Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Dress I Chose and the Doll Chosen to Wear It

Amber by Annette Himstedt, 1999

Amber by Annette Himstedt has been neglected for so long that I need to hang my head in shame. The doll was purchased new from a Himstedt doll dealer in approximately the year 2000, having been placed on layaway due to her cost.   Standing 30 inches from head-to-toe in bare feet, she represents a 7-year-old Jamaican girl of the 1970s.  Amber has auburn natural-textured human hair, portions of which are braided.  Her inset eyes are hazel.

Amber's hair was initially worn down as shown in the above photo where she is dressed in her original orange dress and holding a garland of brightly colored, enamel-painted flowers.  I had to remove the garland from her hands and store it some years ago after noticing small stains it caused to her wrists.


Along with other dolls representing doll genres in the various chapters of my first black-doll reference book, Amber appears on the front cover. (Additional dolls that represent the types of dolls in other chapters of the book appear on the back cover.)

Never fully bonding with her, I have contemplated selling Amber on several occasions but never made an actual attempt because I know in today's market I would probably suffer a great monetary loss.

Recently after two collectors added an Amber to their collections for a fraction of the dolls' original cost and shared images of the dolls dressed in children's clothing, I thought the affection for my doll might intensify if I too redressed her. In 16 years of ownership, redressing is something I had never done or considered doing for Amber.

After it arrived, I decided Amber would be the doll to wear the dress from Betty.   With seven (7) being the number of completion, the following seven photographs illustrate Amber's first redress in the dress I chose in answer to Betty's question, Which print do you like best?  

Amber has stripped down to her original underpants, which she will continue to wear under her new dress.  Her orange string necklace with floral pendant and orange headband remain.  Before this photo was taken, we removed the Annette Himstedt signature-bearing red ribbon that was tied around her left wrist, as seen partially in the first photo and better seen here.  We also removed her sandals and noticed red stains on the bottoms of her feet from the red innersoles of the sandals.

Here Amber wears the yellow blouse Betty made.  It has a snap closure in back.

The green and yellow African print dress I chose from the four styles Betty offered is a perfect fit.  To accommodate the matching hat (next photo), her original headband had to be removed.

Completely redressed, Amber continues to wear her necklace and her original sandals with the blouse, dress, and open crown-style hat that Betty made.

Her hair, which has been in a ponytail for years, was pulled through the top of the hat with some of her braids draped over the front.

This profile photo illustrates how she wears her crown.

Amber took one final photo.
Betty, Amber and I truly thank you.  As a result of her new dress, she no longer has to be worried by future considerations of being adopted out.  In this richly colored dress, she is definitely a keeper.


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16 comments:

  1. Amber looks so pretty in her new outfit. The colour suits her perfectly. I'm glad that you have finally bonded with her. She really is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Arlette! I agree, the colors do suit her well.
      :-)

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  2. Love Love Love!! Her innocence is striking and the outfit you chose is perfect. Kudos on keeping her. Blessings

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  3. She looks good in it - and the yellow in the fabric gives her eyes an almost golden look!

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    1. Her eyes are almost golden, jSarie. Her eyes, thin thighs, and knobby knees are three things that kept me from bonding with Amber. Had she not been a layaway purchase, I would have returned her, if at all possible. In my opinion she is not one of Annette Himstedt's best doll creations. Her eyes also seem too small for her face. So there you have my reasons for keeping her in the back of the doll room for all these years. :-) With the new outfit, I do feel a lot better about her than before.

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  4. She's so cute! Gladly you kept her! Redressing dolls is magical XD~

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    1. Yes, Lady LoLo, redressing it the next best thing to getting a new doll.

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  5. Beautiful!! This is the one I chose as my favorite. :-). I love love her hair!!

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    1. Thank you, GG. Her hair is pretty to look at but that is all. It gets tangled easily and it is very difficult to undo the tangles. That's why I pulled it up in a ponytail shortly after she arrived, never to touch it again except when I pulled it through her new crown.

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  6. She is too pretty to part with. I do believe she is the perfect candidate for the dress, she is a pretty one indeed.

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    1. Thank you, Brini. Yes, she was the perfect candidate. I never really liked her original dress anyway. Some of Annette Himstedt's clothing choices were way over the top.

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  7. She's not wearing my favorite color, but I still approve, lol!

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    1. Her blouse is your favorite color, Muff. Does that count?
      :-)

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  8. My favorite didn't win, but you've convinced me this print is just perfect.

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    1. Thank you, Shasha. I don't recall reading your favorite. Let me backtrack to the previous post.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!