Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have a Blessed Christmas

A Very Blessed and Merry Christmas To Everyone!  
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Friday, November 29, 2013

A Collectors Dilemma

Do you ever just get in over your head?  I am in so deep in so many things. Since this blog is about dolls, I am just going to address my dolls.  First of all, I have too many dolls.  The problem.....I love all of them, but there is not room for all of them.  So I have some hard decisions to make.  I have already divested myself of approximately 100 dolls in the last several months.  These I gave to friends that I knew would enjoy certain of my dolls.  That was easy to do as I knew my dolls were still going to be loved as I had loved them.
Now comes the hard part.  Letting my dolls go to strangers. For some it will be easier than others as I love some dolls more than others.  A stranger may or may not love my doll.  Is it crazy for me to want my dolls to still be loved and enjoyed.  I think it is crazy, but that is how I feel.  Maybe another collector can understand.  I have made the decision to keep all my Bleuettes.  My Toni's also I will keep.  Most of my antique dolls I will keep.
I have a child sized Barbie I have had for many years.  I need to find her a new home.  She modeled for many years a very pretty smocked dress that My only granddaughter had worn.  She wanted the dress as a keepsake.  (she is now 19 years old).  I have a beautiful # 1 Chatty Cathy, a large collection of Ideal Crissy and family dolls, a large collection of Jem dolls.  (I need to do a study of Jem while I still have to dolls to photograph)  And many many more.  Now my problem....What is the best way to sell them?  I need to get a fair price and also for them to have a good home.  I also have a few pieces of doll furniture to sell.  I have doll clothes to sell.  I have doll shoes to sell.  etc.  etc.
My big dilemma is how to sell all these things.  I don't want to go to a flea market, I don't want to sell to a dealer.  How have any of you that at times have had to dispose of some of your doll collection do it?    I normally would turn to my doll club and my collector friends, but they also have too many dolls ect.  I am probably going to list some of it on ebay and see how I do.  I hope some of my readers will have a good suggestion or do all collectors have this dilemma?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings to Everyone

Bleuette has on her pretty fall dress, has the logs set in the fireplace to have a nice warm fire, read her book and relax after a Thanksgiving Celebration of Thanks with her family.
Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Doll Size Sewing Kit

Make a doll size sewing kit for your dolls
I love tp make things for my dolls.  This is a sewing kit I made some time ago for Toni.  There are cards of rick rack and other trims, cards with buttons, needle packs, sewing instruction book and fat quarters of fabric.  This was a fun project to do.  The instructions and printable items for the kit  are on the Ideal Toni Group site on yahoo.  

My Toni's Sewing Kit

Toni loves to sew with her new sewing kit I made for her.  It is in scale for a 14 - 15 inch dolls and adorable.

There is a sewing book, needle packs, rick rack and binding packs,
cards of buttons, fat quarters of fabric, etc.  All are in scale for Toni.

Buttons and Trim Packs

A close up of the trim packages and the button cards.
I love the little button cards.  The cards and labels are
printed out and the buttons glued on the button cards and
and the labels are printed and cut out.  The trims are
wrapped around a piece of cardboard  and the labels put on.
They look just like the full sized trims.

More Sewing Kit Pictures

A close up of the sewing book and the cute needle packs.
The fat quarters of fabric even have their on printed label.
This was a fun project to do.The basket in the picture is
too small to hold the complete kit, so I am looking for
a suitable sewing basket for the kit.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Doll Oddities - Sunny Orange Maid Doll

1924 Amberg Sunny Orange Maid doll or Sunny Orange Blossom doll, 14" tall, composition shoulder head, arms & partial legs, cloth body with stitched shoulder & hips, squeaker in body, short arms, painted blue eyes and lashes, closed mouth, shown dressed in her original orange dress with short jacket, and a matching cap.  Marked:  L A & S 1924.
Amberg 1924 Sunny Orange doll
1924 Sunny Orange Maid doll, 14"

