Maud Humphrey

Maud Humphrey

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!

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