Monday, November 25, 2019

It Was Her Grandmother's Doll

Circa 1970s black cloth doll has facial features made of felt.

Without seeing a picture, I was asked if I knew of anyone who would like an "antique cloth souvenir doll that needed some repairs."  Having become a doll rescuer of late, I told the woman who contacted me, that I would accept the doll.

Most of the doll's right eye was missing upon arrival.  Her felt nose and mouth remain intact.

The doll arrived and the only thing in disrepair was one eye.  Made of felt, I knew it would be an easy fix to replace the eye.  I took several before-photos before the repair ensued and documented the doll in a spreadsheet entry as follows:

A gift from DS, this 18-inch black cloth doll with mature bosom possibly made from a pattern, belonged to D's grandmother who died in 1980. Doll has black yarn hair and a black knit curlicue crocheted ponytail. Arrived with one eye missing. I replaced that eye, removed the other and made a new one using white felt for the sclerae and a black circle of felt for the pupil. Black felt and red felt nose and mouth are original. Wears gold chain drop earrings, a double-stranded pearl necklace, a red polka dot dress with lace trim at bodice, waist, sleeves, and hem. Dress has crinoline and white heavy gauze petticoat. She wears white cotton panties and red satin flat pumps that have gold tagboard soles.
The Before Pictures

This full-length photo illustrates the doll's appearance upon arrival.
Her black yarn curlicue ponytail can be seen in this photo taken from the back.
This is a better look at the crocheted ponytail.  This type of curlicue crocheting was used to make hair ties during the 1970s for girls' ponytails.  This leads me to believe the doll was made during the 1970s or possibly a few years earlier if the ponytail was added later.
The petticoat is one layer of crinoline that covers a layer of heavy gauze.
The heavy gauze underskirt, panties, and red satin shoes are shown here.

Close-up of red satin shoes

The soles of the shoes are gold tagboard.

She carries a red knit purse.
The Eye Repair and Final Photos

A white felt square was placed over the "good" eye to trace the necessary almond-shaped size needed for the missing eye.

Because the felt used for the original eye had yellowed, I decided to replace both eyes with these two cut-out felt pieces.

The original eye was removed.

The new "whites" were glued to the areas where the original eyes had been.

Black felt pupils were added to complete the eye repair.

With the new eyes in place and the ribbon at the waist of her dress re-tied, she is almost as good as I imagine she was when first made.


There are countless items to collect and write about. Black dolls chose me.

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  1. I love these old rag dolls; they have such character! The new eyes are a definite improvement.

    1. Rag dolls like these were made with love and they gave/give it back.


  2. Thank you for taking her into your house and also for giving her new eyes. She has been love and she is going to be loved for sure.

    1. Even though she is not typically the type doll I collect, it was my pleasure to take her in and give her new eyes.



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