Celebrations · Stray Comments

Wishing You a Very Happy Christmas Eve!


Wishing you all the best from our home to yours for Christmas 2012!

This large papier-mache boy was a present from my husband several Christmases ago.  He is wearing a "new" dress for Christmas that I just bought for him from Edyth O'Neill. It arrived today and I couldn't wait to try it on him.
This large papier-mache boy was a present from my husband several Christmases ago. He is wearing a “new” dress for Christmas that I just bought for him from Edyth O’Neill. It arrived today and I couldn’t wait to try it on him.

*Edyth O’Neill is the author of my all time favorite rug hooking book “Rugs for My Red Cape“.  She also has a lovely blog full of beautiful photos of her home and dolls plus another site where she  sells  antique dolls and other  selected antiques.

Doll Accessories · Doll Clothing · Doll for Sale · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · See Me in Print · Where to Shop

SOLD -True Blue and Her Wardrobe are Available for Sale

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STOPPING BY TO MEET TRUE BLUE.  SHE HAS BEEN SOLD AND WILL BE GOING TO A WONDERFUL NEW HOME 🙂                                              True Blue, who is pictured in the August issue of Early American Life magazine, is now available for sale.  You can read all about how she came into being and her journey to and from the Early American Life photo shoot in this post.

I have always loved antique dolls that have acquired a myriad collection of possessions throughout their long lives.   I have endeavored to give True Blue  a good start on a hope chest of her own, one that can be added to for generations to come.  She is true blue through and through with a blue second skin made from antique glazed cotton.

Her undergarments consist of a long lace trimmed chemise, pantalettes, and two petticoats trimmed in blue crocheted lace and tatting.  In her antique trunk she has four hand made dresses, a tiny antique tintype photograph, a chatelaine to keep all of her sewing essentials close by, a vintage silk flag to wave at the 4th of July parade and a miniature feather tree to help her celebrate Christmas. She also owns two necklaces to wear on Sundays and to parties, as well as two aprons to keep her clean while doing everyday chores. Rounding out her possessions are a signed copy of August 2012 Early American Life and an Early American Life Craftsman Directory recognition tag. Her adoption fee is $2900.

All of her dresses are made from antique fabrics.  The first is a wonderful indigo print cotton, with a banded neckline and sleeves and two growth tucks in the skirt.  The second is a lively red and blue paisley print, with short straight sleeves, a deep hem and two growth tucks.

Her third dress is a very early Prussian blue and brown cotton paisley that almost, but one quite as sheer as gauze.  It has tucked and gathered sleeves and a banded neckline.   The fourth dress is True Blue’s wardrobe is a very sheer woven cotton fabric, that is reminiscent of cheese cloth in its open weave, with woven white and blue “dots”.  It has a very full bodice, skirt and sleeves, with bands of cotton tape at the sleeves, neckline and waistband.

All of True’s possessions fit neatly into to her fabric covered trunk.  The trunk itself is not perfect.  It shows signs of having been lovingly played with over the years.  I think that it fits very well with the amount of “aging” that True exhibits.  I came across this trunk in Brimfield in May.  At the time I bought it, the trunk was lined with a modern “country” print wallpaper.  I have swapped out the lining for some much older vintage wallpaper that I just happened to have in my stash.

If you’d like to add more items, such as additional underwear, dresses, bonnets, etc.  I would be happy to make them for her.  Just inquire at paula@asweetremembrance.com for prices.

To purchase True Blue, please visit my website where you can check out through the secure automatic shopping basket.  Or if you prefer, you may call 860-355-5709 or email me paula@asweetremembrance.com.  I accept Paypal, checks, money orders and offer lay away.

Awards · Doll Clothing · Restoration and Conservation · See Me in Print · Where to Shop

A Great Weekend

April is starting out to be a terrific month.  Friday was my son Blair’s birthday.  The whole family got together to celebrate for the entire weekend.

Friday also brought some very welcome news, when I learned that I have been chosen for Early American Life’s 2011 Directory of Traditional American Crafts. This makes my 23rd time to be juried into the directory.  Thank You EAL! Please look for the Directory issue of the magazine which will be on newsstands on June 21st.

