A New Old Doll

I am sometimes intimidated by owning antique dolls over 100 years old. It is a big responsibility being the caretaker for a part of history. Antique cloth dolls intimidate me the most. They need to be protected from sunlight, humidity, temperature changes, dust, moths and other bugs, and handling by humans.   That’s why several years ago for my birthday I got two reproduction Izannah Walker dolls made by Gail … Continue reading

The Tiniest Mignonettes

Today’s post is a small one about small dolls. They are tiny, all-bisque dolls known as Lilliputians or les Lilliputiens in French. Most Lilliputians measure only 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 inches (6-7 cm.) tall, have dome heads with swivel necks, painted eyes, peg or wire jointed limbs, and painted blue boots or bare feet. Coleman’s The Collector’s Encyclopedia of Dolls, lists production of Lilliputians as early as 1881-82. They … Continue reading

Ah, Huret!

Adelaide Calixte Huret first patented an articulated doll with a porcelain head in 1850 in France. Her doll represented an idealized child, with a dreamy face and a light-weight, hollow gutta percha body. The earliest dolls, like mine, had glazed porcelain heads. Later Hurets were made with unglazed (or bisque) heads. All were 45cm or 17 3/4″ tall. The years from 1850 to 1880 in Paris were the Golden Age … Continue reading

Too Many Dolls

For many years, I collected every doll that caught my fancy. It was intoxicating to see a pretty face or a fine costume and take the plunge. I had so many dolls that it was hard to arrange them all in my doll cabinets. They weren’t the finest dolls, but they were pretty. I have to admit that I had dreams of redressing every one of them. It took a … Continue reading

Beginning Hand Sewing for Dolls Part 1

I am going to walk you through every step in the creation of a small (under 10”) doll’s costume. This multi-part tutorial will tell you what materials and tools you’ll need, discuss fabric and trim selection, show the basic hand sewing stitches and techniques, and discuss how to finish the costume. I will provide free basic patterns/formulas as we go and explain how to adjust them to fit your doll … Continue reading

Supergirl and the Fairies

Supergirl is my granddaughter and my best buddy. She is almost 8 and I’ve been watching her while her mom’s at work since she was 2 months old. During the school year, I get her Monday afternoons and before school the rest of the week. Summer break is almost here, so I’ll get her full time during the week. She calls me Mimi. A few weeks ago, while taking her … Continue reading

Is Redressable a Word?

Many doll collectors search for the most pristine dolls in their original clothing. Doll collectors who love to sew for their dolls often prefer to collect undressed or redressable dolls. I sometimes feel guilty about redressing a doll that came to me in her original clothing. I do not like to feel guilty. Over the past few years, I have enjoyed purchasing naked or redressable all-bisque dolls and transforming them. This … Continue reading

The Long and Winding Road to Pocahontas

On a lovely Sunday in January, my husband and I joined friends for lunch, then the men went for a stroll while my friend and I stayed in for a stitching lesson. She was excited to teach me some new techniques for raised embroidery stitches. I wasn’t a great student, but I was inspired! It got me interested in finding more about dimensional embroidery, so I Googled embroidery. This led … Continue reading

Sewing by Hand or by Machine, which is faster?

This may surprise you but, for me, sewing by hand is faster.  Since the kids grew up and moved out, I’ve had a lovely sewing room with a sophisticated sewing machine.  But, I rarely take the time to isolate myself and just sew at my machine for any length of time.  Hand sewing can be done just about anywhere and any time, sitting in the living room in the evenings … Continue reading

Hello and welcome!

My name is Emily Warner.  I am an antique doll collector, but I don’t have a tremendous number of dolls. Some of them are pictured above.  There used to be more, but many were sold or traded to acquire the few I now own. Let’s talk about refining a collection vs. acquiring more dolls. I have studied Victorian era (19th century) dolls and their costumes and accessories. What do you … Continue reading