Last week I took some tiny patients to see a doctor. The dolls came to me from my mother last year, and they were so poorly! The little one had one arm loose and a severe hip condition. She was also dusty and her outfit - just underwear - was more grey than white.
The bigger one had her wig (my other grandmother's own hair) off and her blush was spotty and her face needed some soap and water too. Only now I noticed that she should have had an eye operation as well.
Luckily there is a doll doctor in Helsinki, and I had an appointment with them and left the dolls in capable hands.
Here are some views of Dr. Benita's surgery and shop. Some of the dolls are antique, some just old, but they are all lovely. Maija, your doll's twin sister is on the bike!
Here are two special dolls: On the right a Bebe doll from the time after the WWII when there was shortage of everything. Many kinds of substitute materials were used for the dolls' heads, and as mohair was not available the hair was just painted on. The baby doll sitting next to her is a rare specimen of plastic dolls made in Finland by Siro Oy. You could get it in exchange of newspapers for recycling, when you had collected enough vouchers.
This is the doctor's reproduction based on the old Finnish Martta doll called Pipsa, made in Finland from about 1908 until 1974. The manufacture was organised by a women's association Martat, and the sewing, stuffing etc. was done by women at their home. Some specialised in sewing the dolls, others made clothes for them, and the demand was so great that the manufacture soon grew into a real industry.
The doll doctor with her staff also treat teddy bears and other soft toys.
While my dolls were taken care of, I washed their clothes. She has new rubber bands for her arms and legs now, and she has had a bath. Look how pretty!
Here is my other "new" doll. Her dress had so many holes that she has to wait in her petticoat until I have sewn her a new dress. Any suggestions?
Doctor Benita helped me also with this case. I don't remember ever having seen this doll's head among my mother's things, but it is one of her own dolls and must be over 80 years old. They didn't have body patterns for this size of a doll, but I got copies of a smaller doll and instructions how to enlarge them. I also bought her socks and shoes so I can sew her feet the right size for them. This is an exciting project, as I have only sewn rag dolls (64 Unicef dolls over the years, plus some other rag dolls as a teenager) until now. I will show you if I ever get her finished.
I'm still sorting my photos from England and will continue my travel report in the near future.