Sunny Orange Blossom Doll - Louis Amburg & Sons

Sunny Orange Blossom. This doll manufactured by Louis Amberg & son.
These dolls were made in two sizes. The larger doll was 14 inches
tall and had a ribbon across its chest that read: "Sunny Orange
Maid - Copyright/Louis Amberg & Son 1924. Design Patented."
Sunny Orange Maid was dressed in an orange dress with white and green
lace trim. Her uniqueness came in the hat on her hear this is shaped
and painted to look like an orange. She was made of composition and
has a sound mechanism that was advertised to make a sound like a
squeezed orange.
The smaller doll is 8 inches and is made of paper mache and has her
orange shoes and green socks molded on her feet. She is marked "LA &
S NY. //DRGM". On her back is stamped "Germany". On her head is
also a hat mold painted to look like an orange.
In the early part of the 1900's, it was suggested by the March 1916
issue of Toys and Novelties, a trade magazine based in New York City
to "Make the fourth of July another Christmas". During the summer
when the toy business was slow it became a common practice to offer
novelty dolls in the hope it would increase sales. Many of these
dolls were advertising dolls. They became perennial favorites and
are still very popular with doll collectors today.
Here is a section from a site featuring the Louis Amberg dolls.

1924 Sunny Orange Maid or Sunny Orange Blossom, 14" tall, composition
shoulder head, arms & partial legs, cloth body with stitched shoulder
& hips, squeaker in body, short arms, painted blue eyes and lashes,
closed mouth, shown dressed in her original orange dress with short
jacket (not shown is her matching cap). Marked: L A & S/1924. 1924
Sunny Orange Maid, 14"

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Making Doll Socks

Need socks for you doll?  They are a simple accessory to make. Take some # 10 cotton thread or whatever size thread you want.  A smaller thread makes a finer sock.  Use a crochet hook (I used a size 1) to get the mesh size you want.  You can use any stitch, but I prefer just a single or double crochet.  Measure your doll from her toes, up the bottom of the foot, over the heel and up the back of the leg to the height you want the sock. Crochet a chain that length.  For a P90, 14 inch Ideal Toni I made a chain 27 chains long. 
I made a length 27 chains long.  Then in the second chain from the hook I did a double crochet and in each chain to the end. (25 double crochet).  Second Row: Chain 2, turn and double crochet in each chain.  Repeat until you have a wide enough rectangle to fit around the dolls foot and leg.  Tie off. Then get a sewing needle and thread with the crochet thread, fold the rectangle in half and sew across one end for the toes and up the sides to the end.  Turn right side out and your sock is made.

A finished pair of socks.  Doll socks are hard to find and expensive to buy.  You can also take the top of a pair of white pantyhose and cut a rectangle and sew them up to make socks. You can add lace to the top edge of the socks to make dressy socks.  If you want a  more tailored sock just make a row of single crochet in a contrasting color at the top of the sock. A simple accessory to make and it completes the outfit.  
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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Norman Rockwell Painting "The Doctor And The Doll"

This is a copy of the painting, "The Doctor And The Doll", by Norman Rockwell that was on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1929 of the little girl and her broken doll she took to the Doctor to fix.

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Little Girl and Her Doll

 This is the doll by Mary Moline from the Norman Rockwell painting.  I have owned this doll and she is adorable. If I had room I would have a collection of all twenty dolls in this series.  All the dolls were designed from the characters created by Mr Rockwell in his paintings.  Mary Moline did a good job of designing the dolls, but they were made in China and therefore the quality is only fair..  Mrs Moline did capture the spirit and humor of the paintings in the dolls.  As a lover of older dolls, I usually do not care for the newer dolls, but I do like these little dolls a lot.  Shown here is only the little girl and her doll.  I have also seen the Doctor made as a doll to accompany her. 
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Norman Rockwell Dolls

