Remember the other week I posted a picture of the two dolls in Scottish costume that belonged to my two sisters-in-law? I was not sure if I should attempt to fix them up or not. Well, I decided that I would experiment with one doll and that if her clothes were spoiled I’d make her or buy her new ones and leave her sister alone.
First of all I had to remove the clothing. I said it was sewn on. It was worse than that; it was stapled on! I chose the doll with the blue jacket because she didn’t have her hat. I do remember seeing that hat somewhere but I’m blowed if I know where it is now. Anyway I very carefully unpicked the stitches holding her jacket and top on and removed them. I pulled the staples out and found that the manufacturer had actually stapled the clothes onto the dolls body. I eased the top, skirt and underskirt over the staples. After that I carefully pulled the staples out of the doll. Luckily they just left some small holes which won’t show when she is dressed again. I actually felt better about what I was doing by that time because I felt sorry for the poor little doll being stuck with staples.
Once her clothes were off I was able to examine her better while I gave her a light clean with Softly on a cloth. She wasn’t very dirty at all. On the back of her neck she is marked “Roddy” and “Made in England”. I was interested to see that while her legs looked as if they were attached to her body with a large knob like a lot of dolls of this type of her arms were strung with elastic. Actually I shouldn’t be surprised as Christine my childhood walking doll also has strung arms and I believe that she was made by Roddy too.
The clothes were then washed in Softly in tepid water as I was afraid the colours would run. The blue corduroy jacket did a bit but luckily I had expected this and washed the white top separately. Later I ironed all the pieces which I’d been dying to do since I first saw these dolls. As you can see from the photograph the blouse is not really a blouse at all, just a Dickey. That posed a problem when I came to redress the doll. Originally it had been tied at the neck like a halter and stapled to the doll at the waist. I decided that as the doll was for display I wouldn’t go to the trouble of attaching snaps to the fragile old material, I would just sew the pieces on. For the Dickey I added ribbon tapes at the waist so I could tie it on. I didn’t get the lace ruffle quite right so I’ll try to improve on that in future.
I still need to make her a new sporran and a hat but that shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe the original will turn up again one day. Anyway once I had her dressed she looked so much better that I’ve already started on her sister’s clothes.