Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New: Petitcollin Dolls ZOE and JOELLE

Several months ago, I saw these wonderful new dolls advertised on one of my favorite on-line doll shops, Petalina.  They are designed by Sylvia Natterer, who creates some of the most beautiful faces in the doll world, I think.  These are the 13" cuties in the series called "Minouche": 
From left to right they are:  Joelle, Natalie, Samira, Jeane, & Luc
The "Finouche" series is so far comprised of these three 19" beauties:

Alice, Zoe, & Smilla
After falling in love with these dolls, I put in my order and waited.  And waited.  And waited.   A few weeks ago, I was notified by Petalina that the dolls had finally arrived and were ready for purchase!
The hardest part was choosing which ones I just had to have, although I pretty much new from the start that gorgeous, red-haired Zoe would be coming home to live with me.  But the little ones?  That decision was much harder.  I mean, they're all just so CUTE.  At first I was leaning heavily towards little Natalie, another red head, but in the end I decided on Joelle because I really did want a little blondie, and I loved her sweet outfit.
After placing my order, I waited another 13 long days before the postman arrived at my door with a rather large package.  My dolls had finally arrived!  Oh, the excitement.  It almost felt like Christmas!  Here is my first glimpse of Zoe, through her box:
And here is little Joelle:
Poor little Joelle's hair had become pretty mussed from her long journey overseas from England.
"Please, stop taking pictures and get us out of our boxes!" they cried.
The back of Zoe's box, which is written in French and English.  Petitcollin is a French company which now manufactures their dolls in Spain.
Joelle's box
Finally!  Released from the confines of their boxes.
Little Joelle is just the sweetest.  She will definitely need some sort of hair bow or clip to hold back her wavy locks.  Her hair is nice and thick though, cut in layered waves.
Joelle stands 13" tall.  She is jointed at the neck, shoulders, and hips.  Her head can tilt in many directions.
And here is Zoe:
Zoe's hair is some of the loveliest hair I've ever seen on a doll.  The color is gorgeous.  It is silky and shiny and thickly rooted.
But it does like to hang across her pretty face, so I think I'll need to tie it back...
There!  That's better.  Now we can see her hand-painted features.
Back view
I think they make sweet sisters.  I like how their legs bend when they sit down, and don't splay outwards too much like some other doll brands.  Their bodies are nice and sturdy and stand on their own.
Out of curiosity, I brought over one of my Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, Lauryce, and my Corolle Les Cheries doll for comparison.  Lauryce is the tallest, at 14", and has a chest measurement of 6" and a waist of 5 3/4".  Joelle's chest is 6 3/4" and her waist is 7".  My 13 1/2" tall Corolle's chest is 5 3/4" and her waist is 5 1/2".  So Joelle has a chunkier, more child-like body than the other two, but I think they are still close enough that they'll be able to share clothes.
Speaking of clothes, Zoe and Joelle's outfits are adorable and beautifully made.  The fabrics are quality cotton with cute trims.  They each wear a one-piece type knit underwear.  I would have preferred that their clothing fastened with snaps or buttons instead of Velcro, but I guess that would be more labor intensive and end up costing more. 
And here is a comparison of Zoe and a slim-bodied Gotz doll, Louisa:  both stand 19" tall.  Louisa's chest measures 9 3/4", and her waist is 9".  Zoe's chest is 9" and her waist is 8 1/2".   So Zoe is more petite but close enough in size to Louisa that they should be able to share clothes nicely.
I ordered my dolls from  I highly recommend this doll shop as they have so many beautiful dolls to choose from and excellent customer service.
I love my new dolls and couldn't be happier!