Norman Rockwell Dolls. Norman Rockwell is perhaps the most prolific
illustrator of recent times. We have all seen and enjoyed his
wonderful covers on The Saturday Evening Post. The wonderful
characters brought to life in his illustrations are heartwarming.
Starting in 1979 and ending in 1984 a series of fine quality
porcelain dolls was produced representing the most notable of the
Rockwell characters. The twenty dolls made of porcelain and had a
limited production of 20,000 dolls each. Each doll bears the
production number on the nape of its neck and the name, "Mary Moline"
on its back. The dolls sold originally from $130.00 to 250.00 a
piece. Some of the dolls are eight inches tall with most of them
being ten inches tall. Mrs. Moline designed them in a small size so
they would be displayed and not packed away. There were four dolls
released each year for five years.
Mary Moline was a doll collector and had also restored many dolls and
made clothing for them as a hobby. She had also been a writer and
was associate editor of Ford Life Magazine. She was assigned to
write an article on "automobiles in art". Through the research she
discovered that Norman Rockwell used many autos in his art and most
of them were Fords. She contacted Mr. Rockwell and asked his
assistance with the writing project. At first he was surprised, but
then he became intrigued and gave her a lot of assistance. After the
article was written, Mary discovered her interest in his work was
great. She spent over eight years searching bookstores and libraries
and discovered most of his work. The result of this research was a
book titled "The Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia" published by the
Saturday Evening Post Curtis Publishing Company.
The book was published in 1978 which was also the year Mr. Rockwell
Mary in that year was searching for a doll for a gift to her daughter
and she got the idea of a Norman Rockwell character doll. She knew
none existed and she determined to bring them into existence. Mary,
having collected and restored dolls did not have the professional
doll making experience. She immediately faced some reluctance from
Saturday Evening Post officials, but they did trust her knowledge and
respect for Norman Rockwell's work.
Mary commissioned Mimi Weingarten to create a prototype of the first
doll in the series. "Mimi" was modeled from one of Mr. Rockwell's
most loved works, "The Doctor And The Doll" from a 1929 cover of the
Saturday Evening Post. This reproduction persuaded Post officials to
grant to Mary exclusive rights to reproduce all of the Rockwell
characters from Post covers as dolls. Those rights were to last five
These adorable dolls, all twenty, are made of quality porcelain and
their clothing meticulously designed. After the five years of rights
ended, Mary destroyed the molds because she did not want cheap copies
of the dolls to flood the market.
These  dolls are a truly unique collectible. Now is the
time to buy these dolls, as the doll market is very depressed.
Prices will most certainly rise again due to the great popularity of
Norman Rockwell's beloved works.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Deanna Durbin Doll

Beautiful Deanna Durbin Dolls

Deanna Durbin Doll

Deanna Durbin Doll by Ideal. In case you don't know who Deanna
Durbin was, here is her story. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada of
December 4, 1921 as Edna Mae Durbin to British born parents. While
still young the family moved to California. In 1936 at the age of
14, she was signed to a contract with MGM, and given the name Deanna
Durbin. After a short time she was dropped by MGM and was signed by
Universal Pictures when Buddy Rogers was head of the studio.
She was given the role of Penny Craig in the movie "Three Smart
Girls" in 1936. She was coached by Director, Henry Koster and it is
doubtful that she would have achieved the fame she did if it were not
for Koster.
By the time she was 18, her salary was $250,000 per year and was the
highest paid female star in the world. The profits from her first
two movies with Universal Studio are credited with saving the Studio
from bankruptcy.
Her voice was described as natural and beautiful. Her version of the
song, "One Fine Day" from Madame Butterfly with Leopold Stokowski
conducting the orchestra became a classic. Her singing and acting
ability had the world's adulation and she was the most popular female
performer of her day.
What set Deanna Durbin apart from other stars is the fact she was
never comfortable with her stardom. A very private person by nature
all the glitz of stardom made her uneasy. She continued to make hit
movies until 1948 when she made her final movie, "For The Love Of
Mary" and at age 27, she walked away. She today lives in France just
outside Paris and is a widow. Her third husband French Director
Charles David whom she wed in 1950 died in 1999. Her one request of
him when they married was that she be a "nobody". Over all the years
she has refused many requests for films and interviews. She has not
been interviewed since 1949. The only public contact made by her was
several years ago. A rumor was printed in several sources that she
had become very fat. To refute this she sent a current photo of
herself to a newspaper.

As was the custom of the day in the early forties all major movie
stars had a doll named for them. The Ideal Doll Company issued the
Deanna Durbin doll. From 1938 to 1941, the doll was 21 inches tall.
A 24 – 25 inch version was issued only in 1938. In 1939 to 1941 the
doll was issued in 14, 15 & 18 inch tall versions. The doll has an
all composition, jointed body, brown sleep eyes and a brown human
hair wig. Her open smiling mouth has five teeth.
There were a variety of outfits made for the doll. The doll marks on
her head are: Deanna Durbin/Ideal Doll. USA. 

Below is an article I located telling of her death and giving some of her history.

