Monday, May 3, 2010

Valley of the Dolls

Every once in awhile, someone I know (who knows I sew) offers me some fabric. Awfully nice of them don't you think? While I very much appreciate these offers, sometimes I have to turn them down as I have so little space and an already overflowing fabric cupboard. Sometimes though, my fabric addicted ways get the best of me and I accept. Such was the case some time ago when the woman who occasionally watches Pony Girl asked if I would be interested in some of her mother's old fabric. "Why don't you come by and pick up a couple of bags when you can," she said. What is a couple of small bags really? What I can't use I will donate and I'm helping de-clutter another woman's house, I thought.

When I showed up she just kept bringing large bags out to my car. In total there were 6 bags that filled up the back of my car. I was indeed grateful if just a bit overwhelmed. I haven't had much time to go through all the bags but, I have been trying as they need to be gone through since they have taken over my laundry area. Each bag is a mystery, you don't know what you might find. Perhaps a bit of treasure, or maybe some frightening 80's polyester! All of these bags are filled with scraps, from medium size to itty bitty and all have that deep dank musty smell of years of storage in a dark place. So far, as you can see from the photo above, I have culled a fair amount of sweet vintage scraps. These have been laundered, pressed and folded, that takes a heap of time let me tell you. Still, I am quite pleased to have these little lovelies. I'm a sucker for vintage fabric, I can't help it.

Last night as I was reaching the bottom of one bag, I came across an old flour sack wrapped around something lumpy and heavy, how mysterious. What's this? I carefully opened the flour sack and unwrapped an item from an ancient tea towel to find...

...the dolls!

These dolls appear to be quite old, their bodies made from leather and wood with porcelain heads. Both are in ill repair, the little one has been separated from her arms and seems to be blinded by a severe cataract in one eye. She has a sour expression and I find her a little creepy. The larger doll is fascinating. She is made of leather and her outfit is many layers of Victorian style dress. I kind of like her rosy cheeks though her head is not actually attached, I may attempt to remedy that. I even thought she could do with a bit of hair. I found some wool roving I had lying around...

...and voila!

For those of you with 'creepy old doll phobia', I apologize if I have caused you any psychological damage.

Hmmmm...I wonder what else I may find.

24 comments:

Floss said...

That is incredible! Those two really aren't creepy, to my mind, just delightful. And the fabric is great... I'm having a guilty sort and cull through my overflowing fabric stores. It's not easy to get rid of things but the situation is desperate!

Wendy said...

I'm so jealous! Those are some awesome finds--it makes braving the polyester worth it when you find treasures like that! I've been sorting through my fabric lately, too.

Sherri B. said...

How nice to get all of that great vintage fabric and I don't think the dolls are creepy even though I had a perm one time that looked kind of like the big dolls new hair.

Fledgling said...

That's quite a pair of stowaways! The larger one looks German, very likely Nuremberg, (her sister probably lives at my house). I should take a picture for you and show you the family resemblance.

I think dolls are very hard to display without looking creepy or kitschy. But just sitting there against the white wall in their weathered patina, I think they look interesting.

-N

harmony and rosie said...

What a fabulous haul you got, lucky you. As for the little doll, if my arms were lying in front of me like that then I think I might be a little sour - even if I couldn't see them because of the cataracts! The larger doll is very pretty and reminds me I'm having my hair cut tomorrow, but I'm not sure I'll be copying her style though! Looking forward to see what else you dig out of those bags. x

Michelle said...

Oh how amazing!!!
I adore vintage fabric too...But end up with piles and really never want to cut into it...lol...
The dolls are amazing...
I wonder if there is a doll "hospital" near you...we have one in australia...you send them your "dears" and they very careful bring them back to life...Hmmmm that sounded a tad scary....
but you maybe able to at least get an idea of the age and era etc that they were made...
they do look very old...
Great finds...

garcia.mari said...

what an awesome find, and man that fabric is stunning to, how cool is that to get so much groovy fabric! As for that little doll...totally creepy, especially without the arms!

CurlyPops said...

It's so hard to resist the offer of fabric... those are absolutely gorgeous!
I wonder how old the dolls are?

diane said...

ooooooooooooh i love the fabric on the top of the pile to the right with the cartoon roosters. the doll scares me though lol.

Tas said...

I'm not a sooky la-la usually but I admit I do find the little one a teensy weensy bit intense and...well, creepy. But amazing haul. And amazing dolls.

june at noon said...

What great fabrics, lucky you!

I definitely think the dolls are creepy, but as someone who regularly posts creepy doll pictures, I can't complain about it. :)

crzylady said...

*nervous laughter* oh, I was so taken with the vintage fabric and the mystery.. and then WHAM. I don't like to think I have a phobia.. but since "chinga" an x-files episode I do have problems with creepy dolls who mysteriously show up. You may want to perform some sort of purifying ritual on them just in case.

and I'm going to try to not have nightmares.

jus said...

Aaaaaaaarrrrrggggh!! The dolly on the left looks pretty 'armless but don't let pink wiggy anywhere near the Lumberjack, she would surely eat him alive, x

ecoMILF said...

What a little treasure you came across- even if they do terrify me!! I am so jealous of all that fabric- looks lovely!! xo m.

Kate said...

I wonder if that woman hid the dolls in the bottom of the bags of fabric so you would take them out of her house. It is gorgeous fabric but those dolls terrify me. Happy sewing.

lifeshighway said...

AHHHHH, the ones with teeth are the worse!. I would have smuggled those things out of my house too.


The fabric is lovely though but still.... shudder.

mamas collection said...

Okay, I didn't have creepy old doll phobia, but I do now, thank you very much!
Seriously. 6 Bags of historical fabrics?? What stories could they all tell???!

beth said...

Is it weird that I find both of your new girls lovely? If so, I'm okay with that. They have potential.

silverpebble said...

Wow, seriously those dolls are worth quite a lot of money! What treasures they are. I'm afraid I do have the doll phobia going on but those are very precious indeed! I have watched FAR too many episodes of the Antiques Roadshow over here!

Thanks so much for your visit to silverpebble, especially as that was a post with crocodiles and leeches in it.

Heather said...

What a fun treasure hunt you have been on unpacking those bags... who knew?!

I enjoyed reading about your chickens... I have been trying to talk my husband into building me a coop, alas I may just have to do it myself:)

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh * running quickly away*

A Bun Can Dance said...

Oh dear, creepy doll phobia here!!!
But the fabrics - sooooo gorgeous, lucky you! I hope you have lots of fun using them, or even just admiring them in their folded state (this is generally the use I get from my vintage fabrics - admiration!)
D x

Eva said...

I bought a twin of the larger doll's head from ebay a few years ago. It's been through a fire (per the ebay description) and is pretty creepy. Sometimes I put a little shot glass with roses in its head and that de-creepifies it somewhat.

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