View Full Version : Raggedy Ann & Scissors

December 2nd, 2011, 07:03 AM
It's late/early and I am cutting out a pattern for a Raggedy Ann doll for my daughter, and probably an extra for her cousin. I have used my rotary cutter for so long that I have almost forgotten how nice it is to have a sharp pair of shears bite into the fabric. The doll pattern has a few sharp curves that I know I would massacre with even my 18mm blade. I doubt I'll be cutting my quilt pieces with shears, but it is nice to pick them up and feel the sharp blades slide through the fabric every once in a while.

As I am cutting out the doll, I was thinking about my own Annie. I had that doll for years. I am sure I received her as a gift when I was a toddler. I drug her everywhere, and sadly that was her demise. I took her with me to a sleep-over and the girl's dog ate her face. Poor Annie. I was 8 or 10 and so angry. I should have known better. Nothing in their house was really treated with respect. I guess her parents had enough money to replace whatever got broken or destroyed and not much had any sentimental value anyway. It was a hard lesson to learn, and Raggedy Ann was the one who paid.
I am not exactly sure what ever happened to my Annie. She was beyond hope of even the most skilled fabric surgeon. I did get a "replacement set" of over-sized Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls the next Christmas, but it wasn't the same. It wasn't until much later (my late-twenties?) that I was poking through an antique shop that I found a truly suitable replacement.
She had the same weird cottony yarn hair, silk screened face and "I Love You" heart on her chest. Sadly, this poor Annie was naked and missing an arm. She had a face, which to my way of thinking was a plus. So I carefully picked her up, bought her freedom, and brought her home.
I had a hard time finding a fabric that would be close to the right color, but I eventually found something that would work. I am sure the doll collectors/restorers out there are cringing. Sorry, you are going to have to deal with it. I made her two new arms. I did keep the old one, but the one new one looked really odd since the fabric wasn't exact nor did I have whatever the conglomeration of industrial dryer lint and fuzz that they stuffed the original pieces with. (How did we ever survive as kids without all of the hypoallergenic stuff??) I have an Ann for my Andy now. I know she's not my "Original Annie", but I am happy that she's here to remind me of my girl, and I am glad to give her a home.
I hope my daughter loves her Raggedy Ann I am making for her, as much as I did mine. Just in case she does, I am keeping that extra piece of material for any future "fabric surgeries".

Did you have a favorite "lovie"? Where did it end up?

December 2nd, 2011, 07:41 AM
Your story of Annie warms my heart. I had a doll that my grandmother had given me. I passed her on to my niece and not sure if I ever got her back. Will have to check that out. Thanks for reminding me.

Divine Daisy
December 2nd, 2011, 07:57 AM
i had Belinda. She was my only doll because i had no time for dolls. i played with trucks and was outside all of the time climbing trees and making dens. If it rained i was either outside regardless or drawing patterns......never pictures. Belinda had lovely blond hair and a blue dress. No idea what happened to her, but my Granny used to sigh deeply over my lack of interest. Aunty Lizzie was always saying 'leave the bairn alone, if she has babies it will come naturally to her, but this girl will be able to climb the highest obstacle that life throws at her'. Well, maybe neither prediction was wholely correct but i did have babies and neither of them wanted dolls either lol.

December 2nd, 2011, 09:45 AM
What a nice story. I'm glad you found an Annie. And I'm sure your daughter (and her cousing) will cherish hers just as much.

December 2nd, 2011, 10:28 AM
Cathy, Em is so much like you, she will absolutely LOVE the doll you make for her! Such a special gift. Love your story about your Raggedy......

Had a discussion with my daughter about an American Girl doll for the oldest DGD.....decided she is a bit young and especially with them being so expensive. So I am making each one of the girls a 'floppy' doll! Am enjoying the process. Growing up I couldn't get enough dolls. Still have several from my childhood and occasionally will even still talk to them! (No, I am not crazy!!!) So, I guess you could say they were all my 'lovies'.


Sandy Navas
December 2nd, 2011, 11:53 AM
I think Miss Daisy and I were probably comrades in arms growing up. I was raised on a farm and didn't have much use for dolls. I do remember some, but they don't make my heart ache with their demise - except for one. Why my Mother thought at 12 or 13 that I'd still be interested in dolls when she was always having to wash the dirt and grime from my outside jaunts. However, she must have spent every waking hour working on doll clothes for Li'l Sis and I and the new dolls that Santa was bringing. These dolls were about 14 inches tall (pre-Barbie - thank goodness!!!!) and had natural hair (okay, it was really fake but it looked good). My doll had red hair (LOVE red hair) and Sis's doll was a blond. Each doll came with her own suitcase and I'd be lying if I said there were any less than 40-50 outfits or pieces of clothing - all handmade by Mom. I couldn't have cared less - then.

