I am sure that sometimes a beloved old doll has a story, but you just don’t know what it is. Luckily for me this Raggedy Ann belonged to a friend who told me all about her. Eva was born in Norway, and immigrated to the United States in the 1920’s as a little girl. One of her cousins, a slightly older little girl made and dressed this doll for her as a welcome present.
Eva and I were good friends, she died a few years ago (aged in her nineties). Last year her children gave me this Raggedy Ann and another one of Eva’s dolls. I was so happy to give the doll a home, for the memory of Eva, and because she is obviously completely infused with love. Below is a gallery of pictures showing the process of mending Raggedy’s eye and dress. Click on any image and navigate forward and back using the arrows at the sides of the image.
Ragged Girl, with a missing eye, and worn off smile
The eye socket patch of new fabric was dyed to a murky brown colour.
The patch was inserted into the gap where her eye was torn off.
Tiny threads are pulled from a scrap of fine polyester.
The patch was stitched in place with the fine drawn threads, using stab stitches and couching stitches and a #10 Japanese quilting needle.
The patch is secured in place.
Polyester sewing thread is used for stitching into the original stitch holes recreate her charming smile
Binocular vision at last! The shoe-button eye was sewn down into the place indicated by a remnant of rust on the original face. If you think the eyes are little uneven, you are right, don’t forget this was made by a child!
The dress is a pretty shape, very 1920’s 0r 30’s. It has a strange chunk taken out of the right shoulder.
The hole, the patch and the thread, seen from the back
Pinned beneath the hole, the edges are coaxed under and stitched with tiny stitches.
Herringbone stitches around the edges on the inside taking up one or two threads.
Happy Raggedy Ann, with an unventilated dress
The Patch from the back
She has new eyes, eye lashes, smile, and mended dress and apron, but the thing that makes Raggedy Ann happiest is that she is sitting with friends
sitting with friends
Raggedy Ann is all fixed…and I am happy to have helped this dear old doll have the chance to be loved gently again!!