My Dolls

My Dolls
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

A New Doll

In the very first post on this blog I talked about
 how my love for dolls started when I was a girl.
My Grandmother, a china painter, gave me this hand painted China Baby doll.

This would have been around 1972 or 73.  I was frustrated because Mom and Grandma said I couldn't play with this doll, she had to stay in Mom's china cabinet. WHAT!?!
You see, Grandma was a doll lover.  She never forgot her lovely doll that got broken when she was just a girl in the 1920s.  A doll something like this lovely below.

So the very next Christmas Grandma gave me this doll.
Gabrielle very soon became my very favorite doll. She was plastic, not china.
I spent hours washing her hair and setting it in curlers and washing her clothes.
My one wish was that she might have had more dresses.
At some point I grew "too old" to have dolls anymore and she was given away.

Move ahead quite a few years.  

When our daughter was turning 8 my husband and I bought her an American Girl doll.
This is Sophie and her doll Grace.
I fell in love with dolls again.  There was the same smell and the same silky hair. 
Not long after Sophie got Grace, I found this Molly at a thrift store, best day EVER!
 Molly's makeover
Molly was wearing her green velvet Christmas dress when I found her.  I had a flash of a memory.
I was taken back to my own doll who wore a green velvet Christmas dress.
After a lot of research I found out my childhood doll was an
 Effenbee Petite Filles doll named Gabrielle.

So recently I was searching eBay and guess what I found?

A Gabrielle doll in all her original clothes!
This is her picture from the eBay ad.
Of course I purchased her, she was an incredible deal.
She was made in 1978, is 16" tall and made of plastic.

When she arrived she smelled musty and her hair was dull and matted in back. 
She had very dirty eyes, some white spots on her skin and half her lashes had been wiped away.
Her body color doesn't quite match her face color either, ah well.
Nothing I had not expected, but not bad for a 37 year old plastic doll.

 I gave her a baking soda wash avoiding her eyes.
I washed her hair with wig shampoo and used the spray 
conditioner before putting her in rollers. You can see the shine is back in her hair already.
I washed her clothes by hand in cold water to try and get the musty smell out.
Then I left Gabby and her clothes to dry overnight .

Next morning, here is the first curl - very shiny!

 Gabby dressed back in her velvet outfit.
 Nice bonnet details. I dared not wash her bonnet so it will
Stay a bit musty.

 Her hands are a baby doll style.
She has an odd face shape, very dished with exaggerated cheeks.

Gabby's shoes and undies. Her spats are removable with snaps.

Here is a before & after.
I repainted her lash details and balanced
out the white spots so they are less noticeable.
I carefully cleaned her eyeball with rubbing alcohol.
Definitely better.

My greatest wish when I had my original Gabby was that she could have more dresses
Here is her first new dress!
 I thought the small burgundy flower pattern would complement her coloring.
 I made her a little drop pendant to wear on a ribbon.

My memories of Gabby were that she reminded me of an American Girl Doll.
Here she is next to my Pleasant Co. Molly.
You can see there are some similarities

And here is another dress I made for her.
And this is Gabrielle!

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