Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Monday, July 17, 2017

Recent Dolly Treasures from Local Shows

Sometimes I don't blog for awhile because I don't think I have anything of interest to share.  And then I go to an antique show, like I did this past weekend, and realize that I never showed you things I brought home from the antique show before that one!  Oh, well.  Better late than never, I suppose.  Anyway, doesn't this group make you happy?
I've had the buggy in my collection for several years and showed it to you before, so it isn't new.  But it was the perfect height to go along with my new SHIRLEY TEMPLE doll I just bought this past weekend!  I also found the pink bunny and the little Kathe Kruse doll at the same show.  The mini bears in the buggy and the stuffed kitten are from previous shows.
Shirley Temple--she's been a favorite of my mine ever since I was a little girl and watched all of her old, black and white movies which I recall playing on Saturday afternoons.  As I grew older and realized there were dolls made in her likeness, I wanted one SO BAD.  I had the cutest, 11" composition Shirley in my collection for several years, but finally sold it a while back, thinking I needed to clear out some dolls to make room for new ones.  MISAKE!  I've missed her ever since.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  So when I stumbled across this 13" composition cutie at the antique show this past weekend, I immediately knew she had to come home with me.  She is in really good condition, with minimal crazing.  Her eyes are clear and bright with no missing lashes.  She has a full, soft, mohair wig with those famous curls.  Her former owner made her a reproduction dress and undies which are very nicely done.  Her stringing has come a little loose, so she can't stand unaided.  But I just happen to have a good friend (hi, Donna!) who will help me restring her.  She just makes me so happy!
Her mohair wig is in beautiful shape.  Many times, these dolls have crushed and matted wigs from being in storage, so I am very pleased that this isn't the case with this doll.
Her outfit is adorable, and a copy of the original.  Shirley Temple outfits are usually tagged, so when I didn't find a tag on this one, I knew it had been handmade.  I will be replacing the synthetic, pink bows with silk ribbon ones, just to make the dress more authentic.
Here are the little friends that Shirley wanted to push in the buggy.  Forgive me if I have shown them to you before, but I don't think I have.  They are both newer, artist made bears, sewn from mohair.  They are jointed at their hips, shoulders, and neck.  The cream-colored bear is 5 1/2", and the pink one stands just 3 1/4"!
They make perfect props for smaller dolls.
How cute is he?  Even though it's pink, I still think of it as a "he".  Maybe it's the expression?  There's no tag, so I don't know who made him.  But he's a mid-century toy for certain.  So cute.  He will be a perfect decoration in an Easter basket next spring.  He's about 15" to the tip of his ears.
Don't you just love that expression?  The vendor where I bought this rabbit had another, smaller one.  I almost bought it, too, but decided one was enough.  Now I wish I had brought it home as well.  It was white and made in Japan.  I'm finding that I've become a sucker for vintage, stuffed animals.
I couldn't believe my good fortune when I found this 10 1/2" Kathe Kruse baby!  He's a limited edition, probably made for a doll convention.  According to his wooden hang-tag, his name is "Paul" and he is number 52 out of 75 made back in 2003.  His body is a very, firmly stuffed cotton, and his head is a hard material (new composition, resin?) which is softly hand-painted like the originals.  I love him.  My German grandfather's name was Paul, so this seems like he was meant to become a part of my doll family!  I have looked and looked on the internet for another like him, but have found nothing yet.  He was part of such a small production, that I may never see another like him again.
His stuffed friend is this sweet, well-loved kitty I picked up at a local antique store a few months back.  I just couldn't leave it behind!  Anything miniature tugs at my heart strings.  Throw in the fact that it's a vintage, stuffed animal, and you don't have to twist my arm!
So, those are some of my recent treasures.  I'm sure there are more I haven't told you about!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Madame Alexander Travel Friends Story Land Doll--Alice in Wonderland!

