Let me preface my story by telling you, if you hadn't already guessed, that my doll collection consists mainly of cloth dolls and baby dolls. I didn't have a "little girl" doll, an American Girl type doll, and I needed one.
There are so many beautiful dolls to choose from that adding to my collection wouldn't seem to be a problem. But I was inspired by the website savethedolls.org and thought this was the perfect opportunity to try recycling a doll. As a happy coincidence, there is a large flea market in my town every Sunday morning, so that would be my first step. Very early on the very next Sunday morning off I went to find my doll.
I was a woman with a mission. I searched among all the cracked tea cups, rusted farm implements, giant packs of socks, cheap sunglasses, and even passed by the man selling huge bags of kettle corn! I found many old baby dolls, many new baby dolls and hundreds of stuffed animals. It was getting warm, I was getting tired and started to think maybe my doll wasn't at the flea market that day. Finally, about five booths from the end, I saw a doll back in a corner. She was laying on a small, dusty blanket. When the man in the booth saw my interest he picked up the doll, moved the blanket and there were three more dolls.
There she was! I had found her! She was beyond filthy, dressed only in a pair of bloomers turned brown with age and dust. Her hair was a tangled, dusty mess. But, she was intact and all her parts were in good condition. She was just what I had been searching for and all she really needed was a bath. Underneath all that grime (and some eye liner applied by a little girl in her past) my doll was beautiful.
Upon returning home with my prize, my husband took one look and didn't say a word but it was painfully obvious by the look on his face that he was aghast. I understood his response, her potential was hard to see beneath the grime, especially for someone who doesn't love dolls. It was there none the less and with the information from the many doll making and repair resources at hand, I knew she was a diamond in the rough.
In my next article I will tell the story of her rebirth. You can find the second article in the series here:Cleaning a Recycled Doll
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.