Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bye-lo Baby

Isn't this just the sweetest little face?  This is an 8" Bye-Lo Baby, designed by Grace Storey Putnam in 1923.  She was made to represent a three day old infant, and became an overnight success.  Every little girl wanted one!  I believe that this particular doll is the smallest size they made with the cloth body--smaller Bye-lo babies were made but they were all bisque.  She has the typical "frog style" cloth body and celluloid hands.  The good news:  I got to play with her (dress her!) and enjoy looking at her in my sewing room for a full month.  The bad news:  she doesn't belong to me!  A friend from my doll club is the lucky owner, and she asked if I would dress this little sweetie.  Of course, I said yes!
She came to me wearing the dress in the photos; however, it was several sizes too large and had no sleeves.  My friend also wanted me to make her a bonnet from a vintage bonnet that was meant for a much larger doll.  After studying it for quite a while, I finally gathered up the courage to cut into the lovely, delicate fabric.  Once I made that first snip, there was no turning back!
There was some sweet embroidery that I was able to incorporate into the crown, and I also unpicked the lace from one area and moved it to the brim.  I reused the silk ribbon ties from the original bonnet.  I gathered the neckline to better fit the neck, and I made some sleeves from a scrap of antique fabric I had that just happened to perfectly match the existing dress.  The sleeve cuffs are also gathered with a loose running stitch to fit the wrists.
This photo shows the unique construction of baby's body.  Up higher, across the chest (but not visible in the photo), she is stamped "Bye-Lo Baby" in red ink.
I love this baby.  She is such a perfect size to display, and hardly takes up any room at all.  I did let my friend know that if she ever wants to sell her, I get first dibs!

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