Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the release of Great Expectations with your own Charles Dickens-inspired display ! Here we have taken Montgomery Hall (featured on pages 56 and 57) and given it a distressed look reminiscent of the description given in Great Expectations – where the young Pip is invited one day and meets the beguiling Estella. Miss Havisham, meanwhile, is still mourning the loss of her bridegroom and remains in her wedding dress, many, many years after the fateful wedding day.
Create your own Satis House!
Satis House is the home of the bitter and withered Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. The building is a reflection of its owner and is crumbling, cold, and neglected. We have recreated this dark, haunted house with our very own Montgomery Hall and you to can create your own piece of Dickens magic in a few simple steps.
Firstly, to create the distressed look of the front of the house, simply sharpen a pencil and rub the shavings across the wall. You can then smudge the marks left by the shavings to create the desired effect. Finally, add lots of climbing ivy to the front walls!
However, you don't have to stop there. To make it even more authentic, why not break a few of the window frames or add broken panes of glass to the windows? If your house has guttering, you could fill it with moss and hang it across the front of the house to add to the distressed look. You could also have missing bricks and bird nests lodged in holes in the wall.
Unlike films, novels allow you to interpret characters and buildings in your own unique way, so why not create your own interpretation of Satis House and Miss Havisham?
How to recreate our Miss Havisham doll
You will need:
Firstly, you need to cut out the material for the skirt (9" x 4"), seam the short edges and turn up a hem on one of the longer edges. You then run a gathering thread around the top of the skirt and fit it to the doll. Pull the gathering thread together, distribute the gathers evenly around the waist of the doll and fasten securely. You can now start on the top half of the dress!
Cut out the bodice of the dress, as per these patterns, and stitch the shoulder and underarm seams. Fit the bodice on to the doll, fold under the lower edge to fit over the gathers of the skirt, and then slip stitch the back openings closed. Finish the bodice by trimming the neckline with a matching silver or grey trim.
You now need to cut out the sleeves, run a gathering thread around the top of each sleeve and stitch the underarm seam. Fit these sleeves to the doll, pull in the gathering thread and stitch the sleeves on to the bodice at the natural armhole. Finally, run a gathering stitch around the wrists of the sleeves, turning in the raw edges, and draw them up before fastening securely.
Add grey, cobwebbed hair and a dirty face to Dolly and you have the ghost-like character of Miss Havisham!
How to recreate Pip from Great Expectations
You will need:
The first thing you need to do is cut out the required patterns in your chosen fabric.
To make the trousers
Firstly, stitch the center front and back seams, and then the inner leg seam before turning up the hems. Turn the trousers the right side round, fit to the doll and stitch just above the waist to secure them.
To make the jacket
You first need to stitch the underarm seams and then the shoulder seams. Try the jacket on the doll to ensure you get the length you want, and then turn up the hem. Next, turn in the edge of the left front of the jacket and stitch it over the right side before adding bead buttons down the front. You can now add the sleeves!
Turn up the sleeve hems and stitch the sleeve seams together. Turn them the right side round and gather the sleeve tops slightly, slip on to the arm and ladder stitch them in to place. Finish the jacket with a contrasting collar, by trimming the outer edge of your chosen collar material, fitting it around the dolls’ neck and stitching it in to place. Finally make a fabric or leather belt and fasten with a buckle or two beads.
The perfect Pip!
How to make a beautiful Estella from Great Expectations
You will need:
- Ruth doll
- Material of your choice
- Lace edging
- Bead buttons
To start, cut out a strip of fabric (3" x 9") for the skirt, before joining the short ends together and folding the fabric lengthways so that no hem is required. Run a gathering thread around the top edge of the skirt, fit it on to the doll, pull up the gathering thread and arrange the gathers evenly.
For the bodice, stitch the side seams and the shoulder seams, before fitting it to the doll. Skip stitch the front openings closed and add a narrow lace edging and bead buttons. Cut out the sleeves and sew gathering threads around the top of both. Stitch the underarm seams together, pull up the gathers and attach them to the natural armholes. For the finishing touch, make a ribbon sash to hide the join between the skirt and the bodice, and finally add a bow to hide the join of the sash.
You now have a perfectly entrancing Estella!