Guest Author - Susan Kramer
The 2 dolls in the photos were made in Jamaica in the early 1940s.
They are cotton fabric, 12 inches long and hand sewn. The eyes are embroidered in a light green sewing thread - not floss. And to make the eyes protrude forward a running stitch was used around each eye and pulled a bit.
In the close up photo below note that the nose is sewn on separately. The dolls are a bit heavy because the kapok stuffing is really packed in tight!
I discovered these dolls laying side by side in my mother's 6 foot long cedar chest that was in the corner and along one wall of our living room when I was growing up.
I used to lift the lid of the chest and carefully lift out and admire my mother's special treasures when she wasn't looking, of course.
These dolls were brought back from Jamaica by my father after serving a tour of duty there in the 2nd World War.
Fabric Doll Page at the Bella Cyber Doll House
Free 12-inch Bunny Doll Making Course
Historical Doll Page
Article and photo credits Susan Kramer
I'd like to suggest that if you spend time making doll clothes, anyway, that you collect a few dolls from friends and neighbors and sew a wardrobe or a complete outfit for each doll. Then donate the doll in the completed outfit to a charity that distributes used dolls and toys to kids that otherwise would not have any. When I was a little girl, nothing brightened up my face more than my mother making me a new outfit for my doll. Other sources to find used dolls to fix up and dress up are yard and garage sales. And lots of churches have annual rummage sales of used clothing and toys, including dolls.