Here I am, once again, begging you to replace your own doll bodies using my tutorial! I spent the weekend making this Vogue Baby Dear doll's new body and replacing her eyes. This repair was a nightmare, even more than usual. The doll owner's mother had reattached the head after it fell off with a piece of wire back in the 1960s. It was all entangled and fused in places in the fabric and I had to cut it to get it out. I make the body pattern from the original body and this one was missing so much fabric I sewed one body and it was too small. So then I had to make a second body.
Once I had the head off for eye replacement I found the eyes had been professionally replaced in the past. The doll had a wooden disk stuck in its neck and that was not easy to remove. I don't know if it was original to the doll. I have no idea how the original restorer got it back into the neck; I could NOT do it, no matter how I tried. It either would fall into the head and rattle around, making me fear for the new eyes, or it would fall into the body and keep the head from settling properly on the shoulders.
The head is very floppy anyway. This doll was originally based on the Baby Dear book illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. The first version looked exactly like the book illustrations of a very new baby. It's like the head is too big for the body. Maybe the head is designed to be floppy like a real newborn's, but it doesn't look right with the second version with its older-looking face, in my opinion.
I ended up getting rid of the wooden disk. I got the head positioned as sturdily as possible. Then I double-stitched the seams on the neck, sides, and groin to reinforce them. This doll is clearly much loved, as it's on its third set of eyes and second, as far as we know, neck attachment, and I want it to last for many more generations.
My hands are going to have to be in traction for a while though. Besides this doll, I am restoring a Patti Playpal as well as a Madame Alexander McGuffey baby and my wrists are done. I was sanding Patti's feet today where I repaired holes in her heels with epoxy and I had to stop after a few minutes because paint was shooting up my wrist all the way to my shoulder. Luckily I will be out of the office all day tomorrow due to dentist appointments and a track meet so they can rest.
I am currently charging $200 plus return shipping for body replacements but I am thinking of raising the price even higher or maybe even refusing new patients because it is so hard on me physically. I have one of these dolls, a version with rooted hair, and though I originally planned to replace its body I changed my mind after that last one! I found a way better solution.
Meet "Doll Skins" ~ like a slipcover, but for dolls! These are stretch knit body covers you just put on your doll like an outfit. No sewing skills or special tools are required! I am almost sold out of them, but I am ordering more and you can purchase one here. Right now I only have two sizes: for 14-19 inch dolls and 20-25 inch dolls. The larger size is currently sold out but I will be restocking them as soon as possible. I'll see about getting some other sizes.
I have some more news, so exciting (for me anyway) I haven't been able to sleep the past few nights. As you might remember, I've spent the entire year taking courses on everything from business marketing to course creation. I'm in my second course creation course now and I have FOUR courses in progress! Stay tuned for the Expertise Empire Builder ~ Your Dream Business Incubator.
My plan is to release several courses you can take one at a time as stepping stones, or for less money per course, you can join the umbrella Dream Business Incubator group and get all the courses as part of a monthly or yearly membership subscription. You'll learn everything I did on my self-employment journey to becoming my own boss.
My two starter courses are almost finished: my Fast Cash Generator quick income system and my course on reselling dolls. I am also planning a free or low-cost challenge I'm planning to call the Christmas Doll Challenge, which will be a quick 3 day bootcamp designed to get one doll ready to gift to your kids or grandkids for Christmas, basically to create a family heirloom. The only thing is, in order to call it that I have to launch it so you can get your doll ready by Christmas, which is inching closer and closer! So, I'm working on that.
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My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.