Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adora Dolls "Sandy's Adora-ble Friends"

Ever notice how thrift store shopping is either feast or famine?  Lately, it has been the latter for me, at least in terms of dolls.  Funny, because nearly every time I pull up to the Goodwill there is a line of cars waiting to drop off donations, yet I keep coming up empty on scoring good doll finds in the toy aisle!  Either little girls aren't playing much with dolls anymore, or people just aren't donating them right now.  Or, other thrifters have gotten to them before me! 
Well, today I stopped in at one of the Goodwills in my area, completely expecting to walk out empty-handed.  But I also always have hope as I walk through the front doors.  You just never know what you're going to find at a thrift store!  I made my way over to the toy aisle and quickly rummaged through the dismally stocked shelves.  Hmmm, some naked Barbies, a few Cabbage Patch Kids, and several LaLaLoopsies.  Slightly disappointed, I walked back towards the area where Goodwill keeps the breakable dolls.  I always look over these dolls because many times there will be a vinyl doll thrown in the mix, because the workers can't always tell the difference.  And BINGO!  I found this little sweetie, smiling down at me from way up high on the top shelf:
As soon as I picked her up, I knew she was hard vinyl.  I could also tell that she was a quality doll from her detailed, well-made clothing and her darling face sculpt.
She even had this little tag around her wrist, helping to identify her.  I still wasn't familiar with her though, so I figured I would do some research on her once I got home.
The back of her neck is also inscribed with "ADORA".
For the price of only $3.99, I couldn't help NOT taking her home!
She stands a hair over 8" tall. 
She is jointed in the usual places: hips, shoulders, and neck.
After doing a bit of research, I discovered that she is part of the Adora Doll line.  Here is a description I found on Samantha's Dolls website: 
Thanks to Adora Doll Company, you no longer need a passport or a plane ticket to travel the world.   You only have to meet a globe hopping, pig-tailed girl named Sandy.   She the star of Sandy's ADORA-ble Friends, a 12-piece set of travel-happy eight inch dolls that bring the world to your fingertips!  This collection revolves around Sandy, who's trying to learn about the world's different cultures.  So she visits her varied friends, who hail from Brazil to Norway to Vermont, and their adventures unfold in an accompanying storybook that highlights each region.
While initially in 2006 there were only 12 dolls, I found another web page that listed 18 dolls for 2008.
.   This link, shows them all.   I'm not sure how long these dolls were in production, but I don't think it was very long, based on the fact that I've never seen any before, and a quick look on Ebay didn't reveal many, either.
I did discover that my little sweetie is Molly O'Malley from Ireland.
I think her face is adorable.  Her red hair is a nice wig.
Her clothing is very nicely made, with quality fabrics.  The apron is lined, the ruffles have the tiniest of hems, and the dress closes in backs with snaps.  There is even tiny piping around her collar, sleeve cuffs, and dress hem.  And just look at her darling shoes:
The shamrocks are actually embossed into the leather and the ankle straps close with a buckle.  So cute!
The dolls all came with a book and look like they originally retailed for around $49.95.  The Samantha's Doll website even shows that there were extra outfits available that could be purchased separately.
It appears that all of the dolls were girls, except for one:  Hans from Germany.  I would love to find this doll!  Take a look:
Here's another one I thought was really cute, Rachel from California:
And while we're at it, here are the rest from the line up:
Carmen from Brazil
Gloria from Wisconsin
Jennifer from Wyoming
Katrina from Australia
Maggie from New York
Mary (no country listed in description)
2006 Sandy from the USA
Taylor from Colorado
Erika from Norway
Jade from China
Kanosak from Alaska
Lily from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia
Lucy from New Jersey
Mackenzie from Mississippi
2008 Sandy
Back view of my little Molly O'Malley
She is just the right height to play with this little, wicker baby buggy from my doll buggy collection
I am so pleased to have found this doll today.  It restored my faith in thrift stores, that's for sure!  So never give up hope on what you may never know what's waiting out there for you until you look.  And sometimes, you might have to look for a long time before you find that treasure.  Just be patient!
