutting them just in case I had to start over with my muslin fabric.  I also copied the figure drawings so I didn't have to keep flipping the paper over between the instructions and the drawings, which happened to be on opposite sides from one another.

I tackled the couch first, and it went well from the start.  Since the kit was old, the foam had yellowed significantly, so I lined the sides and front of the couch with natural muslin before adding the finished fabric.  I didn't want to take the chance that the yellow would show through once the couch was complete.

The most challenging part was creating the welting, or cording, but it's the one element that really adds to the realism of the piece.  Real life sized upholstered furniture has this detailing and it was worth the frustration and effort to get it to work.

All in all, the couch took me the better part of a day to put together, so I haven't gotten to the chair just yet.

I added some plaid cushions stuffed with seed beads.

The kit has you build the couch as you would build one in real life size.  I learned a lot putting this kit together and will put these skills to use the next time I make an upholstered item.

Ara, who has a blog called Addams Family Mini-Mansion, uses a small wood artist's model when she builds custom furniture.  I thought this was a brilliant idea, so I bought a couple myself from Barnes & Noble to use when either making kits as in this case or for when I get around to scratch-building more furniture.  They are 5 3/4" tall, so they equate to a person about 5'9", which is perfect for getting the proper scale of things.  They don't articulate all that well, but they do a good job for me since I have no actual dolls to put in my miniature dwellings.  :]

11 comments

Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]

Realism. Check.

Looking effortless. Check.

Brae rocking mini’s once again? Check. Check. Check.

04/10/11 @ 21:08
Comment from: Keli Minick [Visitor]

You’re right, the welting does make all the difference, I’ll have to remember that. Nice work on the assembly, slow and careful paid off.

04/11/11 @ 01:10
Comment from: brae [Member]

:>> Thanks, ladies!!!

04/11/11 @ 11:26
Comment from: H. Bean [Visitor]

It turned out really great. I really like the kit fabric, & with the pillows you made on it the sofa looks even more real. Looking forward to seeing it & the companion chair in a room!

04/14/11 @ 21:37
Comment from: Hunky Dory [Visitor]

Hi Otterine, I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I would love to see what you might come up with for my fires mini -challenge. Check it out. I know you are so busy with your inventive creations, but I would love to have you participate. Go to http://verylittlehumor.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-very-little-humor-mini-challenge.html for the rules (not many).
Thanks,
Doris

10/17/11 @ 16:33
Comment from: brae [Member]

Doris, that sounds like great fun!!!

10/17/11 @ 16:41
Comment from: Doris Wunderlich [Visitor]

That is great. I am honored and look forward to your post on 10/31.
Thanks so much.
Doris

10/18/11 @ 13:38
Comment from: snowfern [Visitor]

ohh how i wish i were more attentive to your blog, your work is mindblowingly beautiful…..i must tell myself to stop by more often :)

LOVE IT!

10/24/11 @ 22:09
Comment from: brae [Member]

Aw, thank you! :D

10/24/11 @ 22:26
Comment from: Ramon [Visitor]  

I was wondering if you know where I might be able to find info for the Millie August MillieMeter Mansion series. I have a victorian pull apart house that is sized to fit into a dollhouse. I believe it is HO scale. The exterior is very detailed and the rooms are unfinished. I am preparing to sell pieces that I bought back in the 1980’s and have no idea how to price this.If memory serves correctly I paid 45-50 dollars at the time. If you have any info that might direct me I would appreciate it.

09/24/12 @ 13:52
Comment from: brae [Member]

Hi, Ramon - I’m not an expert on Millie August and hadn’t heard of her kits before I found these two in the shop. From a quick eBay search, it looks as though the prices on eBay aren’t very high. I would say it depends on the condition, which house you have and timing. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

09/24/12 @ 14:00


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