Textiles that Mattered

Interrupting my regularly scheduled non-photographic musings to bring you Antique Dolly’s long lost clothes:

Antique doll's original (?) clothes

Antique Dolly belonged to an elderly relative, distant enough that I’m not sure how old Dolly really is. My father’s oldest sister, who is considerably older, married an older man. Dolly belonged to either his mother or his grandmother.

I’m not sure if these clothes are her originals. I’m honestly not even sure if her china torso, arms, and feet are attached to her original body. The clothes are mostly made by machine, but the mismatched lace trims–surely scraps from other projects–suggest it was done at home. The pleats were sewn into the fabric before it was cut to shape. The clothes go off and on with a very simple drawstring, so I doubt that Dolly had many suits. Given that she was wearing pantaloons, two petticoats, and a skirt, but only one layer of blouse, I suspect that a jacket was lost at some point. Her jaunty red ribbons are so tattered and fragile that I can’t tell how many there even are.

Dolly herself now wears a replica suit in pink satin, sewed by the aunt who passed the doll along to me.

Doll clothes

For a long time I couldn’t find the original clothes, but today an old decorative box on top of a bookshelf caught my eye, and there they were.

If sewing interests you at all, click through to my Flickr feed for many more details.

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