Saturday, 8 June 2019

The Manikins

I mentioned in my previous post that the lovely little Toddler, Iona, was not alone in the parcel that came from my special dolly friend in the US.  Iona was actually accompanied by two very unusual (to me) dolls, and as soon as I saw them I thought they were worth researching a little. 

The dolls are actually called 'manikins' and from what I can find on the Internet, they were made by a company called Latexture of New York City, who produced these figures alongside Simplicity, (the pattern company who were also based in NYC) who produced the patterns specifically for this size of 'doll'.  The original 'dolls' would have come in a box which included a pattern, a wooden stand, a tape measure, some thread, a little pair of rounded end scissors, and possibly other sewing paraphernalia for the budding seamstress.

The box, as far as I can see, was made of hard cardboard.  I found the following couple of photos of what the complete sets probably looked like:

The two manikins that I received are without their boxes, they are from the 1940s I believe and that was apparent as soon as I saw them, the style of their hair is very 1940s.  When I say 'hair', they have molded on hair and it is painted a glossy deep brown.  The bodies are only jointed at the shoulders and apparently the arms pop in and out on 'pegs'....I think these pegs might have been prone to breaking as a lot of the dolls I've seen for sale, are missing one or both of their arms.  Both mine have their arms and are in quite good condition, although one has some pin pricks to her torso as well as a bit of damage to her face paint.   I'm guessing she was the one who was used by a seamstress to make outfits.  

Both girls are approx 13 inches tall and they have slim bodies with small bust and hips and not a considerable difference between their top and bottom halves in measurements.  This must have made it a lot easier for young seamstresses to work with, no need for masses of darts....I'm just guessing here as unfortunately I don't have the patterns.

Here are their basic measurements:

Height: Approx 13 inches

Bust: 13.5cm
Waist: 10.75cm
Hips: 14cm
Inside leg: 16.75cm

Although both of these 'dolls' appear to be the same sculpt, there are some subtle differences between them.  As you can below, one of the dolls has a slither of paint missing from the end of her nose so I will refer to her as 'girl A' (shown on the left above) and the other as 'girl B'.   In the photo above and below, you might be mistaken into thinking that the girl on the left, 'girl A' has a smaller head than her companion, I thought the same at first, but it is actually that her 'posture' is better and you will see this more clearly in my photos of them from the side.  Both girls faces are exactly 3cm long from the edge of their molded hair to the bottom of their chins. 

Also, it looks as if 'girl B' has a thicker neck, again this is because of her posture, both girls necks measure exactly 6cm round.
Both girls' faces are quite simply painted; their eyelashes, as you can see below, are all painted to one side of both eyes, so although one eye has lashes on the outside edge of the eye and nothing towards the inner eye, so the other eye has them painted so that her inner eyelid has the lashes, whilst her outer eyelid has nothing but blue eyeliner!    They both have blue eyes to match the eyeliner and red 'rosebud' painted lips which I think  probably reflect the fashions of the day.

'Girl A'

'Girl B'

Here, from the side, you can see that 'girl B' has a more pronounced 'slouch' than her companion.  I suspect that this was caused by age or maybe even warmth as at the base of her neck I can just about make out some very fine wrinkles in the plastic, but these were so fine that I couldn't really get them to show up properly in photos....

Seeing the girls full length from the side is interesting as you would think that the girl on the right, 'girl B' is slightly shorter than the other.  This is just an illusion though as they are exactly the same height.  I have measured both girls all over and there is only one difference that I can see in their measurements, and that is 'girl B' has slightly shorter arms!  Both of her arms are each 13cm long, whereas the other girl's arms measure 14cm.  Also 'girl B' has a bit of a 'problem' with her left leg in that the ankle is slightly curved, so causing her not to be able to stand up as straight as the other girl.

In the rear view you can see the damage to 'girl A', probably caused by sewing needles or pins.  

