When Steph was about 9, she took a fancy to those ‘Victorian’ china dolls. They were quite popular and she saved up and bought herself two. She had said she’d like another for Christmas, so I decided to make her one. The kits were readily available and I purchased a pattern for the clothes from a local sewing shop [this is in the Dark Ages, before everything came via the Internet!]
The kit was a rather gruesome collection of body parts like this, with shoes and white stockings included in the package. There was a pattern for the ‘torso’ which I had to cut and sew from strong white calico, and then stuff with toy filling. There were no holes in the porcelain parts, you just had to sew the limbs firmly in place. A display stand came too
I quite enjoyed the project, working away in the evenings after the girls had gone to bed. Steph loved her doll and the three were displayed in her bedroom for ages. But girls grow up and toys get put in boxes. When I was doing the ‘old toys’ topic in December I noticed that the 2 porcelain dolls in the box at school were really damaged. I asked Steph about her dolls when I was packing for the move and she said she really didn’t want them. So the two shop-bought ones went off to the Resources Box at school in January- but the one I had made and dressed was packed to come to Ferndown.
But look! when I got her out of the box recently [yes, I am still unpacking boxes, even though it is over six months since we moved] I found her foot had come loose. There was nothing for it, she had to be mended – I gave her hair a good brush and she is going to go into the spare bedroom, along with my lovely Anne Of Green Gables doll [a gift from a Canadian friend in 2005]
I put so much work into making and trimming the blue dress, and creating the lilac slip and matching lace-trimmed bloomers, that I really didn’t want to give her away! I never did get round to the other garments on the pattern – a cloak and bonnet, nightgown and nightcap, and a second dress with contrast sleeves and a little headscarf. Maybe one day I will create a complete wardrobe for her. Poor dolly – I have forgotten her name – perhaps Steph remembers…