Deanna Durbin

Deanna Durbin, child star from Hollywood's golden age, dies

Image Credit: Everett Collection
Deanna Durbin, a star whose songs and smile made her one of the biggest box office draws of Hollywood’s Golden Age with fans that included Winston Churchill, has died.
Durbin died on about April 20 in a village outside Paris where she had lived, out of public view, since 1949, family friend Bob Koster of Los Angeles told the Associated Press on Wednesday. Koster’s father, Henry Koster, directed six of Durbin’s films. Bob Koster did not know the cause of death.
At the height of her career, the Canadian-born Durbin, who made her first feature, Three Smart Girls, at age 13, was among the highest-paid actresses.
Her admirers included Churchill, who said she was his favorite star according to biographer William Manchester, and Anne Frank, who had Durbin’s photo pasted on the wall in the secret quarters where she and her family hid in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.
In 1938 she received an honorary Academy Award for her “significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth.”
Her hair, makeup and on-screen outfits set fashion trends worldwide and were emulated by millions. In the 1941 hit Nice Girl? Durbin, then 20, wore a spangled white organdy dress, ruffled and modestly cut, that became the rage at proms and country club dances across the United States.
“She was one of the last really legitimate movie stars from the 1930s who was still with us,” film historian Alan K. Rode told the Los Angeles Times. “She was a huge box-office star for a short period of time.”
But Durbin retired from the movies at age 28 and never looked back despite appeals from directors, studios and fans.
Deanna Durbin was born Edna Mae Durbin on Dec. 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Canada. Because of illness, her father moved the family to Los Angeles where the young Edna was discovered by a talent scout while singing at a school recital.
In 1936, she co-starred with Judy Garland in Every Sunday. The financially struggling Universal hired her to star in Three Smart Girls. It was Durbin’s first full-length feature, and it was a huge success thanks to the young actress’ strong screen presence. A year later, One Hundred Men and a Girl followed suit, saving Universal from bankruptcy and earning the renamed Deanna Durbin the nickname, “the mortgage lifter.”
Rode said Durbin, along with Abbot and Costello, “saved the studio from going down the tubes.”
By 1939 child roles were becoming increasingly out-of-reach for Durbin who had grown into a mature young woman. She was passed over for the role of Dorothy in the classic Wizard of Oz and Garland got the part. That same year saw her first on-screen kiss — with Robert Stack — and the news bumped war headlines off daily papers.
Durbin married cinematographer Vaughn Paul in 1941, and was divorced in 1943.
She made Can’t Help Singing, her first and only Technicolor film, in 1944. Her other films were in black-and-white because studio executives said it was too expensive to have Deanna Durbin and color film in the same movie.
That same year she married playwright Felix Jackson, 20 years her senior. They had one daughter and divorced in 1949.
In 1945, Durbin made Lady on a Train — directed by Charles David, whom she married five years later. The two moved to France and had a son. David died in 1999.
Durbin is survived by her daughter, Jessica Jackson, and her son, Peter H. David.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World Doll Day Proclamation by Mildred Seeley

Letter From Mildred Seeley - World Doll Day

Mildred Seeley founded World Doll Day with a letter written in 1986.  Following is the letter:

The Letter

Since you have not heard of World Doll Day?  This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn't conceived the idea.  Give a doll to a grown up, a child, or family friend.
Think of it this way and ship a doll to another country.  I have always felt that the common doll could be an instrument of world understanding.  From the first time I started writing books on doll making, I had the hope that dolls would help make friends all over the world and develop a little love among all.
World Doll Day will also be a day for doll exhibits.  It is my hope that all libraries will have a special doll exhibit.  Museums will publicize their doll exhibits and have special doll exhibits at this time.  Magazines will put out special editions.  Doll stores will put on campaigns weeks ahead.  Doll Makers will make special dolls for World Doll Day.  There will be doll competitions with World Doll Day awards, plaques and trophies.
The logo is made from artist Boots Tyner's doll representing a child. The child carries a German bisque doll to represent this doll collectors gift.  Feel free to copy the logo or have one made.
  Everyone can enjoy the fun as there are no fees, no permission needed, no obligations, nobody owns the day, no club, no company.  It's a free- for- all, take up the day, its ideas and fly with it.  Lets do it know.  World Doll Day.
If you think World Doll Day is a good idea, then appoint yourself a committee of one to do something about
 it--only then can it become a reality.  Would you tell five people,  ask them to tell five people, and each of them tell five people and so on.  World Doll Day's birthday is June 14, 1986.
                                                                                 Mil and Vernon Seeley
This letter may be copied and copied again and again until the world knows about World Doll Day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

