Monday, November 3, 2014

Lots and Lots and Lots of Little Women

A 1950s Wendy-Kins as Amy

Just when I thought I might be at the end of my Little Women run, another one of the March girls pops up! This time it's Amy, or at least, it's Wendy-Kins with a hairdo that strongly suggests Amy. I bought a 1950s Ginny case and inside was this Alexander-Kins in pieces. She had, barely clinging to her head, a triple-stitched wig styled in a fancy updo and tied with a black velvet ribbon. Some regular Wendy-Kins dolls did have this hairstyle back in the day, but the combination of blond hair, the partly pulled up style, and the black ribbon really suggest this one was originally Amy. I had an Amy costume which came on a different, non-Amy, doll, so I dressed this one in it.

The doll when she arrived.

As I mentioned, Amy was in pieces when she arrived, so I put her back together and gave her new stringing. I pulled her wig the rest of the way off and re-glued it. She needed a really good cleaning as well. She doesn't have any splits or stains, however, so that's good! Now her walker works and she can sit and stand and bend her knees. Her eyes work well.

The doll after restoration.

She is marked ALEX.

Luckily, I got Amy all re-strung and re-wigged yesterday evening. My parents and sister spent most of the day with us and we ladies walked about four miles and talked. I spent a pleasant half hour talking to our next door neighbor after my family left. Then I fixed supper and went to get our teenager and his friend from their band trip. It took half an hour for them to get the bus unpacked and come out, and I don't know what happened, but I started to feel really bad. My five year old has a little cough and I felt like maybe I picked it up over the weekend, but it certainly wasn't serious. Waiting in the cold car, though, I started to feel enormously tired and my eyes began to sting. By the time the boys came out after 9:30 I was a mess. "Do you have Ebola, Mom?" my son asked when he saw my red eyes. I started sneezing and couldn't stop the whole way home. This morning after the bus left I crawled back into bed and stayed there most of the day. So it's good I got the doll mostly done yesterday. I roused myself enough to get her dressed and take her photos this afternoon, and then I roasted some ducks and made a chestnut mousse because my husband has been waiting for that. Now I'm pretty much ready for bed again!

Amy needed to have her wig glued back on.

The triple stitched wig

Amy, as a bent knee walker with a triple-stitched wig, is from the late 1950s to early 1960s. I think the 1950s Amy doll wore a blue dress, but since then, as far as I've seen, her dress has been mostly yellow. The outfit I chose for her is a white dress with a polka dot yellow pinafore tagged "Alexander-Kins Amy", pantaloons trimmed with lace beading threaded with yellow ribbon, a crinoline, socks, and shoes. The elastic in the pantaloons' waist was shot so I replaced it today and didn't do a great job, I'm afraid. My machine kept eating it, and it's like I can't get my hands to work today. So, it's not the greatest looking repair, but luckily the waist is covered by the other clothes. The pants fit as they're supposed to now, at least. I really wish I'd tackled the elastic yesterday, though.

Amy's outfit is probably newer than she, from the 1960s.

Other than my imperfect repair, the costume is in fair vintage condition. It doesn't have any holes, but does have lots of age yellowing and stains. I cleaned it but couldn't remove some pin-sized brown spots throughout and the overall yellowing.

The Alexander-Kins tag

The costume has yellowing and spots.

I don't ever wash the Madame Alexander clothes very aggressively, however, because so many collectors prefer the unwashed costumes. I use carpet spot cleaner or vinegar in water and sunlight to bleach them. If you were brave enough to wash the outfit in the machine with some color safe bleach you could probably get it cleaner.

As far as I know I have all my little women listed now. Of course, there's no telling when a new one might come in. I have a good representation of Madame Alexander's interpretation of the classic dolls from the 1950s to the 1980s. I am including a copy of the book with this Amy doll. This is the same condensed and illustrated version for young readers with which I was introduced to the story. Later I saved and saved my money until I could buy an unabridged version for myself. I think the book with a doll, or all the dolls, is a wonderful way to introduce a little one to these beloved characters! Make sure to check both branches of my store on Etsy and eBay for all these Marmes, Megs, Jos, Beths, and Amys: and

A collection of Madame Alexander Little Women dolls

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