Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Friend Mandy as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

My Friend Mandy as Dorothy and Build-A-Bear's Brown Sugar Puppy as Toto


Mandy's new one-piece Teddie hides the holes in her body. Her arm still has some ink spots I couldn't remove.


Her cheek paint is a little scratched, but she's still cute!
This post continues the restoration of the vinyl My Friend Mandy doll first introduced in the How to ReWig a vinyl doll post. It took me longer than I thought to finish this doll because I bought myself a Fitbit with my birthday money and I can't sit down very much! A Fitbit is a high-tech pedometer-type device that uses Wii remote technology to detect even the slightest movements you make and give you the exact amount of calories you're burning each day so you know what to eat in order to lose weight. That's great, but it also gives you a pie chart showing what percent of each day you were sedentary! It's awful if your pie chart shows you were loafing all day, so I've been making sure I move. As a result, I've lost a pound in the week I've had it, our house is much cleaner, and I'm behind on my projects!

This doll started as a My Friend Mandy who had multiple issues. Her hair had been cut to the head in front, she had marker and pen on her vinyl limbs, holes in her cloth body, and is missing her tush tag. I cleaned her first in the washing machine and then with Mr Clean Magic Eraser and then with Goof Off to remove the ink. If you use either of those be very careful around the face, as both will remove the face paint. Then to neutralize the Goof Off I hand washed her in dish soap and water. I replaced her hair with a wig, as shown in the earlier post. I was unable to completely remove the marks on one arm, so I hid them using the basket ribbon and her dress sleeve. Remember in restoration that clothing and hats can hide a multitude of sins! No Dorothy would be complete without "ruby slippers", so I coated new Horsman doll shoes with tacky glue and glittered them. They are still shedding quite a bit, but that should improve with time.

Repairing the cloth body was trickier. Replacing the body entirely would require a special sewing machine used by shoe repairmen and would incur additional cost. I am already into this doll more than is practical, as it was described as being in excellent condition by the seller and then I had to buy a wig. I could have used iron-on tape over the holes, but I was afraid it wouldn't stand up to play. So I decided to sew a "chemise" or "Teddie" one-piece undergarment directly to her body in the style of the old 20s and 30s French dolls. The doll will still fit the original clothing by Fisher Price, though, alas, her butt is rather big, so you might have to help a child fit them over the lace pants.

The idea to do the doll as Dorothy started with a trip to the fabric store with my daughter. She is very into the Wizard of Oz movie and she begged for the checked satin she saw on the remnant table. It wasn't enough to make a Dorothy dress for her, but plenty for a doll or two. I recalled I had a brown wig at home and remembered the very disheveled Mandy I had put away, thinking it so damaged I might not be able to repair it. A lucky trip to the thrift store turned up the tiny basket and little dog.

This doll is obviously based on the movie, not the Oz books. As a child I loved the books and the antique pen and ink illustrations. Dorothy is shown there as a blond with a turn-of- the-century or early 20s bob and short dress. The very short dress on this doll is a nod to the original Dorothy. Incidentally, have you seen those new Barbie and Moxie Girlz dolls whose heads you can replace? Every time I see one I think of the beautiful and evil witch in the Oz books who keeps all the heads of her victims in glass cases in her dressing room and simply puts on a new head each day! That story so fascinated and terrified me as a girl; I would read it over and over and shudder! Evidently the new doll designers either never read those books or weren't frightened by them!

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