Friday, January 29, 2010

Sewing Companion Dolls


Among my vintage sewing
collections, I have many folders
lining the shelves in my
sewing room full of vintage
Once upon a time, I used
to have a stall at a
trash 'n' treasure market.
I used to stock much of the stall
with bazaar items, many that I
had made using patterns that
I had purchased either from
new Women's magazines or
from vintage magazines that I found
myself at trash 'n' treasure markets.
I would look for any of thoses that
included patterns for dolls and toys, bazaar items,
items for fetes, babies, and above all,
Christmas gifts.
Not to say that once I had access to
a computer ..... well, the whole
world opened up to me!! 

Sewing Companion Dolls

Would it be fair to say that these
companion dolls have evolved from
the chatelaine?

They serve the same purpose - to hold
all the necessary sewing equipment needed
and close-by for the needlewoman.
The pictures below are taken from
vintage magazines and a commercial
pattern. The dolls are both novel
and charming.

This is Grizelda, and she has the added
bonus of being a workbag.


This is Sally Spool from
Star Gift Book No. 48
The American Thread Company

This is the "Sewing Doll" from
Simplicity Crafts 5227.

This is called "Johnny-on-the-spot",
a crocheted cowboy from 
Crochet Money-Makers for your Bazaar
Book No. 278 
J & P Coats . Clark's ONT


This is "Sammy Spool"
another crocheted doll from
Gifts Galore by
Coats & Clark's Book No. 183

This sweetie is a design from the
well-known Jean Greenhowe of
the English Women's Weekly, a fabulous
designer of dolls, toys, and
gifts, knitted and sewn as well as wooden
toys. (1983)
I actually picked up a handmade doll
from a local bazaar about 25 years ago, paying
just $2. I still have this doll (pic below)
and discovered that it is the Jean Greenhowe
sewing doll just 20 years later when I
managed to come across the EWW
magazine issue with the pattern included.

It may be not quite as well made as the
original, but I still like her.
One day I will attempt to make one of
my own.
In the course of "vintage
sewing" collecting, I have also
found these two delightful versions

There is a website called "Gail Wilson Designs"
which sell as a kit or a completed doll called -
"The Ladies Home Sewing Companion"
All of Gail Wilson Dolls are an absolute
delight and worth the visit ....
Click HERE for the New Items
and scroll down to see the "sewing"



Floss said...

Those, are fascinating! I have a tinly little 1930s chatelaine, but I don't think I ever saw a sewing doll - surely I did, though, as my Grandma used to take me to all her handicraft bazzars, as they were known!

crazyhaberdasher said...

Thanks Floss, perhaps you did see them! .... along with pincushions they were/are a popular bazaar and fete item.
cheers, Maz in Oz

Gina said...

What a nice collection! I've made a regular chatelaine that hangs around the neck but have not seen the dolls like this, or quite as elaborate as these. Actually I do have one pattern that isn't here but I think it's very similar.

crazyhaberdasher said...

Hi Gina! ... thankyou, I would love to see your pattern!
cheers, Maz

Gina E. said...

Another Gina - LOL - must go and visit her! But before I do, I love this collection, Marian - they are all so cute. I don't recall seeing anything like them, but I really can't remember much about any sewing gear in my childhood, except Mum's Singer treadle machine.
If you have time to visit my blog, you'll see something that may be of interest to you, if you haven't already got one yourself!

crazyhaberdasher said...

Thankyou Gina E - no, I only remember our school fetes with handmade dolls' clothes and old books!

Purple Pony Art said...

I just wanted to let you know I awarded you The Sunshine Award!

These sewing dolls bring back some memories for me - I remember how enchanting a tin of sewing supplies was when I was a kid, especially the wooden spools! It's too bad some thing go out of style :-)