Nellie"s Needles

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The kind of doll I wanted most as a child was one that looked like a real baby. I would've adored having this one.
And I did have her, but not until I bought her when I was in my forties. She now belongs to my great-niece.
I more than made up for my childhood deprivation with a huge collection of dolls. About five years ago I began gifting a special doll to each of the girls, old and young, in my family.

This French doll went to my great-niece when she was nine years old.
She very much wanted an American Girl doll with all the accessories that her family could not afford to buy. If there had been one in my collection it would've been hers. I included more clothes with accessories. These are three that I had designed and made.

Also included was that chair in the above photo plus a lot of other "stuff" I had collected for dolls.
This limited edition art doll is the last doll added to my collection. She was gifted to a grown up niece who is seriously collecting dolls.
The foundation of her collection is the dolls I had dressed and gifted to her throughout her childhood. No little girls in my family went without.

PS: One excuse for, or result of, my doll collecting was writing two books about smocking for dolls that featured patterns I had designed. Here is one of them:
The pattern I had made for the doll on this cover was also published as "Allison's Dress", a multiple sizes pattern for real girls.


Joyce said...

The little girls in your family are very lucky! I was too much of a tomboy (three brothers) to play much with dolls but I did have an antique one that used to belong to my mother. I almost bought a pristine German doll in the 70s but I had two small girls then and I couldn't see it staying in perfect condition so I didn't buy it. I just bought a doll book at the thrift shop. However I think collecting sewing machines is enough without starting on dolls. Lol.

Beena said...

Isn't it funny that sometimes what we give to others, is what we most wanted to get for ourselves? I think it's great you've given the girls in your family wonderful dolls, and even inspired one to collect!
I'm glad your story has gone on to be better,happier. Your last post saddened me to think of you making a sock doll and having to hide it and play with it in the dark. Some of our greatest creative passions are sparked by adversity...

verobirdie said...

Such a good idea! your nieces are lucky little ladies.

Dolores said...

How very generous of you and how lucky the nieces were/are. You know they went to good homes and that they were loved.

Debra said...

I like the sock doll better.

Heather said...

Beautiful dolls and they must be the best dressed dolls ever! The baby doll is adorable and I'm sure your nieces and greatnieces will treasure all of them.

Allison Ann Aller said...

How cool that you wrote a couple of books way back when!

I didn't get my first doll until I was in my 40's as mom had zero interest in dolls and didn't conceive that I might ever want one.
My DH got me a cute Barbie for my 45th bday and she has 7 sisters by now....they've had hanging out with my son's GI Joes, too!