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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Doll Clinic

A customer brought this vintage doll to the   fabric store  where I work part time, looking for some one to repair the cloth body (replace with new). I have repaired cloth body baby dolls in the past, so I took the job.

The doll is at least 30 years old, belongs to the customer's daughter, and is being repaired for the granddaughter. The doll's name is Julianna, and the new owner's name is also Rebecca!
close up of damaged cloth, literally falling apart!
The cloth of the body is sewn to the plastic arms & legs.

All the plastic parts were removed carefully from the cloth.
One of the legs had lost its internal cap and stuffing was escaping into the hollow space.
Stuffing had also migrated into the head cavity.

The original body cloth had been repaired several times.
Since I wanted to photograph her re-make, I gave "J" a free facial.

All the plastic parts were washed with a mild hand soap and the face also scrubbed with moist baking soda.
Original body taken apart to get a pattern for the new body

Each piece carefully traced (only upper back will be shown)
compensate for torn spots

establish the center line and adjust symmetry 

Add 1/8 inch for stable seams
New cloth pieces ready to be sewn together

Sewing the new body to the first leg, rubber band anchors cloth in place.

Sewing through the plastic required more than a needle, thimble, and thread!
I bent my needle, but it proved to be a benefit rather than a bother!
This leg required an internal cap to keep the stuffing out of the hollow space.

A nylon zip tie is used to attach the body to the head; much tighter than the old string.
New body

All dressed and ready for the hairdresser.
Hair... re-braiding the long strands is all that I can do for her now.


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  2. Wow what a transformation from the first picture to the final result! Julianna looks like she is ready for a summer full of fun.