Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dolls and Doll Clothes

When I was young, like many girls, I loved to play with dolls. Paper dolls, which were very popular at that time, especially interested me. I had quite a collection of them -- even some treasured old ones that a friend of my mother's had had when she was a child. And one very special one that my artistically inclined Aunt Shirley drew in pen and ink on white cardboard and cut out for me.

For all of my paper dolls, I designed clothes -- piles and piles of paper clothes that I drew, colored, cut out and played with.

The Christmas I was nine, I got a 14" tall doll with moveable arms and legs, and blond hair you could comb and style, a novelty in that day and age. I named her Holly (in honor of her birthday which was Christmas, of course) and I designed clothes for her, too, but since she wasn't a one dimensional paper doll I, not being able to sew, had no way of "producing" these clothes for her. My Aunt Sally, who was a talented seamstress, saw some of my designs one day and questioned me about them. She offered to take my drawings and make them into actual outfits for Holly. I was thrilled! I remember pestering her with phone calls every day asking about the progress. I was so excited!

When I think now about the time and effort Aunt Sally put into those little outfits -- she must have had to make her own patterns -- I realize what a labor of love it was.

I played and played with Holly until her comb-able hair fell out. My mom sent her away to get new hair but instead of just hair replacement, she came back with a whole new head with auburn hair, and she was . . . just not the same. Matter of fact, she wasn't Holly anymore, so I had to rename her Gail.

These are some of the outfits Aunt Sally made from my drawings. What a lucky little girl I was!

This was her Birthday Party dress.

Every doll has to have a Ball Gown.

She even had a warm, woolen coat.

(And, I'll let you in on a little secret, if you promise not to blab it around. When I got Holly/Gail out of her trunk to dress her in these outfits to take the pictures, I found I still like playing with dolls.)

1 comment:

Chicken Mama said...

Aunt Sally made these outfits?!!! I had NO IDEA! Un-bee-leev-able!!!

What a VERY NEAT post! Makes me want to get out my Barbies and show off the outfits Aunt Jeanette (yes?) made for THEM! What a talented group of sisters those women were!

And, what a talent YOU had, Mama: designing all those outfits! (Too bad you never thought to keep the paper dolls . . . .)

xox Baby Pea