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Debbie Colgrove

About 38 Years Later

By February 3, 2009

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Michele and SusieWhen I was a young teenager , I made a special doll. She was special to the entire 4H club, she won a blue ribbon at the fair and became my little sisters "Susie". Susie was VERY well loved over the years. My sister and I BOTH remember when she decided Susie's embroidered mouth needed Chap Stick... it wasn't a pretty site. Talking to my sister, we think Susie is about 38 years old now. My niece loved Susie as much as my sister. After two generations of being loved, Susie is definitely worse for wear. I wanted to make a Susie for my daughter when she was young but the pattern was not available and the original had been lost in one of my moves... so my Melissa has a homemade doll but it wore a cream colored Victorian dress and she is special but Suzie always held a special place in my heart.

This past weekend I sent an email to my mother and sister asking if they recognized a pattern I found on the Simplicity website. They both recognized it but I wasn't home to receive their answer... I was already at the store to buy the pattern. Finding a pattern I had used that many years ago merited a special trip to the store.

Simplicity released a Retro Pattern Collection made up of patterns from their archives. The collection has many toys from the past but it also has clothes and aprons that may be retro but look great to me!

Simplicity Pattern 2729 being sewnI do not remember the same directions for the eyes that are in the pattern today. The original "Susie" has embroidered eyes... that may have been an option I took or it may be an update to the directions to meet the options that are available today. I do know that I have three faces embroidered and three more in my "on the go" bag that I keep with me for waiting rooms and waiting to pick up my daughter.

I have one body sewn together and ready to stuff.... and a pile of various body parts ready for production sewing a pile of "Susie" dolls. Why? Because the pattern is available, because I couldn't make my daughters the family famous "Susie" when they were young and I want future family generations to have a special "Susie" doll that they can love as much as the original Susie was loved. I may even make a bunch of the "boy" learn to dress version so the future male generations have a special doll.

I know I made my oldest nephew a Raggedy Andy.. and Simplicity may have the same pattern in their Craft/Doll Collection. Whether it's the same pattern or not, it's on my shopping list for this week! I know I don't want to wait thirty plus years to find the pattern again! Once I have the pattern, I'm going to be sure to preserve both patterns so I will have them for many years.


February 5, 2009 at 8:32 am
(1) Marion Naylor says:

I have that pattern I think.

February 6, 2009 at 10:14 am
(2) Connie G. says:

How neat! Your story brought back memories of a sleeping mat my Grandmother made for me – it was rectangular and had a head, hands and feet making it sort of like a doll. I wonder what happened to it – probably got passed on to a cousin.

February 6, 2009 at 10:26 am
(3) janet says:

i found their retro patterns this week and bought the one for baby booties. it seems like a good winter project. i too remember “doll entries” at the county fair. what fun learning to sew was, and still is.


February 6, 2009 at 7:26 pm
(4) Deb says:

I have a pattern similar to this. I don’t think it is quite that old. I’d say it’s closer to 28 years old. It came with a pair of Wiss sewing shears. Seems it was Miss Wiss or something to that effect.

February 7, 2009 at 1:10 am
(5) belinda says:

That doll looks exactly like the doll my mother made by daughter for her 2nd birthday. Hers was called “Big Baby” and Big Baby has been all over the world with her “mom”. My daughter is now 31 and still has “Big Baby” definitely the worse for the wear. I too will be buying this pattern. I’m not even sure where Mom got the pattern but I am glad to have it available again.

February 7, 2009 at 6:38 am
(6) Patt Leivermann says:

This pattern sounds just great. I’ll be looking for it. I am also looking for a pattern for a bread bag. Crusty bread (like French or Vienna) gets soft in a plastic and I think i saw one made from cloth awhile back, can you help me ? Patt

February 7, 2009 at 9:52 pm
(7) Linda says:

I make these same dolls from the original pattern for my neices and have just finished the boy doll for my nephew’s first birthday. I couldn’t find a date on the pattern but it cost 75 Cents! I some times wonder if my home made gifts are ok…..Thanks for the encouragement!

February 8, 2009 at 6:46 am
(8) Linda Scott says:

I made that same doll for my children many years ago. They were fun and easy to make and my kids loved them.


February 8, 2009 at 6:48 am
(9) sewing says:

I learned my lesson on homemade gifts… one year Christmas was getting close and as usual, I was in a panic about whether the pile was going to be big enough… so I asked my daughter what she got for Christmas the previous year… knowing the bank had been broken and she had gotten everything she had wanted…. her answer… the only thing she could remember was “the quilt Nana made me” … which sent me in to a tizzy in the sewing room trying to make something as memorable as the Nana quilt… which is one of the reasons I’m making the Susie dolls now instead of Christmas eve LOL

February 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm
(10) Edith says:

I made these dolls for my daughter and son one christmas. In fact I just found the boy doll the other day. The kids just loved them.

February 16, 2009 at 9:03 am
(11) margaret Hunter says:

I still have the pattern. I used it for my children now using it for a grandbaby I have some great grands that will be getting one too. It is a wonderful pattern. The kids love the big doll.

February 20, 2009 at 8:01 am
(12) Lynn says:

Hi! Your Column had perfect timing! I recently was going thru my fabric stash( over 30 yrs. worth) and decided to downsize alot of it(yard sales?e-bay?) but found some fabrics that would be great for dolls and their clothes! As a Grandmother of 3, I started digging out my older patterns of dolls and clothes but I don’t have the one “Susie”. She’s so cute I have to add her to my “collection”! I am also looking for some other older 70s patterns. Do you happen to know where I might find them?? There used to be a company called EZ pattern finders, and another called Z&Z Crafters that would help you find older discontinued patterns but I don’t think they are in business anymore.Please help if you can..Thanks so much. I LOVE your newsletter and have to say it is one of the few I read each time I find it in my mailbox! Thanks for such a grat read!!

February 20, 2009 at 9:41 am
(13) sewing says:

Be sure to check out the links to discontinued pattern sources at http://sewing.about.com/od/vintagepatterns/Discontinued_and_Vintage_Sewing_Patterns.htm

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