Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ginny Gets Hitched

A Vogue Ginny dress from 1955.

Fairly long ago now I bought a lot of small dolls from the estate of a collector. There were Ginny dolls and Betsy McCall dolls and there was one Vogue Jill wearing a Vogue tagged lace dress. It would have been a valuable collection were it not absolutely filthy. When I say filthy I mean, it looked as though the dolls had been buried or something. They were that dirty. I cleaned them up the best I could and sold all but the Jill doll and her dress. They were so far gone as to seem nearly impossible to restore so I set them aside for a while. Finally, I came across the dress again and decided to either get it clean or sell it for use as a pattern. I washed it, and washed it, and washed it, and washed it... I can't even remember how many times this dress was washed! Eventually I got it as clean as I think it's going to get. It's a cream color now rather than white.

A photo of the dress from my Ginny book.
I could tell the dress, though faintly marked with a Vogue Medford tag, wasn't originally for Jill because she was crammed into it and the hook and eye closure in back didn't fasten. The Medford Vogue tag, from the Medford, Massachusetts factory, was only used from 1954-1956 so I knew where to look to research the dress. Sure enough, I found a big photo in my Vogue dolls book showing the dress is Bridal Trousseau #64 from 1955. Originally there would have been a spray of sweet peas adorning the waist and a veil was included.

I restored the dress with pearl beading.

The original eyelet hem

The tag is barely legible.

I beaded over stains I couldn't remove.

Vogue was known for the high quality of their doll clothing and this dress is no exception. The taffeta and lace held up amazingly well to my ministrations. The hem in the taffeta underskirt is finished with an eyelet band. I tried to keep the attention to detail high with my restoration. I hand-beaded over stains I couldn't remove on the skirt and sleeves and then beaded corresponding accents on the opposite side to make it look decorative and intentional. I finished the entire neckline, front and back, with seed pearls (faux, of course) and accented the waist and hem with a combination of seed and round pearls. The sleeves have round pearl medallions. I made a tulle and satin ribbon veil and decorated that with faux flowers and pearls and made a tiny bouquet for Ginny to hold. All the materials I used, including the beads, are vintage so they have the appropriate look and feel. All the washing shortened the hem a tiny bit, so this ensemble would be a cute bridal or First Communion outfit for your doll.

I have a wide assortment of clothing for small dolls like, Ginny, Muffie, Penny Brite, and Betsy McCall, in my shops on eBay and Etsy right now, so I do hope you'll check. Remember to use the code MAMALOVE for 15% off any order from my Etsy shop through May 1, 2016.

The dress is cute for wedding or First Communion.

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