While browsing my local Tuesday Morning a couple of days ago, I stumbled across a few of these Madame Alexander Travel Friends Story Land dolls.  I was really excited to find Alice in Wonderland, as she is one of my favorite Disney characters!
Here she is, still in her box.  As you can see, I got her for a really good deal, considering that her original, retail price was $15!
Little Miss Alice stands approximately 7 1/2" tall.
The back of her box shows all of the characters in this line.  My Tuesday Morning also carried a Cinderella, a Little Mermaid, a Starry Princess, and a Fairy Princess, but Alice was the one I wanted most of all.  I almost bought Cinderella, but she's so similar in coloring to Alice that I decided to pass.  Now, if they would have had "Beauty" (Belle), I would have snapped her up in an instant.  She's adorable!
She was quite easy to remove from her box.  Here she is, still attached to the cardboard liner.  I only had to remove two pieces of clear tape and undo one twisty tie to completely free her.  Not bad.
Free at last!  She can stand on her own.
Beautiful, long, wavy hair.
Because she has hinged knees and elbows, she can sit in more lifelike positions than most dolls.  I think this is a really impressive feature for such a small, relatively inexpensive doll.
She can even kneel, as long as her feet can hang over the edge.
She has molded underwear.
Her dress is cute and has lots of detail, but mine has a flaw where the skirt is attached to the waistband...part of it got tucked up when it was sewn to the bodice, making it hang funny and shorter than the rest of the skirt.
Here's the other side of the skirt, which looks just fine.  Just thought I'd mention this, in case you go hunting for your own doll.  Look at them all and compare before picking one out so you can avoid flaws such as this one.  However, for a $5 doll, I'm not upset.  In fact, I'll probably pick out the seam myself and just reattach it properly.
Just for fun, I decided to pose her next to my other Alice, a Robert Tonner Doll.  The Tonner doll is much more expensive and has a better made outfit.  Only her knees are jointed while her arms are not.  While she is a better quality than my new Alice, I really do love them both the same!  I actually think that I prefer the face on the Madame Alexander version more. 
They are both the same height--7 1/2", and have jointed knees.  The Tonner doll has a better quality, more detailed outfit, but the MA Alice has jointed elbows.  Both have nice hair.  Both have removable shoes, but Tonner Alice also has nice stockings.  They each have nicely painted faces with different expressions--Tonner Alice is more serious, while MA Alice is more sweet. 
For the price (and you can't beat $5!), I think the MA Alice is a wonderful, little doll.  She's easy to pose, a nice size, and just looks so cute.
There were two, other Alice dolls in the Tuesday Morning when I bought my doll...I stood them all up, side by side, and studied their faces carefully.  I wanted to make sure that I got one with the best facial painting.  All three were slightly different, so I'm glad I checked!  However, I didn't think to check the workmanship on the clothing, or I might have noticed the flaw with the skirt.  In any case, I am really pleased with this little doll.  I think she's a great doll for children, as well as adults!   If you are fortunate enough to have a Tuesday Morning in your area, check them out.  They frequently have wonderful dolls at great prices.  You never know what you'll find!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Disney Animator Dolls and Their New Dresses!

Remember a few posts ago, when I said that I wanted to draft a pattern for these 16" Disney Animator cuties?  Well, I finally did!  Here's what I came up with:
Belle, Snow White, and Cinderella are all wearing the same basic dress, but with different embellishments made to the bodices and hem lines.
And here we have Boo and Rapunzel, modeling their versions of this dress:
Each dress has only three, basic pieces:  a bodice front, a bodice back, and a skirt.  A second bodice front and back are used as a lining.  Snow White and Rapunzel's dress do have one more pattern piece--a template for the scallop design that runs along the bottom of their skirts.  If you look closely, each scallop is adorned with a little bow.
I think Snow White's dress is my favorite.  I just love the colors, and the white scallop at the hemline tacked up with little, red bows.  So cute!  I also used vintage, rayon seam binding to add the band across her bodice top.  I think these colors compliment her complexion so nicely.
Sweet Belle in one of the simpler dresses--the bodice top and skirt hemline both feature contrasting fabric trimmed with rickrack.
Cinderella looking darling in a pretty blue which really brings out the color of her eyes.  It is trimmed with vintage lace across the bodice and hemline.
Spunky Boo from Monster's cute is she?!?  I wanted to make her dress look like it had a pinafore, so I sewed the purple polka dot contrast fabric onto the floral bodice fabric to make it look like a pinafore top.   I added a hem band from the floral fabric to the  purple dots to make it look like an apron skirt.  The "pinafore" edges are trimmed with rickrack.
Shhh...don't tell the others, but I do believe that Rapunzel is my favorite of the Disney Animators.  Her expression is just so pensive and endearing.  Her dress is identical to Snow White's in design, just with different fabrics.  It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the contrast pink fabric has shimmery, pink, polka dots against a pink background.  The yellow, floral fabric is one of my favorite, yellow prints in my stash.  So pretty and feminine. 
All of these dresses open completely down the back for ease in dressing.  They close with a narrow strip of hook and loop tape.
These dolls and their dresses are currently for sale on Ebay.  ( & ) I have them listed with a Buy it Now price, since summer sales are notoriously slow.  I'm hoping these little ladies find new homes soon, since my doll/sewing room has become overrun with all these waifs I bring home from the thrift stores!
These are really, very sweet dolls.  I think the Disney Animators did a wonderful job of capturing their personalities.  My only complaint with them is that their hair can become messy and matted VERY QUICKLY if not handled correctly.  Which is kind of sad, since these dolls are marketed for children, and we all know how much little girls like to brush their dolly's hair!  I so wish that Disney had used a better quality of hair for these dolls.  Every Rapunzel I have ever bought (and I've bought a lot of them) has taken me HOURS to detangle her hair.  Crazy!  But the end result is so pretty.  Speaking of end results, have you seen some of the repaints that artists are doing on these dolls?  Amazing!  Here are a few I pulled from Pinterest: 
Look on Pinterest or Google, and you will find many, many more of these dolls with repainted faces and even re-wigged.  The end results are nothing short of amazing.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Dress for an Antique German Bisque Doll

