This is a post that I have been meaning to write for sometime, but it has taken me a while to find the things that I want to show you.
Grandma Taylor (Dad’s mum) was a bit of a whizz with a needle and thread. She could knit and I’m sure I often wore one of her handmade jumpers or cardigans as did my cousins. She also did beautiful hand embroidery. Here are two of her pictures which I am fortunate to have in my home, both of which she copied from Birthday cards that she was given.
But what I really remember her for is her peg dolls. She used to make the most beautiful peg dolls, and I don’t just mean a dolly peg with a scrap of cloth wrapped round it, some wool glued on for hair and a drawn on face. No, these were the most exquisite dolls, made with a dolly peg, but then given legs and feet by my Uncle Reg (her brother, who lived with her), given a womanly figure with some clever padding and dressed in the most intricate clothes you could imagine.
From top to toe these dolls represented different eras of costume, Victorian, Edwardian and even Anglo-Saxon and were as accurate as she could get them. I distinctly remember that she had a book about costume on almost permanent loan from the library. Take a look at this one, and then look at the second photo and see how she has made a proper hooped cage for the skirts to go over.
Here’s another, followed by the detail on her underskirts and shoes.
Here’s one of my favourites (although it’s hard to choose between them). I love the colour of her outfit, her hat is beautiful and I really like the ruffled trim on her skirts and bodice. And she looks as gorgeous from the back as she does from the front.
She made a series of wedding dolls from different eras too.
Here’s a much simpler one, possibly a serving girl, but the detail is still incredible, even down to her red petticoat.
Yes, it’s Sarah Ferguson, and the dress is an almost exact replica of the dress she wore, even down to the hand embroidery on her veil and train. Those of you who remember her wedding to Prince Andrew will remember that she had thistles and bees embroidered all over them and Grandma did the same.
Here’s some detail of the train.
I’ve noticed now that the glue she used in some places is going brown and some of the material is yellowing. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to stop this or remedy it? I’d love to keep them in pristine condition and hand them down to Daisy when she is old enough to appreciate them.
I’m honoured to still have these dolls which are only half of the collection – the other half is in the safe keeping of my cousin Rachel who, I am sure, treasures them as much as I do. I’d love to be able to make one of my own one day, perhaps a Kate Middleton wedding doll, or maybe that would be too much too soon? Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed looking at these, I think she would be proud that I was showing them off but also a little bit embarrassed too.