Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sylvia Natterer Fanouche Dolls by Gotz--and a Baby!

A couple of months ago, I came across this sweetie at a doll vendor's booth at a local antique show.
I knew right away she was a vintage Gotz doll, designed by Sylvia Natterer.  She has a full vinyl body, beautiful rooted hair, painted features, and stands about 18 1/2" tall.  She is all original, down to her shoes (except for the hair ribbon--I added that).  I snapped her up when I saw that her price was only $40.  What a deal for a quality made, German doll!
She wears the sweetest, little wrap dress which ties shut at the side front.  I'd love to replicate this style for some of my other dolls.
Sylvia Natterer is a German doll artist who was heavily inspired by Sasha dolls when creating these dolls for Gotz in 1989.  The earlier dolls have no painted lower lashes--lower lashes were added to the dolls in 1994.  This cutie has brown painted eyes and no lower lashes.
She has the longest, most luxurious hair!
Two weeks ago--16 days to be exact--I had back surgery to repair a slipped disc and compressed nerves in my lower back.  The surgery went great and I've healed from the incision just fine, but what no one tells you ahead of time is that you WILL HAVE immense pain for the next several months as the affected nerves "wake up" and heal.  This part has been so hard for me, and it has confined me to my bed for most of the day.  So, to take my mind off the pain and combat the boredom, I find myself doing a lot of browsing on Ebay!  I'm actually surprised that I haven't bought more than I have--I think I've exercised a lot of restraint, given the circumstances.  But last week, I happened across this little cutie and just couldn't turn her down:
This is the original doll that Sylvia Natterer created for Gotz, named "Fanouche".  She has long, red hair with lots of curls framing her face.  All the dolls that came after her with different hair and eye color were simply known as "friends of Fanouche".
Both of my dolls are marked like this on the back of their neck:
Her outfit is so sweet.  It consists of a teal, velveteen dress with a lace collar, a Swiss dotted pinafore, white tights and black, patent leather shoes which buckle.  Her dress closes with snaps.
No painted lower lashes. blue painted eyes, and a light sprinkling of freckles.
Gorgeous red hair!
This little guy is also a doll by Sylvia Natterer for Gotz--but he was made after 1994 since he has the painted, lower lashes.  He also has a full, vinyl body.
Close-up of his sweet face. 
I believe that Sylvia's later dolls were given names, but since I got this little fellow second-hand from a doll show many years ago,  I don't know what his might have been.
He makes the perfect baby brother for the Fanouche girls!
Aren't they so sweet together?
Gotz stopped making Sylvia's Fanouche and friends doll in 2003, I believe.  Her dolls are now being created by the Petitcollin doll company of France.   I did a post on August 30, 2015 showing two of these newer dolls in my collection:  Finouche ZOE and Minouche JOELLE:
Here is the link to that post, if you're interested:
Besides the wonderful quality of these dolls, I also love the fact that they can sit nicely without splaying their legs wide open like some dolls.
These dolls are just so sweet!  I wouldn't be surprised if more ended up joining my doll family before too long.

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!