You can also see the makers mark.  Both girls are marked with the words 'Fashiondol' (yes just the one 'L' in doll...and the copyright ©️ across the small of their backs, nothing more. 

Also as you'll see above, both girls are 'wearing' painted on high wedged shoes.  I believe that these shoes would have originally had 'pegs' attached to them, so that they could be pushed into the wooden stands that the girls would have originally come with.

Apart from their posture, there are a couple of other differences that I want to mention.  Firstly and most obviously to me, are the differences in the definition of the molding on the girls.  'Girl A' has much more definition to her mold than the other girl.  Her hair is more detailed, her company name on her back is slightly easier to read as it's imprinted better and her ears in particular are far more detailed than 'girl B'. 

This difference in the two dolls is really easy to see on their hair, for example.....

Girl A

And 'Girl B'

And here you can see the differences in their ears.....with 'girl B's ears, on the right, being almost flat compared to the girl on the left.....

As well as those differences, their skin tones are also different, with 'girl A' having a more beige toned skin colour compared to the other girl's skin which has a more rosy tone to it.  Their hair colour though is exactly the same, from this angle the colour reminds me of lovely shiny conkers!! πŸ˜„

Apart from that, both girls more or less feel the same, their bodies are completely hollow so they are 'squidgy' and slightly pliable, although because of their age I've not squashed their bodies in too much as I don't want their surface paint, if that is indeed what it is, to get any further damage to it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed seeing these two 'manikin' dolls, I know that I have enjoyed receiving them and trying to find out all I can about them, which sadly hasn't been much.  I don't know if they'll stay as I am supposed to be downsizing further, (and my friend sent them to me with a note to sell if I wanted to) but we shall see....I mean they really don't take up too much room, do they? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Have a great weekend and thank you for visiting!

Big hugs, Sharon in Spain xxx

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

An amazing surprise gift....

Some of you will have already seen this on Facebook but I had to share here.  I have a lovely friend in the US who I met through my blog.  Many years ago now, my friend, who I will call J, emailed me saying that she'd found my blog and had been reading all the posts.  We started to correspond via email and became good friends.  We share a common interest in dolls but we chat about all sorts of other things too. 

A few years back my friend had a stroke and her emails stopped for a little while.  Fortunately though, her husband knows of our friendship and he wrote to tell me that J had been unwell and I continued to email with news of the things going on in my life until J was able to write back to me.

J has often written that she wanted to send me things but I have always tried to discourage her as Spanish customs are so awful and the charges so excessive, and I've always felt that she was way too generous with sending me things, but out of the blue she wrote a few weeks ago to say that a package was on it's way to me and was currently in Madrid.  I felt slightly panicked that the parcel was in customs and I would be sent a hefty charge which I couldn't afford.  Then J wrote to say that the parcel had now reached my home town's post office and was awaiting collection.

Last week I went to the post office to collect the parcel, which thankfully, had not been caught by customs.  The box was big, it had cost a lot of dollars to be sent, but what was inside?

The first thing I saw when I got into the outer shipping box was this......(Please excuse my poor photos, they were taken on my phone!!) 

I was sure that J must have been using the tube as protection for what was inside, surely this could not be who was named on the label?

But sure enough, once I opened the tube, there inside was the most precious gift, the little Gotz Toddler Iona!!!!  I could hardly believe what I was seeing... 

My dear sweet friend had sent me her Gotz Toddler Iona as a gift "to cheer me up" as she knows I have been very 'down' over the last 5 months or so.  

I could hardly believe it, my eyes filled with tears that someone would send me such a gift.  

Iona came in her original tube, wearing Toddler Elke's outfit (minus Elke's sandals) and carrying her own canvas shoes, her original bag and beanie style hat!!  Plus a pair of lovely silky knitted socks that maybe come from another Gotz Toddler?  

She is in beautiful condition, with silky soft perfect hair!  I haven't undressed her yet as I have been busy with my mum visiting but I will soon take proper photos of her and maybe dress her in something more appropriate for our warm weather.  Recently I had to put my little boy Toddler up for adoption, so this little girl will be my model when I start making Toddler clothes, hopefully very soon!