In between all of the partying, I managed to squeeze in a little shopping time.  On Saturday I went to a couple of thrift shops with one of my sons and his girlfriend.  We found quite a few small treasures.  Sunday brought the opening day of the Elephant’s Trunk flea market.  I was able to replenish my supply of antique white cotton fabrics and I found a wonderful antique paisley shawl.  Now all I have to do is decide if I can possibly restore the shawl, or if it is so far gone that it is fair game for doll clothing!  Always a dilemma 🙂

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Doll Clothing · Doll for Sale · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll

“Say Cheese!” and “Smile for the Camera” – SOLD

This doll has been sold.  If you love her and would like to order a similar doll, I would be happy to make one especially for you.

Let’s try this again!  My photography skills dramatically improve in the daylight hours.

To read more about this doll check out my previous posts about her,

Just Finished and Available For Sale &

Today’s Doll .

If you would like to purchase this doll, please visit my website A Sweet Remembrance, or simply call (860-355-5708) or email (paula@asweetremembrance.com) me.

Here she is in her pantalettes and chemise.
Her petticoat is an antique that I cleaned and altered to fit her.
She is wearing a simple white dress with a tucked skirt and sleeves.
Over her dress she wears a lace trimmed apron
In good company with her much older sisters (my original antique Izannah Walker dolls).

Doll Clothing · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · Where to Shop

Just Finished and Available For Sale – Now Sold

This doll has been sold and will soon be leaving for her new home in upstate NY.

I stayed up late into the night sewing lace onto sheer white cotton because I dearly wanted to finish this doll.  I was full of impatience to see what she would look like, once I finally dressed her in all of her frothy layers.  It was well worth the effort, since I am very pleased with how she turned out and had sweet dreams of her while I slept.

Since I snapped these photos just before I stumbled up to bed, I had to use a flash.  Her paint does not have as shiny a finish as the glare from the flash makes it appear.  She looks so much more wonderful in person.  Late night, sleep deprived photography is never my best.

The paint on this doll looks very old,  you can see areas where the paint has worn through to show the underlying weave of her stockinette head.  Her hands look like they have held countless cups of pretend tea, been clutched for comfort by a small owner, and generally loved for years on end.

The dressmaking details of her clothing include French seams to join the panels of her sheer white skirts, two rows of tucks at her dress and sleeve hems, three rows of tucks on the bottom of her pantalettes, and hand stitched lace flounces around the edges of her knee length chemise, pantalettes, and apron.  All of the fabrics and laces that I used in making her clothing are antique, and she comes with an antique doll’s petticoat that I have cleaned and restored.  I wish that I would have been able to add a few more rows of tucks to her dress, but I just did not have enough fabric.

The doll herself stands 18 inches tall.  She has a pressed cloth head, oil painted head, shoulders and limbs, and is filled with organic cotton stuffing.  Her body is covered in antique, glazed linen.

Even though it is overcast and rainy again today, I think this young lady needs a ruffled white sunbonnet to keep her shoulders from burning and ward away freckles.  I do still have a few bits of fabric and lace left…

You can purchase this sweet girl for $1200, which will include her sunbonnet and free shipping if you live in the US. If you love her just the way she is and feel that you don’t want a bonnet, she would be a bit less.  Please call me at 860-355-5709 or email paula@asweetremembrance.com if you are interested in buying her, or would like to ask questions.

Now that I have posted this, I suppose I really will have to break down and do all of the house cleaning that I’ve been putting off while I sewed.  Especially since I have someone coming on Saturday for a private tutorial. 🙂  It would be nice if she could walk in the door and not be immediately buried in fabric and tripped up by stray threads! LOL

Doll Clothing · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll

Today’s Doll

Thank you for looking, this doll has been sold.

It’s a quiet rainy Sunday here.  A sleepy day full of billowing white fog and the sound of raindrops bouncing along the roof.  I’ve been sorting through my piles of antique fabrics and lace, pulling out lovely pieces of sheer woven white on whites, embroidered whites  and wonderful soft laces.  It may be that I’ve been influenced by the fog, or maybe I’m longing for forgotten summer days and the look of sheer white flounces on little girls dressed their Sunday best.  What ever the reason, I feel inspired to sew layers and layers of ruffled and tucked white clothing.

