Dolly Costume Memories From Past Years


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This crocheted doll costume was designed during the 1976 Bi-Centennial celebration.  I have included a link to Wikipedia to explain how important this celebration was to the country.  The picture of this doll was taken by my daughter when she was 18 years old and she is now 56 years old.  The doll was displayed at different celebration events during the 1976 celebration  and she was pictured in the local newspaper.

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This is such a beautiful doll and I am not sure what happened to her, either she was sold or donated to the annual Salvation Army Christmas Doll Tea.  This crocheted design, (dress, cape, hat with rolled crown) is for a large doll probably 32″s tall. The doll is no longer available but I still have the crocheted costume.  This outfit is crocheted using 4-ply acrylic yarn and crocheted with mostly double crochet stitches. The design has red, white and blue stripes with navy blue felt stars attached.

The following picture is taken at the Salvation Army Christmas Doll Tea in the early 1970’s.  This was a long time ago, I was in my early twenties and we had recently moved to Kelso, WA.  An article was published in the local newspaper about this event and it sounded so interesting, that I decided to participate by dressing and donating two dolls.

The two large dolls dressed in the wedding dress and the velvet 1800’s dress were donated by me (pictured) and won the grand prizes.  There was a silent auction bidding process during the tea and at end of the tea the highest bidders were awarded the dolls.  These two dolls, at that time, had the highest bids for any dolls auctioned at any earlier Salvation Army Christmas Doll Teas.  Not being able to find an older article for this event, I have included a link has been included from the year 2009 Salvation Army Christmas Doll Tea  to explain this yearly event.

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I loved to donate dolls for this event and looked forward to creating a one-of-a-kind doll designs throughout the years.  Unfortunately after my husband died 18 years ago, getting an education and working had consumed most of my time.  Now that I am retired, I hope to participate in this event again in the future.

During the early 1970’s, doll collecting became a passion and dolls took over my time.  Dolls were scouted out whenever I left my house, at the Goodwill, the Salvation Army, garage sales, thrift shops, antique shops, donated dolls and may gifts were given from relatives. We moved into a new twelve room house and every room in my house was consumed by 3500 dolls.  My husband hated each and every doll that had taken over his home. Unfortunately, I disliked taking pictures and do not have a picture of the collection of dolls that were finally sold in the eighties.

Many of the dolls were cleaned, repaired, dressed and donated to the Salvation Army at Christmas time.   Alice, my mother, and Dee, my sister, spent many hours throughout the years preparing these dolls for children to receive at Christmas time.

Doll shows were also a place where the refurbished dolls in beautiful costumes as well as doll clothing was sold by me, my mother, my mother-in-law and my sister.  If a girl fell in love with a doll or doll clothing at one of these events and the parent couldn’t afford to buy a doll or clothing, the item was given to the her child.  Alice, my mother, and Edith, my mother-in-law, have since died, but the memories will live on in my heart forever. We had so much fun making children happy with our dollies and clothes.  Taking photos was not something that I enjoyed doing, so these are the only doll show pictures that I have of all the shows that we worked in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

The memory that will live with me forever was the young woman who stopped at our booth that we had opened at a consignment shop at our local mall.  I love conversation and felt that this young woman seemed troubled and wanted to talk.  She proceeded to tell me that she had just buried her premature baby and didn’t have anything to remember her baby.  She admired the dress sets that my mother was selling at our booth. Mother offered her an outfit to remember her baby and she was in tears admitting that she wanted one of these dress sets but couldn’t afford to buy one.  We finished that day feeling very good that we contributed to this young woman’s memories.

How I miss working these doll shows with my mother and mother-in-law. They were both remarkable women who grew with the times.  My mother was 95 years old and still playing bingo the week before she died.  My mother-in-law vowed to crochet beautiful tablecloths for each of her four children and all of her grandchildren.  She was still setting in her chair crocheting the day before she died at 86 years old.  They were both young of mind, alert and lived a full life until their last moments.

This entry was posted in Dolly Memories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dolly Costume Memories From Past Years

  1. Angela B. says:

    These are beautiful!


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