There were two other gifts in the box which I will photograph and share with you here very soon.

I am truly blessed with the dolly friends I have, I can never thank J enough for such a generous and thoughtful gift.  

Thank you for stopping by, and for sharing my lovely present with me.  

Big hugs
Sharon xx

Monday, 22 April 2019

For Sale: Nautical outfit for Sasha! SOLD

Yes, I finally did it!!!  I sewed an outfit this weekend to sell!
I hope you like it, it has taken me a lot of "kicks up the bum" to get myself back to sewing outfits to sell, but hopefully now that I've made a start, I will make some more :)
Now I just hope that people will remember me and like what I sew!

The outfit consists of a two tiered ra-ra skirt in cute lighthouse pattern quilters cotton, with lined yoke and tulle underskirt, white knit tee shirt with intricate detailing to the front (both skirt and top close with metal snaps at the back), white cotton sailor hat with gold effect anchor adornment and 'rope' detailing around the edge of the brim, (hat crown is NOT lined), light blue and white striped socks.

All items made by me in new fabrics.
Doll and shoes NOT included.
Price: £30 plus postage from Spain.
Paypal only, Friends & Family or please add 4% to cover paypal charges.
Thank you.
Please email me if interested.

And now for the photos....

Thank you for looking, I hope you like it. 

Please pop back to see my next outfits which are partly made and hopefully will be completed in a few days!

Have a great week ahead!

Big hugs Sharon in Spain xxx

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Introducing Harucasting Eminor...

Last night my husband returned from almost a week in the UK spent with his family and grandchildren.  I stayed home to look after the dogs!  Whilst Brian was over in the UK I arranged for him to meet up with my lovely friend Sue so that she could give him my Eminor by Harucasting that I recently had sent to her from the artist in South Korea.

Without further ado, here is the lovely girl!  (Sorry that the photos are a little repetitive!)

Eminor is named after the artist's favourite chord apparently!  

 Her resin colour is called Soft Tan and it is very light and creamy. 

Her beautiful faceup is by the Russian artist Blisslacosta, I love those freckles which actually are on her forehead too, but only lightly.

The wig I had in mind for her was too big, so she is currently wearing this one which is the colour I wanted for her and very close to the style I had in mind.

Eminor has small eye sockets and she needs to have eyes with a low dome.  I wanted brown eyes but those I had were not suitable because of the dome size, so having made these a while ago from resin, I tried them and they fit perfectly.

Eminor comes with two pairs of hands, a pair like the one shown in the photos below.....

And a second pair that are more open hands....I've not tried those on her yet.

She is wearing a raglan sleeved tee shirt that I made some time ago with no-one in particular in mind, and it fits her perfectly.  She is also wearing a pair of 'aged' jeans that I've had for ages, they also fit her which is great because up until now I have been justifying keeping them as they fit no-one!!!!

Now all she needs is a name!  I will take more photos of her posing soon, she poses beautifully.  I will also try to do some comparison photos with other MSD sized bjds that I have here.

Have a lovely Easter weekend, I hope the weather is good and the sun shines down on you.

Big hugs Sharon in Spain xxx

Monday, 15 April 2019

Busy, Busy!

The last few weeks have been very busy for me, I don't mean to neglect my blog...honest!

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of what I've been up to.  There's a lot of talk in the BJD (ball jointed doll) world about recasts, I don't want to get into that subject on here because it's a very emotive subject and I'm going to bed soon and it plays on my mind, but my lovely friend Sue in the UK and I, were talking back last summer about how it is possible to get a cute BJD for a really reasonable price, without resorting to buying recasts. 

