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How to Recycle Dolls
Marilyn,  Save the Dolls



Years ago (about 30 to be exact) I started bringing home  second-hand dolls. I cleaned them up, combed their hair, and sewed them each a pretty dress.  At Christmas time I took them to a charity and donated them.  It was a wonderful feeling.  As the years went by, and as I had the time, my hobby grew -- with more dolls and more outfits for each  doll.  Since my retirement a couple of years ago, I have been able to rescue about 25-30 dolls a year.  Now I make them play outfits, dressy dresses, bonnets, panties (or diapers), nightgowns, quilts, pillows, bibs, purses, etc.  Wonderful friends over the years (some I have met on the Internet) have donated fabric, trim and even dolls for my project.  

Recently several people, including my brother, have encouraged me to create a web site to show others what I do, and to encourage them to think about beginning a similar hobby.  It took a lot of time, and it was a lot of work (much harder for me than sewing doll clothes).  My brother (also retired) took lots of pictures and designed the web site (his first!)  I did a lot of writing, and rewriting, and drawing and redrawing. My husband and our little dog, Valentine, also offered encouragement. (When we first rescued Valentine from the shelter, she stole one of the stuffed dolls I had just brought home.  When I entered the room I saw it flying through the air.  She has been trained since, but always looks longingly at all the “toys” in my sewing room.)

The information the site (Save the Dolls) contains is not just a compilation of my own ideas, hints, and suggestions.  A lot of them have been gathered over the years from books, patterns, sewing friends and the Internet.  There are lots of short cuts to make sewing doll clothes easier, and to save time and money.  There are suggestions on how to get started, cleaning and fixing hair, patterns, bonnets, panties, books and other sources, etc.

If you love dolls and sewing, here is a wonderful way to combine the two – and it will give you a nice, warm feeling. I hope I’ve sparked an interest. This would be a wonderful project to work on together with a child or a grandchild.  Maybe they would even donate the doll if they have an extra one, or you could visit the thrift shop together.  If all you need is a little encouragement to get started, please visit my site and don’t hesitate to send me any questions you might have.  Just one doll a year would make one little girl happy, who might otherwise not receive one.  

If you do begin such a hobby,  or if you already are doing something similar, I would love to hear from you.  Perhaps you have some hints to add to the ones I have already presented.To contact me you can e-mail me at: mailto:mjen@concentric.net  or visit my website at: http://www.savethedolls.org 


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