The Austin Doll Collectors Society is an organization of antique, vintage, and modern doll collectors, dealers, and artisans. We meet on the first Monday of each month and our meetings are fun and educational. We begin with refreshments and socializing, and, following our brief business meeting, there is a special doll-related program and "show and tell." The Austin Doll Collectors Society is a nonprofit organization and is a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

February 4, 2019, Meeting

 These two vintage sweethearts exchanging valentines greeted members at the refreshment table.

Member Jan Irsfeld gave a program on the Madame Alexander Cissy doll entitled "How It All Started and How It Destroyed My Bank Account!"  She said that in 1955, Madame Alexander introduced Cissy, a glamorous fashion doll with a shapely female figure, feet molded for high heels, and a sophisticated wardrobe. The first Cissy was produced through 1962, with a vinyl version reintroduced in 1996.  In 2011, Cissy was redesigned with additional jointing, including at the wrists, allowing her to maintain more realistic poses.  Jan told the club how as a little girl she coveted a Cissy owned by a playmate and saved her allowance until she could buy one of her own.  Sadly, her much-loved childhood Cissy was later given away.  Jan created an impressive display of her vintage and modern Cissy collection.

This vintage Cissy wears a form-fitting black velvet elegant evening gown from 1956.

An extraordinarily skilled seamstress, Jan created her own version of this gown, adorned with elaborate hand-beading.

Jan brought many examples of modern Cissy dolls.  This Swashbuckler Cissy comes with her own parrot.

These two Cissy dolls model fashions from past eras.  

Another historically-inspired outfit called "Seventies Strut."  The beaded gown in the foreground is another example of Jan's creations.  

Madame Butterfly.

Renaissance Garden.

This doll wears a daring Egyptian outfit of Jan's own design


The center doll represents Marilyn Monroe as she appeared in the classic comedy "Some Like it Hot" and the doll in red and cream models a courtier outfit from 1999.  The third lovely lady models a creation made by Jan.

The reintroduced Cissy includes African American models.

In 1997, Madame Alexander issued "Cissy's Secret Armoire," a trunk filled with exquisite undergarments.

Some collectors might call Cissy the queen of the fashion dolls and she often was garbed as royalty.  This vintage Cissy represents Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation.

Madame Alexander's update of the coronation doll includes a velvet robe with a long train.

These dolls are part of a limited edition designed by Tim Alberts representing Madame 
Pompadour in the court of King Louis XV of France.  Here she is dressed for spring. . . 

summer. . . 

and fall.

Jan reinterpreted the outfit designed for winter, using lush black velvet, faux fur, and and detailed hand beading.

Two more Cissy dolls dressed as queens by Jan.  This is Elizabeth I.

This royal beauty models a golden gown with elaborate beading and embroidery.

Members also brought examples of Cissy dolls from their own collections to share.  This bevy of vintage beauties belongs to member Myrna Loesch.

Bridesmaid from 1957.

Lovely in lemon tulle from 1958.  

A belle in blue camellias, also from 1958.

Pink camellias with a velvet stole, also from 1958.

These two all-original lovely lasses are from the collection of Jenell Howell.

A pretty Cissy belonging to Michele Thelen.

"Ribbons and Roses" ensemble from 1956. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Best Face Forward

January has almost passed. This month is associated with Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, gates, transitions, and doorways. He is depicted as having two faces, looking both toward the future and back to the past. This charming child belonging to member Kara Lee Bell has Janus beat, as she has three faces to his two.  Trudy was introduced in 1946 by the Three-in-One-Doll Corporation and was designed by Elsie Gilbert.  She has a composition face and limbs and a cloth body.

The additional faces are hidden by her bonnet and are revealed by turning the knob on top of her head.  With the turn of the knob, she smiles, weeps, or sleeps

Thursday, January 17, 2019

January 7, 2018, Meeting

These three dolls bundled up in winter clothes greeted members at the refreshments table.

Member Elaine Jackson gave a program on doll quilts.

She explained that originally bed covers, for both people and dolls, were woven.

However, people learned to make warmer coverings by stitching together woven fabric, sometimes with a layer of padding for added warmth.

For pieced quilts, individual scarps of fabric were stitched together.  This was a thrifty way to make use of scraps, old clothing, and other material. 

Often the fabric was pieced together in a geometric pattern.

In crazy quilts, however, odd-shaded pieces of fabric were fitted together in an apparently random pattern.  A wide variety of fabrics, often embellished with embroidery or lace, was used.

Crazy quilts were often made out of bits of fabric and scraps that had a special meaning to the maker or the recipient.  Elaine made this crazy quilt for herself.

Another method was to tie together layers of woven fabric.  This "yo-yo" quilt is an example of such a tied quilt.

Two wooden "Hitty" dolls from Elaine's collection rest on beds covered with miniature quilts.

This vintage doll bed was made out of an old wooden cigar box with posters made out of wood clothespins and feet from wooden spools.

This antique china head doll rests on a quilt made by Elaine's grandmother from pieces of family clothing.  The antique doll bed is also an heirloom and was once used as a magazine rack.

Elaine brought many examples of quaint and colorful doll quilts.

Other members also brought quilts to share.  These examples belong to Myrna Loesch.  The quilt on the doll bed and doll bed itself are family heirlooms.  

Two tiny cribs and a miniature quilt sit atop a crib quilt.

This doll quilt was pieced together from "tobacco felts."  These small printed felt or flannel pieces were made in a wide variety of designs and sold with cigarette, cigar, or other tobacco products in the early 1900s as premiums.  Larger pieces could be obtained by saving and sending in tobacco coupons or boxtops.