World Doll Day This Saturday June 8

World Doll Day this year is June 8.  The day is always celebrated the second
Saturday in June.  I have included some pictures of my Bleuette's.  Saturday I will post more of my doll's pictures and again give the history of World Doll Day.  What are you doing to celebrate the day?  Let me know in the comments section what you are doing. 
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Monday, May 13, 2013

My Restored Mary Hoyer

I have wanted a Mary Hoyer doll for a long time.  I bought this doll
thinking she was an unmarked Pre-Toni, but as soon as I received her I knew she was not
a Pre-Toni,  The pictures that follow document my restoration of her from a
box of doll parts to a beautiful doll.  Following the restoration
pictures is a history of Mary Hoyer dolls.

Mary Hoyer Doll Arrived

 This is the condition that my Mary Hoyer doll arrived.  I have had her for a while, and finally I decided to maker her beautiful again

She needed to be restrung and her hair was matted and dirty.

This is her picture after restringing.

This doll does not have the Mary Hoyer marks, but she certainly has the looks and quality. Her clothing with the identifying label are not with her. Even with her matted hair, she is beautiful.

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Mary Hoyer restore pics


Mary could use a wig replacement.  Her wig has been cut and she has a big bald spot, but for now I am going to shampoo her hair and cover the bald spot and comb out her hair.

History of Mary Hoyer Dolls

Mary Hoyer ran a small craft shop in Reading. Pennsylvania.  She sold patterns and books with instructions  to knit and crochet clothing for children and infants. Patterns as well as the yarn and needles among her many craftwares.   She began using dolls to model the clothing patterns made up for her customers to see.  Her original doll models were dolls made by The Ideal Doll Company and had a swivel waist. She was referred to as the Mayfair Twist Body doll. The first Hoyer dolls used the marks of the Ideal Doll and Toy Company.  The clothing on these dolls has the Mary Hoyer tag. Without the original Hoyer clothing with the Mary Hoyer label  they cannot be identified as Hoyer dolls.
Mary went to Bernard Lipfert the lead designer of the Ideal doll Company in 1937 to design an original doll for her.  The first Mary Hoyer doll was made of composition, had sleep eyes with real upper lashes and painted lower lashes. and a closed mouth.  Theses dolls were made by both the Ideal Doll Company and The Fiberiod Doll Products Company.  They were marked:  The Mary Hoyer Doll.
In 1946, the dolls were made of the new material, hard plastic.  These dolls were marked:  Original Mary Hoyer Doll  Made In USA.  The clothing had the Mary Hoyer tag. They had a mohair wig, blue sleep eyes, real upper lashes and painted lower lashes, and closed mouth.  In 1937 with the introduction of the Mary Hoyer doll, was also introduced a boy doll.  He was 14 inches tall and was usually dressed in a prince costume.  He was also produced in hard plastic.  he was sold in a limited number and is today hard to find.  In the 1950's, another hard plastic doll was introduced by Mary Hoyer.  Gigi came in two lengths, 14 and 18 inches. This doll also had blue sleep eyes, real upper lashes and painter lower lashes and a jointed hard plastic body.
In 1957 another doll was introduced.  a ten and one half inch doll named Vickie.   Vickie had a swivel waist, rooted hair, and was made of hard plastic.  Vickie had a fashion doll body and high heel feet and was marked the Uneeda Doll Company and was actually a doll introduced by Uneeda as Suzette.  The dolls were bought from Uneeda by Mary Hoyer and dresses in Hoyer clothes, repackaged and sold as Mary Hoyer dolls.
The Mary Hoyer Doll Company closed in the 1970's.  The composition and hard plastic dolls designed by Bernard Lipfert remain the favorites of the Mary Hoyer doll Company and are today much sought after by collectors.  Only the dolls that are marked with the Mary Hoyer Doll Mark can be truly identified a a true Mary Hoyer doll unless the doll is still dressed in the original tagged Mary Hoyer clothing.  Many of these dolls do not have their original clothing and cannot be proven to be a real Mary Hoyer doll.  The molds used to make Mary Hoyer dolls were sold to many companies who then produced their own dolls.   All this just adds to the confusion of identifying  Mary Hoyer dolls.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Antique Doll Clothing Patterns

