About Me

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Hello from Mary in Atlanta, Georgia... I'm a dollmaker and happy gramma to a dear little near-four-year-old granddaughter. I want to showcase here great dolls and softies from other artists as well as my own stuff. My main interest lies with vintage cloth dolls that our frugal earlier mothers made for their children--women who often did not possess the financial means or even transportation to indulge "boughten" dolls and toys. In this endeavor I've been heavily influenced by master dollmaker Gail Wilson of Gail Wilson Designs.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Phebe Delight, a prairie girl from the 1800s ....

This is the completed Phebe Delight. Body fabric is heavy osnaburg from Osnaburg Germany. Her head and torso are first padded with cotton quilt batting, then stuffed with wool and a lot of wool roving. Entirely hand-sewn, hand-made. A picture of her bonnet can be seen scrolling further down. She has mitt hands, fingers defined via top-stitching.. little faux leather shoes.. She is from a pattern by Ike's Pip Emma pattern series that I did alter significantly to suit my favorite design ideas. The most significant alteration was to the head/torso. The original pattern was a one-piece head/torso design. I cut the head from the torso, also added neck darts -- making it into 2 separate pattern pieces.

Side View of Phebe Delight's hair

Side view showing Phebe Delight's hair .... a combination of a wig applique on the back of the head and yarn braids on the front.

Back view of Phebe Delight's hair ...

Her back hair is an applique made from a wool labelled "antique red" .. It is a stuffed applique made like a cushion. Wig has a front and back and is stuffed with 2 layers of thin cotton batting then sewed to the head. Barn red yarn hair is applied to the front of the doll's head ...

Pantalets and underskirt for Phebe Delight

Phebe Delight outgrew her pantalets and her frugal prairie mother lengthened them. These fabrics were aged using Gail Wilson's overdye.

Phebe Delights dress and apron

The apron's raw edges are secured with self-made bias tape. The dress is trimmed in 100% cotton trim ... fabrics were aged with Gail Wilson's overdye .. all raw edges are hand overcast so that I could avoid "turning" the edges twice thereby causing bulky seams. The back of the dress is secured by snaps with tiny white buttons sewed on top of the snaps. I enlarged the Gail Wilson pattern from her Historical Folk Doll #1 to make this dress and apron.

The Finished Phebe Delight girl - HAIR

Front view of her hair which is a barn red yarn .. her face is embroidered, also is a little bit of colored pencil and markers. That shadow you see underneath her mouth is a very nicely defined chin.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


A close-up of the bonnets .. Circe is the red bonnet and Phebe Delight is the green ticking striped bonnet ...

Circe is almost finished ...

She needs stockings .. Circe is a PipEmma Creations pattern .. Stuffed with wool, entirely hand-sewn .. Her face is modeled after a famous early American doll called the New York girl. The original New York girl is pictured on the front of the Wendy Lavitt book, American Folk Dolls ..

Phebe Delight in progress

PhebeD has an embroidered face .. wool stuffing .. entirely sewn by hand .. pantaloons will be lengthened ...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mary Mason-Dixon doll by Helen Pringle

This doll was made by Helen Pringle from a pattern named Mary Mason-Dixon which refers to the feet that lay facing in opposite directions.