A friend from my doll club recently asked me if I could dress her antique doll.  She is a sweet, dolly-face, German doll, simply marked "Made in Germany" and then the number 12.  She stands approximately 19" tall. 
This is what her dress originally looked like:
A sweet, toddler girl's dress made from a sheer cotton voile and trimmed with cotton lace.  The collar is not separate but rather the lace is sewed onto the fabric in a way to make it look like there is collar.  Clever!
I won't lie...I had a hard time cutting into this little dress.  It was so PERFECT!  No stains or didn't look like it had ever been worn.  Perhaps it had been sewn for a special occasion, or maybe it was only worn for Sundays?  I guess we'll never know.  However, it did make up into the sweetest little doll dress!
Once I drafted the bodice and sleeve patterns, it was fairly easy to put together.  I didn't have to hem or gather the skirt, since that had already been done.  The bodice is lined with a sheer, white voile, and the gathered sleeves were strategically cut from the dress so that I wouldn't have to hem them.
Close-up of the sleeve detail:
I decided to close the back with tiny snaps under decorative buttons.  The buttons are also antique...taken from an old slip.
I'm very happy with how this all turned out.  I'm always a little nervous when making that first snip into an old garment--making a wrong cut cannot be corrected!  Which is why I first always make a mock bodice from some old fabric, just to make sure everything fits well before cutting into the good stuff.
Not visible in the photos (because I totally forgot to take pictures!) is the adorable, full slip I made for this little lady from a pair of antique, lace-trimmed ladies bloomers.  I still need to make the doll a pair of bloomers as well, but I wanted to get her back to her owner with her new dress since she'd already been in my possession for a couple of months.  I will make sure to show a picture of those once I get them completed.
And the best part about this project?  I get to keep the leftover fabric from the dress to make something for one of MY dollies!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Busy Sewing and New Listings on Ebay!

I have been busy sewing for the past few days, and managed to crank out 14 new doll dresses!  Yes, FOURTEEN.  I don't know why I do this to myself.  But somehow, I figure if I'm going to be sewing some doll dresses, then I may as well cut out a few more and sew them assembly-line style.  This time, I even made coordinating, reversible headbands.
The four dolls above are my newest listings on Ebay, and are all so sweet!
First up, this Pottery Barn Doll by Gotz:
I think her name is Marianne.  Isn't she cute?  She is much more slender in her torso than the other dolls, so the little A-line dresses that the others are wearing were just too big for her.  So she got a sweet sundress that I originally made for American Girl dolls, but ended up being too tight for their bodies.  I actually made three of these sweet sundresses in different fabrics, and none ended up fitting the dolls I had them intended for.  Grrrrrr.  I hate it when that happens.  If I would have taken a moment to check the fit of the bodices, I could have avoided this scenario.  But whatever.  This dress looks sweet her, so it all worked out, I suppose.
The fabric is a light green with cherries sprinkled across it.  So cute.
She has long, silky, rooted hair.
Next up is this Precious Day Collection Doll, also by Gotz:
Such a sweet face
And she has the most lovely, rooted hair--thick and wavy!
Another Gotz...this time it's a harder-to-find Little Sister Doll, LILY:
Isn't her expression so serene and beautiful?  Sometimes this mold is referred to as the "Mona Lisa" face.  I can see why.
She has the loveliest, long blond wig
And last, but not least, is this American Girl of Today doll by Pleasant Company!  And yes, I found her at Goodwill a couple of months ago!  I almost passed out when I saw her in the toy aisle.  Goodwill usually pulls these dolls to sell on their online auction site, which is why you almost never find them in the stores.  But I think this one slipped by because she is not marked American Girl, but rather "Pleasant Company" on the back of her neck.   
She looks just like Samantha, I think.  She might have been number "16", but I'm not sure.
She's in beautiful condition
Her hair is dark brown and wavy, and a bit shorter than Samantha's.
Here she is in her original outfit, complete with tights, velvet flats, underwear, blouse and jumper.  Everything is tagged "Pleasant Company".  I've tried to find the name of this outfit, but haven't had any luck so far.  There is an American Girl of Today logo on the front of her velour jumper.  Does anybody happen to know anything about this outfit?
Four little cuties, all looking for a new home.  Honestly, I won't be sad if they don't sell, because then I can enjoy them for a bit longer!  However, my dolly population has become seriously out-of-control, so something has to give.  Here's a link to the auctions:
I will be listing many, more dolls over the next several weeks, so my sewing machine will be getting a good workout with all of the dresses I'll need to sew.  I just can't let a dolly go to a new home without a nice outfit, now can I?!