Many items of clothing have been made through the years by children, their mothers and grandmothers, and today doll collectors.  Since the first of the ladies magazines in the nineteenth century introduced patterns for dolls, there have been many thousand if not hundreds of thousands of dolls clothing patterns produced.  I have only pictured patterns from the fifties and early sixties dolls as this is my main area of collecting.  Also these patterns were not packed up as I sew constantly for my dolls of this era.  I have patterns and copies of patterns from well over a hundred years ago.  Bleuette, is another doll I collect and there were patterns published each week for here from 1905 to 1960 .  Other dolls popular to sew for are:  Shirley Temple and the Patsy family of doll most of the Ideal  and Madame Alexander dolls.  Barbie, the Crissy family of dolls, Chatty Cathy, and Tiny Tears, to name a few.  There have been pattern's  for most of the dolls released in the last seventy five years.  A new doll on the market American girl has lots of patterns also.

Below in this picture are patterns for a variety of dolls.  All these patterns were issued by the larger pattern companies:  Simplicity, McCall's and Advance.  All the patterns shown were originally published in the 1950's.  Therefore they are in the public domain and are no longer copy right protected.

Vintage Doll Patterns History

Vintage Doll Patterns. I am a collector  of vintage doll
patterns. These patterns are designed for the dolls of the era they
were published and sold and are invaluable when restoring an old
vintage doll. There have been doll clothing patterns as long as
there have been dolls. Bleuette is a good example of a doll with
many clothes. There was one published monthly from 1903 till 1962.
Many of the dolls starting in the 1930's with the popularity of the
Shirley Temple doll created the need for patterns copying her movie
costumes. Shirley also had a large and varied wardrobe she wore at
her many appearances and in the pictures in the magazines. When the
little girls received a Shirley Temple doll, their mothers would sew
for them and the patterns were created. All the major pattern
companies produced these patterns and continue to do so today for the
dolls of today. Many patterns followed for the many celebrity dolls
as well as the ordinary play dolls. I suspect many women bought
these dolls for themselves and made many dresses for them. There are
patterns made specifically for Shirley Temple, Toni, Saucy Walker,
Betsy Wetsy, Miss Revlon, Ginny, Crissy, Barbie and many others. If
the doll had any popularity, there were patterns designed for them by
the major patter companies. These old patterns read like a who's who
of dolls.
When restoring a doll you want to have the doll as authentic as
possible when you are finished. If you were to dress a bisque
antique doll in a romper or organdy pinafore, it would quickly be
noticed the clothes were not appropriate or look right on that doll.
The old designs are no longer available as the pattern companies have
moved on to new designs for the new dolls on the market today. Every
now and then a pattern may be published for an old doll that was very
You can buy these old vintage patterns at doll shows and on ebay for
about $10.00 and up. When you buy these old patterns you are taking
a chance all the pieces and the instructions are in the envelope.
The best way to buy one of these old vintage patterns is to find a
vintage pattern reseller. They sell copies of the original pattern
with the complete instructions, a copy of the back of the pattern
envelope and a color copy of the front showing the different styles
included in the pattern. A good pattern reseller will have made sure
all the pieces and instructions are there and will have a rather
large inventory of vintage patterns to choose from. These old
patterns are also a good source of patterns of the old rag dolls and
soft toys that were so popular in the 40's and 50's & 60's. Where
else would you find a copy of a pattern for Olive Oyl and Popeye?
The prices of these copies are certainly more than the $.10 to 1.00
originally charged. They range in price from $3.00 for a soft toy or
single dress pattern to as much as $10.000 – 12.00 with most selling
in the $7.00 – 8.00 range.
These patterns are a wealth of information about the dolls they were
designed for. They tell us the different sizes the dolls were made
in and what materials they were dressed in. Remember they were no
permanent press or knit fabrics at that time. The patterns suggest
fabrics such as, dimity, organdy, taffeta, rayon, wool and pique to
name a few. Remember cotton fabrics were 100% cotton. These fabrics
can be found at a good fabric store and also vintage clothing is a
good source of these fabrics.
I always try and use the suggested fabric in using these old vintage
patterns. I am always on the hunt for the old fabrics. Used fabric
in good condition looks better than new fabric, as new fabric tends
to make on old doll look shabby.
There are also many antique crochet and knitting directions for
making a wide variety of doll clothing. There is nothing sweeter
than a small baby doll dressed in a crocheted christening gown and
cap. Crocheted bonnets are always the crowning touch on an old doll.
Most of these patterns are not produced for a specific doll even
though in recent years the designers have begun to design for
specific dolls. Barbie and all the 11-1/2 fashion dolls have
hundreds of designs for them and don't forget the ever- popular bed
dolls. There are patterns you can use to make a sweater to complete
a Toni school outfit, bootee patterns for all the baby dolls.
Remember when using the old vintage patterns the directions are
different from today's patterns in that the stitches that have the
same name are different. Check with a good crochet web site to get
the differences. Also you can check the finished sizes to see if that
pattern will fit your doll. So get a pattern copy and start sewing,
knitting and crocheting.

