As a child, I always loved my dolls. There was first of all my baby doll, Caroline. She had a cloth body and plastic head, arms and legs. Caroline also had platinum blond hair which turned very fuzzy and was not improved by the haircut I gave her. My nana knitted her a lovely layette, which I still have, although my daughters' "love" sent Caroline to the doll cemetery.
|Caroline's ensemble, minus the ribbons|
Thankfully, my daughters didn't like her, which is why she survives.
|Su-ella - I fear age has left her blind in one eye|
|My baby and her pram|
|Here I am with my doll and pram in about 1967-68|
I have written lovingly of my Barbie and her wardrobe in an earlier post.
I learned to knit by making the dolls' clothes in these lovely old books that belonged to my mother and my grandmother:
As I mentioned before, my mother and grandmother made beautiful dolls' clothes for my sister and me. My grandmother did the knitting and my mother did the sewing. I think my mother made the outfit for my bride doll, Cheryl, from this book. She certainly made this fairy doll for my sister. She would sit up late at night after we were asleep for weeks before our birthdays secretly sewing us a special outfit for a special doll.
I have collected quite a few vintage dolls' clothes patterns over the last couple of years since the collecting bug bit me. I found these old Patons books from the 1940s to go with my mother's from the 1960s. Many of the outfits are the same, just modelled on "updated" dolls.
I have also come across some old sewing patterns:
I am not much of a sewer and I have sold most of these. However, I couldn't part with this last one. I thought I might make them for my (future) grand daughter in my retirement, (maybe).
One of my favourite books is this Little Girls' Sewing Book by Flora Klickmann, from 1915, also mentioned in an earlier post:
I have since also been lucky enough to find The Little Girls' Knitting and Crochet Book and The Little Girls' Fancy Work.
These books contain supposedly simple projects to be worked by children:
Delightful dolls' clothes:
|Dolly's chemise, knickers, flounced petticoat and flannel petticoat|
|The stitches you must use, and how to do your French seam|
|A doll's muff in loop stitch|
These books also show how to make a complete set of bedding for your doll, including embroidered coverlet, and how to make a chintz covered cradle.
Well, I guess I could still send away, but how I wish they would arrive in the mail from 1915, as if it were simply a place on the other side of the world!