Tomorrow I'm off to my doll club meeting.  We don't have a program, but are doing a "show and tell" instead.  So I will bring little Miss Molly with me.  Especially since St. Patrick's day was just week ago, I think she'll be the perfect dolly to bring along, don't you?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Simplicity 8314--Four, New Doll Dresses!

Most of the dolls I find at the local thrift stores are naked.  I bring them home, give them a spa treatment, and sew them a pretty, new dress.  Lately, I've been wanting to try making a simpler dress other than my standard go-to, which is sleeveless sundress with a full, gathered skirt.  While I think it's very pretty and feminine, it does take a lot of time to gather and sew the skirt, make the placket, and add the hem band trimmed with rick rack.  And since I always have an over-abundance of naked dolls on hand and limited sewing time, I decided it's time to maybe find a simpler dress.  Enter Simplicity 8314:
When I first saw this pattern, I knew I wanted to give it a shot.  The short pantsuit and geometric block dress in the big picture did nothing for me, but the sleeved blue dress and white dress with red contrast looked really cute!
Now, I am a child of the late 60's to early 70's, and I cringe when I look at the photos showing what my mother used to dress me in back then.  So. much. polyester.  And bold, floral prints.  Not all of it was bad, but that time period is not my favorite for fashion!  However, I could tell that this pattern had great potential.
I promptly pulled out several coordinating prints from my never-ending stash of fabric and whipped out these, four dresses:
Didn't they turn out so sweet?  Simple yet feminine.  I chose to make View C (bottom right corner).  I omitted the sleeves to make it even simpler.  Other changes I made were to lengthen the dress by 1", omit the facings and instead completely line the dress, and hem the bottom with bias tape.  I hate neckline/armhole facings, so completely lining the dress made perfect sense to me.  Plus, it gives the dress a nicer weight and feel, and hides all of the exposed edges.  Since the front of the dress is made up of a center front and then side panels, I constructed the front first, ironed it nicely, and then used this as a pattern for my front lining piece.
18" Madame Alexander modeling the adorable owl print on an orange background.  She happens to also be wearing a white blouse underneath the dress which makes it look like this dress has sleeves and collar.  But it doesn't.
Close-up of the fabric:
18" Madame Alexander ethnic doll.  I love this blue and yellow combination.
Another 18" Madame Alexander with probably my favorite of the four dresses.  I just think the brown and pink combination is so pretty.
The back of these dresses is nice and simple.  I closed them with Velcro.  If I was making these dresses for my own dolls, I would either make buttonholes or use snaps.  But since I'm trying to keep them simple, Velcro was a good choice.
18" Our Generation "Hair to There" Doll.  This is a special edition Target doll, because she has hair that reaches the ground and a knob in her back which can let out or retract the three braids that come out of the top of her head.   While I think that some of these dolls are pretty, I don't like the way their upper arms are shaped.  They remind me of body builders!  But they are a nice alternative for little girls who may want an 18" doll, but aren't quite mature enough for an expensive American Girl.
This dress, the way I made it, has only 4 pattern pieces:  The center front panel, side panels, back, and front tab.  Very simple.  I hid the hem stitching with rick rack sewn on top.  In conclusion, I highly recommend this pattern!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Simplicity 1708 for Bitty Baby

I have a lot of doll clothes patterns.  A LOT.  It's kind of an obsession...every time JoAnn's has their patterns on sale, I just have to see what's new.  Especially when their Simplicity patterns are $1 each!  I mean, who can resist that kind of a sale?  I've had the above pattern in my stash for quite awhile.  It is a reprint of one of Simplicity's vintage ones.  I also happened to have a naked Bitty Baby that I want to sell on Ebay.  So I decided to make her a sweet, little outfit using this pattern.
Here is what I came up with:
Her outfit consists of a dress, bloomer panties, and bonnet.  The fabric is a super cute Easter print that I found at JoAnn's.  I don't normally buy my fabric at JoAnn's because I don't think the quality of their fabric is as nice as the quilter's cottons I buy elsewhere, but I just couldn't pass up this print!  And with their 60% off sale on Easter prints last week, it ended up only being $4/yard.