Friday, August 21, 2015

I'm Back! and New Project Dolls

Well, hello!  After taking a bit of a break from blogging, I'm back to share my projects with you once again.  Our summer has been unseasonably long and hot; needless to say, I am SO looking forward to the cooler days of fall.  While our house does have central air, it really only works on the main level of our home--the upstairs, where my sewing/doll room is located, becomes an oven when the temperatures rise.  So there has not been much sewing going on at all during this summer.  However, I have managed to visit the local thrift stores on a regular basis, and found some neat treasures I didn't know I needed!
Just look at this sweet, little waif.  She is a vintage, 12" Madame Alexander "BETH" from Little Women.  She is all original, from the ribbon in her hair down to the socks and shoes on her feet.  I found her for just $1.99.  Her joints are extremely loose and floppy, so she will need to be restrung.  Her hair is in need of a gentle combing and reset, and her clothes could benefit from a gentle wash and ironing.  But when all that is done, I'm sure she'll look good as new!
I don't normally purchase Madame Alexander dolls, but I just couldn't resist this one.  Especially since she represents a character from one of my favorite books.
I've been coming across these 17" singing Disney princess dolls lately, finding one here and one there. 
The very first one I came across was Snow White, and I brought her home just because I thought she was so pretty.  I really didn't know anything else about her, so I spent some time on Ebay and the internet and discovered that the Disney Store had issued her, along with many of the other princesses, a few years ago.  They are no longer in production.  As far as I can tell, there are 13 dolls in the series: 
I pulled this picture from the internet, but I don't know who it belongs to so I can't give proper credit.  Anyway, it looks like there's Merida, Pocohantas, Cinderella, Tiana, Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Belle, Mulan, and Ariel.
After I found Snow White, I suddenly started discovering more of these dolls every time I left the house!  Over the next couple of months, I found Rapunzel, Tiana, Belle, Ariel, and finally Merida.  All were nude except Merida, who came completely clothed and Ariel, who still had her bra top.
They really have sweet faces, don't you think?  Disney did a great job in capturing their personalities from the films. 
They all have a battery compartment in their backs which allows them to sing!  It took me a while to figure this out, but when a small switch on their left hip is flicked to the "on" position and you touch a tiny, metal knob on their right hand, they start singing in the same voice from their movie.  I haven't been able to get Merida to say anything (does she even sing in the movie?  I can't remember)--there may be a glitch with her computer chip.  But I don't mind.  I like the dolls even if they can't sing.  I had initially planned on selling these dolls on Ebay.  I have never really been interested in fashion dolls.  But somehow, they have grown on me, and I plan on keeping them around for awhile.  I went to the fabric store and picked up lots of small pieces of satins in different colors so I can hopefully recreate their original costumes.  I don't like sewing for small dolls, so we'll see how this goes!
And now, for my best find in a long time...drumroll please...
A real, genuine, American Girl doll!!!
I had really given up on the thought of ever finding one at Goodwill, because they NEVER put AG dolls out on their shelves.  But lo and behold, I saw two, 18" doll style legs poking out from among all the toys in the over-packed shelves, and when I pulled her out, I just about fainted!  She is marked American Girl on her lower neck in very small letters, and also has a body tag that identifies her.  Some Goodwill employee just wasn't paying attention that day, lucky me!
Now, after my initial excitement, I did realize that she needs WORK.  But not as bad as you might think.  Her major flaw is her hair.  From my research, I believe my doll is a Just Like You #46 with the Sonali face mold.  This is what she looked like brand new:
'Sigh'.  What a difference a beautiful wig makes.
This is what is left of my doll's wig:
The back
Side view
On the plus side, her joints are nice and tight and her cloth body is clean.  Her vinyl limbs are in good condition, but she does sport black polish on her finger and toe nails.
My first step will be to remove the polish and remove any slight scuff marks from her vinyl.  I hope to find her a replacement wig.  I really wish that you could buy wigs directly from American Girl, but you can't.  (It's a scam, I tell you!)  So I will check around at the upcoming doll shows, and then maybe order one online if I can't find one locally.  I only paid $3.99 for this doll, so even if I have to spend a bit more on a quality wig, it will be worth it.
Oh, and I almost oldest son is getting married in two weeks and I am making my dress and my youngest daughter's flower girl dress!  I have almost completed my dress using a 1950's vintage reproduction pattern from Butterick, and I will start working on my daughter's dress today.  So stay tuned for updates!