A shy looking, sweet-faced Izannah with wavy curls is going to be the recipient of my indulgence in all white dress making.  She is sitting patiently by my side as I sew, being good as gold while I measure again and again.  Holding quite still as I drape first one fabric, then another around her.

I tell myself that I’m being quite virtuous by working all day, which is my justification for ignoring all of the cleaning and laundry that I should be doing.  But in my heart of hearts I know that I am really taking a day to spend playing with my dolls. 🙂

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Doll Clothing · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll


I’m sure that you can all call to mind an image of a classic Izannah Walker doll, wearing a charming print dress with a neckline that gently hugs her shoulders.  Layered under her dress will be a chemise, petticoats and pantalettes.

When you are dressing your Izannah Walker doll it is important for her undergarments to have the proper fit.  If your doll will be wearing a low cut dress then her chemise must be cut to match.

It has been speculated that Izannah Walker was making dolls as early as the mid 1840’s.  Low shoulder baring gowns were fashionable for young children beginning in the late 18th century through the mid 1860’s.  After the Civil War necklines on children’s dresses and chemises rose.  The doll shown on the left, in the photo above, wears her original chemise that shows all of her shoulders, right up to the top of her arms.  The hem line of this chemise falls below her knees.  The doll on the right also wears her original chemise, but it’s neckline and hemline are both higher, with the bottom of the garment ending just below her hips (click here for another view).  Both chemises are made of cotton sheeting.

The fit of the doll’s chemises are very true to life and match the fit of corresponding real chemises of the period.

c. 1860 calf length, machine stitched, cotton sheeting chemise with Turkey red embroidered eyelet and a single inital.

A chemise is the garment that was worn closest to the body.  Stays/corsets were worn over the top of the chemise, followed by petticoats.   Pantalettes, once they were introduced in the early 19th century, were worn under the chemise to cover the legs.  If a chemise fits properly, even though the neckline is off the shoulder, it will easily stay in place without falling off.

Machine stitched cotton sheeting chemise with fantastic hand embroidered yoke and sleeve trim.
Close up view of embroidered detail.
Machine stitched linen chemise with tatted lace trim and red embroidered initals and number. Chemises, men's shirts and sheets were often embroidered with initals and numbered, to make sure that they were rotated evenly.
Sleeve and gusset detail.
Machine stitched cotton sheeting chemise with hand embroidered yoke and crochet lace.

If you would like a closer look at any of the small photos, you can enlarge them by clicking on the image.

Directions for making the Izannah era heart shaped pin cushion and emery that the dolls are holding are on my 18th Century Home Journal.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Doll Clothing · Restoration and Conservation

A Fortunate Find

During the holidays I had a chance to go rummage around some vintage clothing stores with my youngest son and his girlfriend.  We unearthed several treasures, including this antique doll dress made of a ombre printed pink cotton.  The dress is not quite right for any of my Izannahs, but it will be perfect on one of my antique German bisque dolls.

The first thing I did once I got the dress home was to wash it using Orvis and sodium perborate.  If you would like to read more about how to do this, check out my previous post on the subject.

This is what the dress looked like when I bought it.
A good washing made a huge difference to it's appearance and will help prolong the life of the fabric.
A close-up look at the dress fabric.
Doll Clothing · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · Where to Shop

My Latest Doll


Here are photos of the doll that I just finished.  She is already spoken for, but if you are smitten with her, you may order a doll just like her.  The fabrics that I used for her clothing are all antique, so they are one of a kind, with the exception of the striped linen in her petticoat, which I do have more of.  I also have some similar double pink fabric, both antique and new, which would both  make up wonderfully into dresses like this one.

If you would like to order a doll, please email me at paula@asweetremembrance.com or call 860-355-5709.

Doll Clothing · Reference Materials

c. 1860’s Girl’s Clothing Styles

Izannah Walker is generally known to have begun making dolls around 1845, even though she did not apply for a patent until November 4, 1873.  A majority of the original clothing in which she dressed her dolls reflects the styles worn by children in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  However, 1860’s clothing would also be perfectly appropriate.

To provide you with a bit of dress-making inspiration, here are some illustrations that appeared in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1858, 1862, 1864 and 1866.  In the future I will post some more 1850’s Godey’s illustrations, although the 1850’s illustrations are not as lavish as these from the 1860’s.

(click on each photo to see it in full size)