Mary was a doll


Cat has been busy scanning our Grandfather's slides and she emails any that are amusing or that she thinks I might like to have. 

This is me with our brother and our other sister.  I am holding the only doll that I ever owned.  She is named Mary -  which is my very blonde sister's middle name.  It was a very grown up name for both a doll and a little girl.  When I was not playing with trucks and blocks I was telling Mary my little girl secrets. Mary had a few different outfits which my mother had made on a treadle Singer sewing machine – cursing with every stitch – though her worst word was "bloody".

I still have Mary though her glass eyes are now cloudy and spooky looking.   She lives in a container in my son's storage space. 
Note the matching dresses.   We had an elderly relative who gave us each a "lump" of material every year for Christmas. Imagine how exciting it was to open that present!!   A pattern was given to our mother.   The material and pattern were then given to a lady in town who sewed the dresses. I don't recall ever seeing photos of all three of us in matching dresses so I think Cat might have missed out on this joy. She probably got years of hand me downs though!      

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25 responses

  1. Thank god there weren't three of us in matching outfits. I don't think I had too many hand me downs, think I was too far behind you two. Mum probably didn't want to store them that long until I grew into them. She sewed me a couple of dolls outfits as well that I still have. Bride and bridesmaid dresses, which are worn by The Bride and The Bridesmaid. They were the only names they ever had.

  2. What a heartwarming writeup with the pic. It sounds a lot like your mom and mine had about the same mindset in some ways – like dressing myself and my 'tween sister alike. We were so close in age everybody thought we were twins. It has to be interesting to go back through those slides. My dad had put slides on a CD for me and I love to go back through and look at the pictures of all of us then.

  3. As I got older I hated being dressed the same. I think I was about 13 before my material and pattern was different to M's. I've seen you in my Swedish cardigan!

  4. I am 2 years older than this sister and much taller. I hated being dressed the same and I can't imagine that I ever found material to be an exciting present LOL – we probably got to the stage where we just thought "I wonder what the material is like this year". It was very practical though. That was a wonderful thing for your father to do with the CD. My sister, Cat, is the guardian of the family archives.

  5. Cute photo. I love the doll and the matching frocks. I still have my kindergarten library bag that was made from some leftover material from a dress my mum sewed for me. I don't think there are any photos of the dress itself though.

  6. the story does have its charms, though i certainly sympathize with the matching dresses, i wouldn't like that one bit either. every year when my sister and i were young, my mother sewed the two dresses we'd each wear on the first day of school (different fabrics and patterns since we differed in size), though i do have a vague recollection of seeing photos of us in matching dresses at christmas. dunno who's doing that was but i should find out and strike that person on the wrist with a ruler – hard.

  7. I've got four sisters and we were never ever dressed alike. However, I have once or twice been guilty of dressing two of my daughters in the same dresses, when we were given them by another family who had two daughters. They were only about 4 and 6 and didn't seem to mind, honest!

  8. Awwwwww, so cute…………It's wonderful to have pictures like this one.I'm sorry Mary's eyes got cloudy. I wonder why dolls' eyes do that? I still have a lot of mine (and they're much older) — most have cloudy eyes too. Maybe they're cataracts.

  9. you only had one doll? I never knew that you were so deprived!!!!! I bet Cat had more than one doll. They would have been in pieces but she would have had more than one for sure.LOL
    You looked lovely in your dresses.

  10. The thing that blows me away is that same photo today would be taken with all the kids in brand named clothing and if that was not a new hot doll it would not be there as well all the kids would have there own cell phones! Was this your sweet care free years ???

  11. I love the matching dresses – my sister is 18 months younger than me and there are many pictures of us wearing similar outfits. I still remember the day I got the first dress which was completely unlikely one she had. I was thrilled!

  12. I think poor old Mary only has the one outfit now. I have a shoe bag that I "made" when I was in kindergarten – I'm pretty sure it was given to my mother but it made its way back to me at some stage. It is made out of thick calico and is finger painted with squiggles. I still use it!

  13. LOL – I was more of an outdoors child. I don't think I displayed much interest at all in "girl" toys. I had a couple of trucks and would play in the garden with them and I had some weird blocks which I seem to remember were made out of a cement type of material (I think they were hand me downs) which I loved. Cat was very spoilt 🙂

  14. I think I was about 12 or 13 – just heading off to Year 7 – before I got material that did not match my sister's! Like you, I was thrilled. I think these sewn dresses were the only new clothes we got during the year though so in that way they were kind of special.

  15. Yes – beautifully sewn. All the better to last even longer! 🙂 I think these type of "border" dresses didn't have much of a hem so they really only lasted one season.

  16. Of course I can't see them up close, but I can tell they're beautifully sewn. You just can't find that kind of quality in a store. My mom used to sew for me when I was in high school. I'd by remnants and multiple patterns and say I want the sleeves like this and the bodice like this and…. I was never any good at it myself, but I'd end up with beautiful outfits that didn't look like everyone else's.

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