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Author Topic: Rolled Linen Dolls  (Read 3610 times)
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Mother Dean
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« on: January 24, 2013, 09:02:42 PM »

Hello All,
I just wanted to share some dolls that I made for my younger daughter for Christmas. The pattern came from The American Girl's Book 1831. Here is the illustration from the book:



Here are my daughter's dolls:



I had so much fun making these! The best part, of course, is that she really loves playing with them. Smiley
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Heidi Hollister
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 09:55:37 PM »

They look terrific!  Exactly like the picture!  You have a lucky little girl there.
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Miss Ruth
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 12:21:09 PM »

They're sooo cute, Mother Dean! I like those a lot.

Ruth
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"Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

 Proverbs 31:30

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Veronica Carey
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 01:05:51 PM »

Wonderful dolls, M.D.!!  Love the dresses and the shawls.
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Mother Dean
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 02:01:41 PM »

Thanks ladies,
They were so much fun to make! I had to sneak and do them after the children went to bed. Cheesy I wish the kids had been around to see as the dolls came together. At first I didn't think they were going to turn out. After that first one came out so cute, I just kept making them. I have the bodies for several more adults, two children and an infant. Those others didn't get finished in time for Christmas so perhaps she will get them for Valentine's Day. Smiley
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mmescher
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 07:26:23 PM »

You did a fine job making them and I would add another wonderful feature -- they bounce if dropped.  About the only damage that can be done to them is to rip the arms off or drop them in a fire.  I see, too, that you didn't draw a face on them as the instructions don't call for a face. 

And if anyone needs specific instructions for making dolls like that, we carry rolled fabric doll kits on our website raggedsoldier.com 

We have seen a collection of rolled fabric dolls in North Carolina -- including four black dolls -- that were dated to the 1850's.

Also, if you can get a copy of the out of print book Children of Bladensfield which is recollections of a girl growing up on the Northern Neck east of Fredericksburg, VA, the author describes a trip they were taking that involved crossing a river on a ferry.  When she and her sisters found out about it, they planned to make a bunch of rag dolls and, when they were crossing the river, pretend they were shipwrecked and throw the dolls overboard pretending those were the victims drowning.  Everything went according to plan (and probably accompanied by numerous shrieks of panic) and she reports the only person who didn't enjoy it was her little sister who didn't see why you would make dolls just to throw them in the river.  She doesn't describe the dolls but I'd guess they were something similar.

Michael Mescher
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lkfend
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2013, 10:17:56 AM »

While I agree that many rolled dolls were made by girls to play with and they probably did just draw the faces on the dolls, I do think a mother would stitch a face on a special doll she was making for her daughter. I ordered the rolled doll and the penny doll kit from Ragged Soldier and gave the kits to two girls to make.

I also ordered the cloth doll kit from here-the Sewing Academy.  I am pretending to be a mother in 1856 who is making a very special doll for her daughter. I believe she would use her hand needle work skills to sew a mouth and eyes on the doll. The mother in my story does lovely hand embroidery and I believe she would use her skills to create a special doll for her daughter.

I am more concerned about adding the hair on the dolls. When I gave the penny doll kit to the 10 year old girl, her first response was, "Where's the hair?" I loved that first response and explained that not many dolls had hair back in 1856. The hair was painted on. Hair on dolls came later. This of course, has lead me to a search on when doll hair was added. I keep going back to the Wisconsin Online Museum to look at their dolls by decade. http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum/collections/online
I am looking for ones most common in the 1850s era.

Here is a pinterest site on cloth dolls: http://pinterest.com/1800primitives/19th-c-rag-dolls/

I love the doll  Lorraine Danischewski daughter dressed for the program she did for the National Doll Club. It shows such "girl fun". http://www.nationaldollclub.org/pastprogramsphotos05_17_08LDanischewski.html   

Now for a question: If I were a mother in 1856 and was creating a special doll for my daughter, what would I use to paint on the hair?
I tried using black ink on material and it bled into the fabric too much. I then went to the black fabric paint as suggested in the pattern book, but if I were a mother creating this doll in 1856, I would not go to Hobby Lobby to get fabric paint. What would I use and where would I get a small dab of paint for the doll's hair? (I thought-possibly from a blacksmith!) Any ideas?





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Mother Dean
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2013, 07:09:14 PM »

Hello,
I'm sure someone will come along with answers for you soon. In the mean time, I'll tell you why I didn't add a face or hair to my dolls.

For my impression I was born in 1823. I would have been 8 years old when The American Girl's Book was published in 1831. Still being a girl that played with dolls, this was one of my favorite "patterns" and I made many such dolls that were small enough to fit in my pocket. As I got older, I naturally made more of these for my younger sisters and cousins. Since becoming a mother, I have made still more of these dolls. All the time making them from the fond memories of my childhood days. The pattern doesn't have instruction on the addition of hair or face and the tiny little dolls that I made wouldn't have looked as nice with those things added.

There is a wonderful image of a museum collection of these types of dolls. I can't find it or remember who posted it. Perhaps someone will share the link or image again. Basically it's a rather large group of dolls, showing the different ways they were dressed.

All three of the dolls, in my original picture, can easily be held in one hand. Each is only a few inches tall and not as thick as my thumb. They go together easily from bits of fabric from the scrap bag and are intended as play things for my younger daughter. I don't expect them to last more than a year.

For a doll with a painted on face and hair, (?or perhaps embroidered?) there is a lovely "pattern" in the same book. This is the jointed doll. She is a much larger and nicer doll. She has an outer painted covering that can be replaced if soiled. I did actually make one of these this past holiday but I wasn't as thrilled with my work on that one, so I didn't share any pictures of it. She was made for my older daughter who is 14. She still likes dolls but doesn't play with them. I expect her doll to last for generations or until her younger sister get a hold of it. Smiley That doll has a chemise, drawers, tucked petticoat and dress with an infant bodice. I didn't put any hair on her yet so she wears a sunbonnet. Perhaps a doll of this sort would be a more suitable canvas for your needlework. You could showcase some of your work on the dress and outerwear pieces.

I have not purchased or made Elizabeth's cloth doll but she is probably about the same size as the one I mentioned above.

I love the links that you added for the doll collections. They give a lot of inspiration!! Smiley
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