When I was about nine, my Mom entrusted me with a very special gift: the vintage Midge & Allen dolls she played with as a child. I not only loved the quirkiness of this angular, awkward looking pair, but I was awed by the idea of my Mom saving them especially for me. I imagined her as a teenager, deciding she had become too sophisticated for dolls, tucking them deep inside her cedar hope chest for the daughter she might have someday.
My Mom's wonderful dolls with a few other childhood trinkets from this post.
This experience instilled a desire to preserve a few of my own favorite toys, juuust in case I ever have kids. Future children of mine, consider yourselves lucky because here is what you will receive:
~ a rubbermaid tub containing about fifty meticulously cared for TY Beanie Babies
(I honestly thought they'd bring me a fortune one day)
~ my extensive collection of POGS - because: oh my gosh: every generation needs to know the magic of POGS.
~ my Cabbage Patch doll - straight out of 1986.
Here we are together: me, my mom, my doll, and my big giant hair.
Now this doll has seen things.
The legs are covered in Sharpie tribal tattoos and it sports a mysterious faded blue ring around its mouth. Once, I slathered it in a coat of red lipstick and another time - I kid you not - I tried to shove the entire fabric body down into our toilet. The reasoning behind this escapes me, but I was kind of a mad scientist (that should explain the big hair). I'm confident my doll had actual clothing at some point, but it usually wore one of my tiny shirts or nothing at all. I call the doll 'it' because I don't really know if it was intended to be male or female, but I doubt I even considered that as a child.
This weird looking doll went everywhere with me and I'd have it no other way.
Please take in all of the weirdness of this photo.
I wasn't surprised when my sister-in-law casually mentioned that her favorite toy was also a Cabbage Patch doll. I'm sure my two year old niece, Charlotte, would love to play with her eighties-fabulous doll, but unfortunately its no longer around. I don't have any children of my own (and don't hold your breath for that), so I decided it would be nice to give Charlotte the experience. I chose not give her my old doll because, well frankly: it looks disgusting.
Thankfully, Cabbage Patch dolls have made a big comeback and you can buy them brand new (you're welcome, Charlotte). Like the original version sold two decades ago, the modern dolls come with a birth certificate featuring a unique name. Lucky me - I found a "Charlotte" last February in the 75% off Christmas clearance area.
It looks very similar to mine, but with real hair instead of yarn.
Cabbage Patch Kids are just so bizarre looking, they creep me out. It almost seems like those fat, chipmunk faces should make children cry, don't you think?
Patrick says they remind him of Shrek.
I asked my my mother-in-law to send photos of Sarah's original doll in hopes of recreating the outfit.
Look at all of this 1980s cute-ness!
The doll wore a long sleeved white dress with yellow flowers and a big yellow bow in it's yarn hair.
I found a cute floral fabric and set to work on a very simple version of the dress with yellow ribbon.
I loved to make dresses like this when I was little for my dolls, it starts as basic squares.
Here is a tutorial for an infant dress made using the same idea.
I swapped the doll's t-shirt and diaper for the sweet new dress, added a big yellow bow to her tiny ponytail and boxed her up again.
Charlotte unwrapped the doll on her birthday.
She was a fan, but honestly, I think her mom may have appreciated it even more.
I put the original photo of Sarah and her doll in the card for everyone at the party to pass around and compare to the updated version.
It was a success.
And the best part? For her next birthday, I can make a dozen more of those easy little dresses in different patterns and she'll be happy.
I hope she and her doll will get to have all of the lipstick/toilet/Sharpie adventures that I had - and many more (just not at my house).
What was your favorite childhood toy?
Did you happen to save it for your own children to play with?