Fast forward. Now I have a little girl. My red-headed dolly is packed away in a shed at the farm and I'm going to retrieve her and pass her along to my daughter (who loved dolls). We didn't live close enough to just run over and grab it so had to wait until we made a trip home. By the time I got there I discovered that my Li'l Sis, knowing I didn't even like dolls, had found the case and passed my doll and all the clothing along to a friend of hers.

I'll bet no one appreciated the hard work that Mom put into making all those doll dresses and accessories that year. That was the year that Santa stopped dropping down our chimney, too. From then on I got to pick out my own Christmas presents.

December 2nd, 2011, 12:05 PM
I love Raggedy Ann---I moved around so much when I was younger that I always seemed to miss taking home ec class-the sewing edition. It was not until my senior year in high school that I was able to take sewing. I told the teacher that I wanted to make a raggedy ann doll that alot of my fellow class mates made years ago. I think she thought I was nuts. I made it and to this day, I still love her. She sits in my old childhood rocking chair in my living room as I speak. She will always have a place of honor in my house.

K. McEuen
December 2nd, 2011, 12:46 PM
Another one here that didn't play with dolls as a kid. Not that I didn't play the same games, just didn't ever use baby dolls. I spent my first years in San Diego. My sister had a couple rabbits and a rooster (he's a whole 'nuther story) and my brother had a couple bantam hens. Well, those two hens were my babies. It would tick my brother off to no end when he'd come home from hanging out with his friends to show them his chickens and they wouldn't be in their pen. I'd have them wrapped in receiving blankets and one would be in the baby buggy and the other would be in my arms, more often than not with a plastic bottle shoved in it's beak. You know the bottles that when turned upside down the milk would disappear.

Those chickens didn't care at all that I played with them. I'd lay the blanket on the grass and one would walk onto it and sit down, waiting for me to wrap it up. I'd feed them saltines and bread crusts from my sandwiches. The only thing they didn't like was the time I tried to figure out how to put diapers on them. God bless my mom, because she'd have to wash my blankets every day.

December 2nd, 2011, 01:49 PM
Not a doll person either. My folks were OK with it but it gave some of my"old world"relatives fits. Raised on a farm and would much rather be climbing trees or digging in dirt. None of my kids fit into that mold either. Dh and i used to say we had folks"whirling like dervishes(sp) in their graves" because our son cooks and our girls shoot guns.
I did make each one a raggedy ann/andy. After the first one i sewed the clothes ON the doll rather than make them removable. Oldest DD is the only one that took hers with her when she left though. Suprisingly she still had the original clothes. The others are packed away .

December 2nd, 2011, 02:32 PM
I took Annie a lot of places, but I had a small herd of stuffed friends that I rotated through. I could play tea party or be outside getting as dirty as anybody else playing with my Tonka trucks in the dirt pile. (Our favorite thing was to slide down the neighbor's un-landscaped hill on our bottoms. Our pants were caked with dirt on more than one occasion) I think there were at least two stuffed friends tucked in every night though. Mom made sure that I understood how to take care of my things so they would last. I was free to play with my toys, but they weren't to be destroyed or mistreated. They needed to be picked up and put away when you were done. We didn't have a lot of money, but Mom bought good toys that were meant to last. Emily is now the beneficiary of some of those toys. Hopefully they will be around for her kids to play with.
Thinking about my old toys made me wonder what ever happened to my collection of the "Sunshine Family". It was a hippie version of Barbie, but with much more realistic body proportions. There was a mom, dad, and baby. They had a big yellow truck with a camper. The cool thing was that you could get craft packets. They would show you how to make furniture out of popcicle sticks and sewing spools and stuff like that. Hmm. I'll have to ask Mom whatever happened to that box. Probably garage sale fodder many years ago.

Karen the chickens are a new angle. I have heard of dogs and cats, but never chickens in the doll stroller!
Sandy, I am so sorry that you sister gave away your doll and all of the clothes your mom worked so hard on. I just hope they made some little one very happy.
Nena, I don't think we are ever too old to have a little bit of child left in us. I am happy that you were able to make your very own Raggedy Ann.
Monique, I hope your niece still has your doll.
Daisy, even if you didn't play with Belinda, you at least remember her and the words of encouragement from your Aunt.
Cynthia, I am sure your grands will love the "floppy" dolls that MeeMee is making for them! What a wonderful gift! Don't forget to sign and date them someplace!
Thanks for sharing some of your favorite "toys", "lovies", and memories with us!

December 3rd, 2011, 12:55 PM
OK, I decided that maybe I didn't want to paint all of those stripes on the stockings myself. So I went to the fabric store last night on my way home from a meeting. Why would you not carry red and white striped fabric at Christmas? Seriously, the closest I could get was some orangey-red 1/8"pin-stripes or pillow ticking with red stripes. I checked everywhere and nothing. I guess it will be pillow ticking even though the fabric is a lot heavier than the rest of the doll body, or bust out the paint.
WHY can't a project ever be easy?