Doll Patterns of the Fifties and Sixties

The patterns with the black and white cover photos are pattern that were custom made to fit the Ideal Toni doll.  Toni's original clothes were taken apart and exact patterns made from these clothes. They are made to fit every Toni size.

In this last picture are patterns made especially for Chatty Cathy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Twiggy Original Clothes and Doll 1967-1968

1185 Casey doll face 1967Twiggy was the first Mattel doll fashioned after a real person (Twiggy was a skinny, top British fashion model in the "modern" 1960s).  She has the same body size as Francie and Casey 11 1/4" and thus could share their wardrobe.  She has the same head mold as Casey, but has heavier eye makeup.

She was on the market in late 1967-1968.

Four tagged outfits were created exclusively for Twiggy and released in 1968.
1185 Twiggy Twist n Turn doll 1967-1968
1185 Twiggy Twist 'N Turn doll 1967-1968
Blonde hair, rooted eyelashes, twist N turn waist, bendable legs. Outfit is a yellow, blue and green large-vertical striped mini dress with nylon panties and yellow boots.

Marking:  © 1966 Mattel, Inc. U.S. Patented U.S. Pat. Pend. Made in Japan.
1725 Twiggy-Dos 1968
1725 Twiggy-Dos (1968)
A vertical ribbed knit sleeveless dress in yellow with  green and white bands around the hip-line,  yellow knit socks, yellow bow shoes, green and white beaded double strand necklace and shiny yellow vinyl purse with a golden chain.
1726 Twiggy Turnouts 1968
1726 Twiggy Turnouts (1968)
A sleeveless metallic skirted mini dress, multicolor striped bodice also metallic, a wide silver belt at the hip.  Gray vinyl boots painted metallic silver, a  two piece swimsuit in nylon striped like the bodice on the dress $50 and booklet.
1727 Twigster (1968)
1727 Twigster (1968)

Sleeveless orange and yellow check mini dress, matching scarf, orange purse, hot pink and white powder puff, brown eyebrow pencil, black eyelash brush, pink brush comb and mirror., orange heels with cutouts.
1728 Twiggy Gear (1968)
1728 Twiggy Gear (1968)

White and knit jumpsuit, rose floppy hat, blue plastic belt, black plastic camera, royal blue soft buckle flat shoes.

