Monday, July 14, 2014

Wendy-Kins World Tour

A lot of dolls and clothes from a trunk made in 1955.

A couple months ago I bought a 1955 Ginny trunk (the pink and white metal trunk with Ginny's name and a string of paper dolls across the top) full of dolls and clothing. Ginny was in there, as well as this Wendy-kins, and a Ginger doll.

Wendy looked like the 1950s version to me, which makes sense with everything in the trunk. She has the pale complexion with red lips and really hand-painted looking eyebrows and lashes of the 50s dolls. Here she is next to the Little Women Amy made prior to 1963. You can see the 60s doll has wider, more almond shaped eyes, a rosy complexion, and pale lip paint. Sad to say, since she's not worth as much, but I think the early 1960s Alexander-kins mold is the cutest!

Amy, in yellow dress, and Wendy

The Alexander-kins tag was dropped in 1963, so Amy was made prior to then.
Wendy's hair seemed weird, though. I soon discovered that is because sometime in the past her original wig was cut short and a long Brigitte Bardot wig was glued over it.

The original triple-stitched wig

The original wig, and the pink taffeta slip worn by the doll when I first opened the box, hinted at Wendy's past. The wig had a staple in one side, of the sort Madame Alexander used to attach floral decorations to gowns and wigs. I think Wendy was once a fancy-dress doll, like a bridesmaid or ballerina or something, with a long slip and flowers in her hair.

The staple in the side of the wig probably attached flowers or a net hat.

I got Wendy cleaned up and loosely re-strung her arms and legs. My goal is to string the old dolls tightly enough for them to stand and pose but still loose enough to protect their fragile old seams and joint. Then I removed both wigs and glued the newer one back on. I styled it in an elaborate updo, as befits a prima ballerina!

The doll after restoration.

This mark was used until 1976.

Aside from the slip the only piece in the lot that looked like it could be a Madame piece was the blue and pink ballerina costume. There was a Wendy-kins as a blue ballerina in the 1950s, so I got really excited. When I looked closely, however, I saw the dress seems to be hand-sewn. It's amazingly well-done. It looks like a machine was not used at all, and yet the quality is so good I thought it was an Alexander piece! I already had the exquisite little knitted ballet shoes from another vintage doll lot and they are a perfect fit.

This slip is probably original to the doll.
Once I'd looked at my Madame Alexander book to try to identify the dress, a little idea began to stir in my brain. Madame Alexander made many trunk sets in the 1950s featuring ballerinas with wardrobes. These were called "On Tour" sets, like Elise On Tour, Cissy On Tour, and so forth. I decided I should do a trunk set.

My exclusive Wendy-kins' World Tour trunk set

You regular readers know how much I love to make trunk sets, although they're not the smartest business decisions! I'd get a lot more money selling the dolls and outfits separately. I just love to put together the little wardrobes, though. I already had a pink metal-wrapped wooden suitcase perfect to hold Wendy and her clothes, so I went ahead and made the set. I have two more sets in the works featuring Muffie and Ginny.

The Ginny trunk contained mostly tagged Vogue clothing for Ginny. It also had some handmade stuff and some untagged Ginnette and Muffie items. I picked out the ballet outfit and pink slip from that set. Then I searched my stash of doll clothes for more Wendy items. I found some black Alexander-kins shoes in my shoe box. Then I remembered the Mexico skirt I had in my doll clothes box. I also gave Wendy a 50s ballgown, by Commonwealth I think. This is pristine! I found some flannel pajamas, probably for Ginger. Then I got out a navy polished cotton dress with white lace trim. This looks familiar to me but I can't find it in any of my books. It's beautifully-made, nice and thick, and has square silver snaps, so I hoped it might be an Alexander piece, but I finally found it belongs to the Kellogg's doll and bridal trousseau from around 1957. I made Wendy a silk chemise to wear under her clothes. Of course, I couldn't leave it at that. I recently got a lot of international dolls. It contained some miniatures I think are just too adorable displayed with small dolls like Wendy, so I threw those in. Here's my Wendy story.

Little Wendy Ann, or Wendy-kins as she is sometimes called, is a prodigy. What else would you expect? She's named after Madame Alexander's granddaughter! She's such a talented dancer she's become the youngest prima ballerina ever. Wendy travels the world to perform for her adoring fans.

Wendy has only the best, so she wears a real silk dupioni chemise instead of regular old underwear. She also has a pink taffeta slip, rayon socks, and flocked shoes.

Everything on this dress is original except for the flower.

Whenever Wendy's in Paris she schedules some time for shopping. She wears her navy cotton day dress, vintage but embellished with new flower and glass bead trim where it appears there was originally a flower or something sewn on. She adorns luxurious golden locks with a blue organza bow. The weather in France can be dicey, so Wendy carries her vintage umbrella. She only frequents the best shops along the Champs Élysées.

Wendy's tour takes her to sunny Mexico, where she can't resist this adorable, belly-baring skirt (from the 1965 Mexico Alexander-kins) and hand-made sequin-trimmed blouse. Wendy collects travel dolls as souvenirs, so she purchases a new little friend.

I made this tiara from glass beads and wire.

In Japan, Wendy's friends invite her to a traditional tea ceremony. Wendy wears her glittery ballgown and her handmade glass bead tiara. The Japanese present her with a beautiful Geisha doll.

Wendy performs in her blue and pink ballet gown, trimmed with silver sequins. She wears her tiara in her curls. On her feet are her favorite knitted toe shoes. After the performance Wendy is presented with a lovely bouquet of vintage-look flowers.

At the end of the day Wendy loves to lounge in her pink and blue flannel pajamas. As Wendy packs her suitcase she really notices how beat up it's getting from all her travels. Oh well, she shrugs, it still works!

As usual, I had too much fun creating my Wendy trunk set! If you wanted to, you could style Wendy's long wig in braids so she looks like an ordinary little girl. Wendy, Amy, and many more dolls are available in my store, so make sure to check: Keep watching for more trunk sets on the way!

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