Soooo we both bought a head each from a company called Alice's Collections in China, the head in question is a Little Peach 1/6 scale head from the company Doll Family and at the time we bought ours, it was $18 plus $5 postage.  I see the price has now gone up slightly to $22 but still very reasonable for a bjd head.  The head comes in five resin colours, normal pink, white, normal yellow, tanned and grey and we both chose the tanned version.  The head comes blank without any body, eyes or wig.  The heads shipped approx two months after we purchased them, so I received mine about November.  We were then going to send Sue's head cap to a company called Resin Soul, also in China, as they have a resin matching service and will make a body to match the head cap from the head.  We chose the 1/6 scale girl body.  We decided to wait until after Christmas to order the bodies.  The bodies would cost $80 each plus postage.

After Christmas, unfortunately, I had a bit of a financial crisis and was unable to go ahead with my ordering of a body, so Sue went ahead and ordered hers.  Unbeknown to me, my lovely friend ordered a body for me too as a gift and she surprised me with this generous present in February!!!  I'm so very blessed.  πŸ’–

Sue sent my body and her dolls head to me, so that I could do the faceup on her doll as well as my own doll.

This is Sue's blank doll.....
We wanted the two girls to be twins, so I worked on them at the same time in order to achieve some sort of uniformity.  

I tried to make both girls as similar as possible but despite all my efforts at keeping them dust free, I managed to get some tiny pieces of lint under the sealant!  I was not a happy bunny and decided to start Sue's doll again.... but for the life of me I cannot find the photos of the finished head second time round, so here, below, is the first one.....

Finally the two heads were finished and I was happy with them.  And today my husband, who is currently in the UK, was able to hand Sue her finished head.  

Here is Sue's lovely girl, who is now known as Ida.....she has a lot of attitude!!!

I made this outfit as a gift for Sue.....

And here is my girl, who is called Sarah....

Sarah also has to wear glasses but she left them off for the above photos!

And here is Sarah in a different outfit:


I will take some better close up  photos of Sarah soon, I just need to replace her eyelashes as I'm not happy with the ones she currently has, as I used the wrong glue.

I'm very happy with how both girls turned out.  I'm not a professional faceup artist, but I did my best to bring the girls to life and hopefully I have achieved that!

Thank you for visiting, I will be back soon with the other things that I've been up to recently.

Have a lovely week ahead!

Big hugs Sharon xx

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

A Little Bit of Creativity....

The weather here had, until today, been beautiful and it inspired me to get a bit creative....I have so many ideas rolling round inside my head but when I sit down in my doll/sewing room, those ideas just seem to float out of the window...and are lost.  But I've recently had a little spurt of creativity and thought I'd share it with you...

Firstly I decided that Anuschka, my Zwergnase Junior, needed a new wig, as her default one, shown in my last post, was really messy and matted underneath her hat so I looked through my wig box and found this one (below) and thought it made a good replacement for's a Monique Gold wig, I have no idea of the name, but know that once it was a long one, before I got carried away with the scissors!!!!  I do like her with messy hair.  😊

So then she got a new dress.  I made this using a pattern for Maru & Friends dolls, but the fit is quite good. 

Then yesterday I made a wig for my little Irrealdoll Annic.  I've struggled with finding a good wig for her because she's got such a tiny head that manufactured wigs, even in her size, seem to have too much hair so they overwhelm her face.  I decided to make my own, so I made a head cap with tulle and several layers of white glue, which once hard, makes a close fitting cap.  I then used fake fur from a cushion I bought at Lidl, trimming lines of the fur still attached to the fabric, making 'wefts' and then attaching them to the cap, again with white glue.  And then once it'd dried, I cut it into the only style I can really do, a bob!!!  I'm really quite pleased with how it came out and don't think it overwhelms her at all.

So what do you think?

Apart from that, I have heard that my pre-order dolls will soon be shipping, so that's exciting for me, I hope I'm happy with them both :)

And finally, here is a photo of some poppies that are growing in the dry river bed behind my home.....

I hope you're all having weather to your liking, wherever you may be.....

Have a lovely week!

Big hugs Sharon xx