Twiggy Today

Twiggy.       Leslie Hornsby was born into a working class family in a
suburb of London, England in 1949. (My goodness, Twiggy is 63
today).  Being naturally very thin her father began to call her by
the pet name of "Sticks". Because of this her friends began to call
her "Twig". At the age of fifteen she was 5 feet 6 inches and
weighed 91 pounds. Her measurements were 31" – 22" – 32" and
completely flat chested. Girls in London at that time dated early
and one of her dates was a 25 year old hair dresser by the name of
Nigel Davies who professional name was "Justin de Villeneuve" because
he thought the name made him sophisticated.
Justin took Twiggy to the well-known London super hairdresser Mr.
Leonard.   He bleached her hair and cut it into a boyish short cut
with long bangs draped across her forehead and caught behind her
ear. This style became her signature hairstyle. Only in the
rebellion of 1960's London could a boyishly thin young woman who had
modeled for posters of starving children in the third world countries
become the height of sophisticated 1960's London.
Within the year Justin de Villeniuve became boyfriend, bodyguard, and
mentor. Within months "Twiggy" was the top model in London and Paris
with her picture on the cover of Elle, the famous French magazine.
Twiggy arrived in the U. S. A. on March 20, 1967 in the middle of a
large media blitz. She was greeted by then President Lyndon Johnson
and was a guest at Disneyland. She brought to America with her a
dress line and other Twiggy products. Her licensed products
included: jewelry boxes, notebooks, t-shirts, board games, and cards
to name a few. Her earring line sales soared to over three million
dollars in sales.
All of this activity and adoration for the young girl from London
caught the eye of Mattel, the creators of Barbie. Mattel needed to
update the Barbie story and scene. When the story of Barbie began in
the late fifties, America was a calm nation. The Viet Nam war had
not begun and families were the focus of society. By the late
sixties all of this had changed and Mattel needed to update Barbie to
more current events. Not wanting to create controversy by making her
a part of the war and protest movements that were so prevalent at the
time, the fashion scene that Twiggy represented was just what was
needed for Barbie.
Mattel secured the rights to a Twiggy doll. Made of vinyl, she was
eleven  inches tall and had rooted eyelashes and hair. The Twiggy doll
was made using the Casey head mold and the Francie body. Available
also were four outfits with names such as: "Twiggy Gear", "Twiggy
Turnouts", Twiggy Do's", and Twigster". All of these outfits were
very short very mod mini skirt designs.
The Twiggy doll was a huge hit and Barbie and her other "Mod
friends", Cousin Francie, Twiggy, and Casey were a huge hit in the
early 1970's. When the mod period ended Mattel moved on with a new
story line for Barbie.
Twiggy retired from modeling and married actor Michael Whitney and in
1979 had a daughter. When her husband died from a heart attack, she
decided to become an actress and has made several movies and appeared
many times in the theater and on television. She has been well
received as an actress and has grown in both her personal and
professional life. She has remarried to director Leigh Lawson and now
goes by the professional name of Twiggy Lawson.
A boat cruise many years ago with comedian Fran Dresher and Twiggy's
family created so much culture shock, Dresher created the hit
television show "The Nanny" from the experience.
In 2005 Twiggy appeared as a permanent judge on the Television
show, `America's Next Top Model." She continues to model and act.
Below is listed her official web site with pictures of her today.  She is 
still a very beautiful woman today.  Twiggy in real life is a success story
that began in the turbulent sixties and continues today.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Doll Quilts

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Making Doll Quilts

The other day I went to  a new thrift store and they had their fabric pieces on sale for $.29 cents a piece.
I purchased several pieces and one of them was a piece with five of the squares used in the quilt above.
I got out my stash of fabric and found several pieces for the quilt back and also some quilt batting.  I
layered them and stitched them together on my sewing machine.  

All four quilts have now been stitched together, turned right side out and ironed. They are now ready to outline stitch.   I have tried to make them all different.
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History Of Doll Quilts

The first information I can  find on doll quilts in America is in The New England Archives about 1760.  Doll Quilts were made in other countries long before. The information has been gleaned from diaries, journals and household inventories  Making doll quilts was an early tradition in America.
There are not many examples of early doll or baby quilts. The infant mortality rate was high and these small quilts were used as shrouds in which to bury the infants.
Sewing was a very important skill and when little girls were about three years old they were taught to sew.  Many of these little girls made quilts for their dolls as it was  a wonderful way to teach them to choose fabric, cut, and stitch.  Fabric being scarce and very valuable in early America, and none was wasted.  Every small scraps was given by the mothers to the little girls to learn to sew with.    Fortunate is the person who has one of these little early quilts.
Quilting for dolls continues even today with quilts being made for many of the popular dolls of today.  There are several made commercially for American Girl and Barbie to mention a few. Also today doll quilts have become popular with the online quilting groups as they can be made to show the latest and different designs in a small scale.  Many quilts are made by mothers and grandmothers for a daughter's or grand daughter's favorite doll.  Doll quilts have a long history of popularity and will continue with both seamstresses and doll collectors and most of all the little girls that play with them.
This blog is written for doll lovers and collectors and if any one is interesting in making a quilt for a favorite doll, there are many pictures, free patterns, instruction videos etc. on the web for making a doll quilt.  Or you can do as I did and buy some of the printed  fabric pieces and make a small quilt with them.  So the tradition continues..........

To see many beautiful quilts with a lot of them antique, go to doll quilts on Pinterest and   take a look at all the beautiful little quilts posted there.