I made some changes to the garment (as usual).  I widened the neckline a bit because otherwise it was choking poor Bitty, omitted the collars, gathered the sleeves with elastic instead of a band, shortened the dress by a couple of inches and added a contrasting hem band, added some extra width to the skirt pieces because I like full, gathered skirts, and lined the bodice instead of whatever other way they finished the garment.  I love lined bodices, so that is how I always make my garments.  Next time I make this dress, I will also add more width into the sleeves.  I like to have full, puffy sleeves!
Bitty's bonnet has double faced satin ribbon for ties.  In pink, of course.
Isn't it just the cutest?  I lined the entire bonnet as well, although the instructions only called for lining the brim.  I made the brim from the contrast fabric and edged it with piping.
Here you can hopefully see the darling print of chicks and bunnies with an Easter basket.  So cute.
Matching bloomers.  I made these exactly like the pattern instructed. I think that's a first for me!
Back view.  The dress closes with a narrow piece of Velcro.
Here she is without her bonnet.  This Bitty is an earlier version, as she is marked "Pleasant Company" on the back of her neck.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I also added pink piping between the bodice and the skirt.
Wouldn't this little sweetie be just perfect in a little girl's Easter basket??? If my daughter didn't already have a Bitty, this is exactly what I would be doing with this doll.  But since that isn't the case, this cutie pie is now for sale on Ebay.  Here is the link:
I'd really love to make all the clothing in this pattern, especially the little coat.  Wouldn't it be so cute made up in a light, pink, baby wale corduroy or a linen?  And the hooded bunting (snow suit?) is completely adorable as well.  Ahhh!  So much sewing, so little time!  I wish there were more hours in the day.  I've got several more dolls that I want to try drafting patterns for, one of them the 16" Disney Animator Dolls. So stay tuned!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another Kathe Kruse Doll!

She arrived!  The new Kathe Kruse doll I told you about in my last post got here yesterday, and I couldn't be more pleased with her.  She's even prettier in person than her pictures.
Kathe Kruse's son-in-law, Igor von Jakimow, sculpted the head for this lovely doll.  It was the only one of Kathe Kruse's dolls that was modeled after one of her children, Friedebald.  This doll is known as "Doll VIII, the German Child".
She stands approximately 19" tall, is stuffed with reindeer hair, and has a hand-knotted, human hair wig.  I love her little snail braids! 
One thing different about the bigger doll is that her head can rotate, while the smaller one's cannot.  Upon some further research, I believe the smaller doll is "Doll IX, the Little German Child".  She was made as a more affordable version of the larger doll, since Kathe Kruse knew her dolls were expensive, and she wanted everybody who wanted one to be able to afford one.
Because I like to "play" with all the dolls I collect, I'm sure I'll be letting down her braids at some point and making her a new outfit.
She is also dated on her foot, and I believe it says "Mai 87".  (May 1987)
Aren't they sweet sisters?  I'm leaning towards naming the smaller one "Hannelore", which was my German mother's name.  I would call her "Hanne" (Hanna) for short.  I'm not sure yet about the bigger one.  My maternal grandmother was "Charlotte", so maybe I'll call her "Lottie".  Both of these dolls have the same hair and eye color as my mother and grandmother!
I LOVE these dolls. The are my new addiction.  If you could hold one of these dolls, you would feel the quality.  They are sturdy yet huggable, and their faces are so soulful.
And lest you think that dolls are the only thing I "play" with,  here is a photo of my brand new grandson! Isn't he a little doll?  He's so snuggable.  Wait, is that even a word?  He's two weeks old in this picture and just loves to be held by anyone.  His name is Flynn.   Isn't that the cutest name?  I am fortunate that little Flynn and his parents live in our town so that I can see him just about anytime I want to.
Here's my other, cutie-patootie grandson, Declan.  He came up to my doll room today and decided to wrap up his autie's Flynn Rider doll in a doily and carry him around like a baby.  Shorty thereafter, he found a rubber band and spent the next 1/2 hour securing it around Flynn Rider's limbs.  Boys!
And this picture right here?  Why, this is Declan's momma, carrying my next grandchild, a little GIRL!  I can hardly wait.  There will be dolls and tea parties and lots of pink.  Did I mention DOLLS?  As if I needed a reason to buy more dolls!  Fun times ahead, that's for sure!