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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dolls Dresses

Recently a vivid memory hit me out of the blue and it inspired me to write to my Aunt and share it with her.
It had occurred to me that she probably had no idea that she was instrumental in such treasured childhood memories.
When I was little, about 5yrs of age, my mother's sister, who had three little girls of her own, made me some beautiful dolls clothes for the doll I called Hambel (yes after the doll on Playschool!). She was about 12" and the hard plastic type with closing eyes.
The two dresses I remember vividly were like the one above in fig.A. One was a blue floral and the other an orange floral with a bit of lace trim, very typical pattern types of the late 60's. They had press-stud closures at the back and I loved to dress and undress my dolly, I felt like such a caring mother.
Regularly I would ask mother for a bucket of soapy water to wash my dolls clothes, just like a good mother, and hang them out to dry on my mini clothes line.
I got a phone call from my Aunt a few weeks later (I had forgotten about my quick note of shared memory) and she told me how touched she had been and also the tears that had come to my Uncle's eyes when she read this memory to him. We laughed and talked and shared: her memory was sewing all those fiddly press studs! I told her how much I loved them and how wonderful it was for tiny fingers, snapping them shut with satisfaction.
Something so little and inconsequential....something so instrumental and bonding.
There is much debate now about children mimicking such stereotypical behaviour in play.
It dismays me that motherhood and housekeeping are not valued aspirations or valued roles.
 I would be even more dismayed if I hadn't remembered to tell my Aunt how much I loved her thank her for the memories in my life.


  1. A lovely post Tanya.

    The world is so different from when we were children. We are lucky to have great memories like these.

  2. Childhood memories should be treasured and always remembered.
    I had similar dolls dresses :0)

  3. great post.

    i think if i had kids i much rather them imitate that than put on makeup and shoot things! its cute that you washed the clothes.

  4. What a sweet story and that pattern sure looks familar I am quite sure my Mom made us doll clothes from that very pattern .I have two sisters and we played with our dolls quite a lot and loved to dress them in pretty clothes . Thanks so much for the memories I must share this story with Mom when I call her next .

  5. I saw you on Down To Earth, your kitchen is beautiful.

  6. Well written, a beautiful story! I still have the hard plastic doll (baby size) in my sewing room dressed with my last child's six months old clothes, and now at 60, I love it more than as a child. Must be the memories similar to yours. I bask in motherhood, as there is no greater task than to build up the nations next generation. Thank you for this post. Antonia


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