Thursday, January 24, 2013

Laundry Day

Welcome to my mini world! My recent search for the missing doll shoe (still missing) lead me to some bits of doll laundry I've been meaning to do! Here are a few sweet bits fresh from the wash, and in the perfect damp stage for pressing. The first is a vintage cotton doll slip, wonderfully made, in it's rumpled state. I find even un-ironed cottons have their own charm. Don't you?

When you press tiny pieces like this, which I find a bit of a challenge, you can appreciate the small details and the art of construction. Vintage doll clothes were often handmade with impressive skill.

This lace inset, for instance, is applied with flat felled seams with hand stitched hems. In fact these are a few details that show a collector the age of a piece as you will see a bit further on.

Miss Helen's dress of recent vintage.

All the rest of the items shown are vintage and hand made like this sweet flared frock in pale pink.

Here are a small flannel coat and  robe nicely freshened up. You may notice that I favor white and pastel in my collection. Hunting for doll clothes at flea markets is a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack. But that's a lot of the fun! Besides, when you buy from a doll dealer you pay a far higher price.

I bought the tiny plastic doll that these crocheted items belonged to just for the clothes. She was in a very bad way and has gone to doll heaven. But the tiny stitches and detail of this work shows how much love (versus money) was once invested into a child's play thing. For scale, the vintage cotton doilies in the background are eight inches!

I found these sweet round pieces with the pale pink and cream edges at a local thrift store on the linen racks for a dollar each, which I think is a bit high. But they were irresistible.

I pressed this little vintage coat from the inside to preserve the fluffy nap of the flannel.

It is fully lined in cotton muslin and constructed just like a full size garment might be.

The frayed silk ribbon shows how much this dolly robe was used, and has sweet details even though it's construction is very simple.

The pink frock all pressed and showing it's original lace practically worn completely away.

Another feature of vintage doll clothes is the natural fabrics. More recent items are very often polyester. Though sew by machine, the dress has flat felled seams and a hand finished hem. Made to last.

The older the piece, the more fine detail in the construction. I love the darts, facings, and the waistband here. There is even a teensy lace applied to the neck and armholes, as well as hand embroidered feather stitching.

This little camisole just requires a tiny button replacement. See the little loop instead of a buttonhole through all the thicknesses at the waist? A stain has also re-emerged in the heat of the iron. Even after soaking in an oxygen cleaner old stains can reappear over time or when ironed.

By contrast Miss Helen's modern dress has no hand worked details and has much simpler construction. There is a Velcro closure rather than buttons.  It has to be washed very gently so that it doesn't fall apart!

The difference in the quality of the work is very plain to see. Open seams, and machined hems which haven't even been folded over to prevent fraying. Another sign of it's vintage for collectors.

I love peering into the beautiful history found in old doll clothes. To me they are tiny exquisite works of art that tell a loving story. They are vanishing artifacts of a whole world already long gone.

Thanks for joining me!
I hope you're having a wonderful week!


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Fixing My Thoughts said...

Everything in your post, Jacqueline, is exceedingly beautiful and precious! I also enjoyed seeing and learning about the construction of those sweet garments. Love the doilies, too! Bess

Haworth said...

What precious clothes these are, Jacqueline, and what wonderful care and love you lavish on them. And with good reason. The handiwork is amazing... as much effort as a seamstress would put into an adult's clothes! Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge about vintage doll clothes. I always learn so much when I visit you.

Do you love him Loretta said...

They are all so sweet! Imagine the time which was devoted to toys in the past!

jeanetteann said...

Jacqueline,you know my passion too for these tiny works of art. These are a treasure. I so loved looking at them and the fine detailing. xx

Debbie Booth said...

Lovely. I love doll clothes and vintage toys. YOu should come by, I did my post on baking mini cupcakes in my little dolls vintage stove. We should get our dolls together some day! Big smile.
Lovely post. What a lovely collection.

Pamela Gordon said...

These are just adorable. Such detail and love put into the making of them. Thanks for sharing your collection.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

OOOhhh I just adored this post!

You have such an eye for detail, and I seem to learn so much when I pop in for a visit.

So beautiful, like an eye candy treat!

Sarah said...

Such precious little garments. I still have my dolls and doll clothes packed away. Guess I should examine them and see if they need to be laundered. '-)

sweet violets said...

How sweet and precious!!! I love the inner workings of the little clothing. Yes, another time gone by.....

Debi @ Adorned From Above said...

These are so beautiful. I have never looked for vintage doll clothes. I love all of the detail. I have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this and any other posts with everyone. It runs from Tuesday night through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

SizzleandZoom said...

These are little works of wonder. I have never seen vintage doll clothes like these in thrift shops here where I live. I have seen them in antique stores but as you said they are pricey when you buy them there.

Bella said...

Hi J,
Beautiful down to every tiny stitch!!! I think it's so fun to see the collections people have, what strikes their fancy:-) I loved having a peek into your little world:-)

Rowan said...

These vintaqe doll's clothes are just exquisite, I didn't realise that you could still find such things.

Christien Potjewijd said...

so beautiful

greetings Christien

Susy said...

I recently came across a doll case of clothes my mother made. They're dirty and crumpled. Must take a page from your diary and lovingly wash and iron them.

Anonymous said...

Love your doll clothes. I have one dress that my great aunt made for my mother. Mom just passed away at 89 and I figure the dress is probably 80 years old.
Probably made from flour sack fabric.

Nook and Cranny said...

Each piece is simply darling.
Thanks for sharing.

Wild Oak Designs said...

simply charming! Love old linens and wrinkled does add a different charm all its own.
If you are interested in linens, take a look at my store,

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Jacqueline...I absolutely ADORE beautiful, old doll clothes!!! I have a teeny collection myself and just want them hanging around me in the studio for inspiration ~ I just love them all! hugs and love, Dawn

Junkchiccottage said...

Thanks for finding my blog and taking a visit now I have found your blog and just love it. I am your newest follower.

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