The reroot is finally done! Phew. These girls take a lot of hair. I did the slow and painful, but ultimately best looking and longest lasting, plug by plug sew in lock loop variant that I always use. It’s not too bad on a small gal like Dawn or Pippa, but holy cats, it a long drawn out process on a Blythe or a 19″ Dollikin! They have big heads, lol!
Any way here is the lovely gal getting some hair. Just a few in process shots…
Gee, I sure hope that orange mark comes off of her eyelid. It’s downright distracting! (No worries! It does in fact come off :o)
She’s starting to look really pretty already :o) (Despite the big bald pate, lol!)
Okay two is enough embarrassing photos! Here she is with all of her hair….
I like it! She’s got a Tuesday Weld/Brigitte Bardot kind of vibe going on! She’s maybe more of a 50’s bombshell. I can see her in some sexy glamourous looks ;o)
Back to business here. Now that she’s finally got her hair on, it’s time to put all of that gone through the wash tissue back into her head. It’s so low tech and kind of quaint.I reserved all of that stuff safely in a baggie while I rerooted her scalp.
There’s the tissue, the cardboard plug and the neck hook all ready to go back to where it belongs.
I have discretely signed the inside flange of her head, so that it’ll be know that she’s a restoration :o)
I’ve also popped an identifying card in there so if in another 50 years someone wants to restore her they’ll find this. It’ll be like a timecapsule! And on with the stuffing!
It’s all in there now. Time to pop the cardboard circle in there and then the neck hook that will attach her head to the rest of her body.
It’s a little tricky, so take your time here. You don’t want to rip the vinyl of her neck. A small screwdriver or “a crochet hook” helps a lot here.
The larger diameter ring of the neck hook piece needs to go under the vinyl of her head. It’s bigger than the opening so it takes a little finagling to get get it in place.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s in.
With that done, it’s time to reassemble her bod. Not really looking forward to this bit I have to admit! I’ve heard horror stories from the trenches, and after all of the hair work, I would be deeply bummed if I snapped something trying to put her back together. My advice to anyone who wants to “restring” (they’re not really strung so much as hooked and looped!)Â their Dollikin is…
1. Time – don’t be in a rush here. Set aside an hour or two and be prepared for it to take that long!
2. Crochet Hooks – even if you don’t crochet, these hooks are indispensable in m studio. I have them in every conceivable size. They were a huge help fitting rubber rings onto “s” hooks.
3. 9 cups of Tea, or possibly Scotch depending on the time of day and your preference. (Well, ok the majority of the Scotch should probably be held in reserve for the afterparty when you and your doll are in one piece!)
Be patient and calm and don’t give up. I’ve heard people suggest hauling one of your friends over to help you with this, although I don’t see how two extra hands in there would help, unless they’re tending bar, lol!
Ok so here we go…..
Quick explanation here…. These vintage 19″ girls have a spring that attaches on the top to that hook sticking out of her neck and on the bottom to a hook in the torso, that doesn’t ever want to come out. I suppose I could have forced it, but force is never really recommended on a vintage doll, unless you want a pile of plastic shards when you;re done! If you can keep the spring in place, you will save huge amounts of time for yourself. My spring became detached from the torso hook. The spring attaches to this hook on the inside of the torso. There is no way to get in there! So, if your spring comes off of that (like mine did) you’ll need to spend some time trying to fish it back on there. It’s doable, but it’s a pain. So if you can avoid it, do so!
The rest of her body is attached together with heavy duty rubber loops. These are like no rubber band I’ve ever seen! Mine rubber bands were so old many of them had just broken into little brittle pieces…
There are “stringing diagrams” elsewhere on the web, but generally speaking, Dollikins shoulders and leg tops have rods inside across the tops. These rods should have strong metal hooks that in turn attach to the rubber loops. One rubber loop travels from shoulder hook to shoulder hook and another connects both leg hooks to the torso hook through the pelvis piece. The lower arms and hands and the lower legs and feet have elastic loops of their own. My girls hands were very floppy (the elastic had disintegrated) so I replaced those. Her feet are fine though so I’ve left those in place. If it ain’t broke and all that, lol!
You can see the sad state of the old elastic, and it sure isn’t your average rubber band!
Same with the elastic in the lower arm for the hand, it’s totally brittle and useless! I replaced the hands with sewing elastic that I tied as tightly as I possibly could. The rest of her was done with rubber loops but I didn’t have small enough “s” hooks and though I could have bent my own out of heavy wire, I wasn’t convinced they would ultimately be strong enough…
In fact I got her all put together with the sewing elastic method and she was soooo floppy. The sewing elastic was as tight as I could get it and was pulled taut continuously. She was still too floppy to hold pose and I didn’t think the sewing elastic would last very long in it’s constantly pulled state. It is designed to stretch, but ideally not to be always in a stretched state. I was not happy with that result.
So, sadist that I must be, I took her apart again and reattached her with “o” rings that I purchased at my local hardware store (I confess a deep love of hardware stores, but that is a whole other post, lol!) After wrestling, cursing, tea drinking, having a little lie down, and back at it again, she was all one piece. Still floppier than I wanted. I couldn’t imagine connecting her bits any tighter than they already were (without the help of a machine and a lobotomy) so I sueded her joints.
There are as many ways to do this as grains of sand. Ok maybe not that many, but there are lots. One I have heard discussed often s the hot glue method. When people say “smear the hot glue around the joint as thinly as possible with your finger I know that method is not for me! I have burned many digits with my glue gun so that method makes me cringe a little inside! I went with the adhesive moleskin method. No moles were actually skinned to suede this dolls joints, so sit back down! It’s the handy cushioning material designed to make those ouchy bits on your feet never come in contact with our shoes ever again, and it’s not made of moles!
After sueding everything, she poses fantastically! She can even -gasp!- stand on her own! Seriously! I have the pics to prove it, lol!
Look ma, no stand!
I’m really happy with her stringing and bod now! She’s such a poseur! lol :o)
She’s almost complete. I will be touching up her make up a little and replacing some missing lashes. I think she needs a pretty french manicure and pedicure too. Then it’ll be time to make her some drop dead 40’s and 50’s fashions!Can’t wait :o)
Wow, that was a long one, thanks for hanging in ’til the end!
Have a wonderful day!