Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bathing Beauties

I told them they were going to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
I think I had heard of Lorifina dolls at one time but never paid any attention to them (the story of my life!), so when I found one at my store last December I didn't recognize her but thought she was really pretty. No one seemed to want her so I decided to buy her. She was priced at $7.99 so someone in Back had recognized her quality although she was just put out with the other ordinary dolls. Picking the right time/right supervisor, I got her for $4.00. She was wearing jeans and shoes and nothing else, so I took a top along for her to wear. I discovered she was a Lorifina doll (good review here).  I named her Casilda, Cassie for short.

Casilda and sock monkey
A dress I had removed from a broken porcelain doll fit her perfectly for her Christmas dress.

"Goodness, I hope I don't have to wear this all year long!"
Lorraine liked her, as well as Lorraine could like anyone else. Lorifinas are 20 inches tall (Lorraine is 21), which is probably why they never caught on.

Lorraine had just tried on her new dress that I made for her.
Here they are side by side. Lorraine is quite a bit bigger around.

Lorraine is wearing a Chinese outfit Auntie Berman let her borrow. Cassie's pink top belongs to a bear, I think.

Then one day when we were out thrifting we found a child's pair of socks that I thought would make a cute sock dress. So I tried it for Casilda.

Cassie's new sock dress.
You can't tell in the picture, but it's actually a two-piece outfit. Thanks to her curvaceous figure, it fit quite well. Now for the first time, Husband-Like Person had something nice to say about my dolls. "I like her," he said happily. "She's a Hot Chick!"

Not wanting to discourage his interest, I deciding to make a bathing suit for her, and when I rewigged Caroline and Juliet I realized they needed them too.

I can't remember where I found this pattern, so I can't give credit to the original poster, unfortunately. It was sized for a Barbie but I biggify or smallify as needed (I've made lots of them for various dolls). Once I've cut one out, I'm always confused about what to do next. So I opened the picture with Windows Paint and added the letters. Use really stretchy fabric. First fold the fabric lengthwise and sew together the straight part with the double notches/tabs (A to A). Don't sew all the way down into the curved part. Now both the B pieces will be one single piece, so fold the B down to meet the C and sew them together. Now all you have to do is match the single notches/tabs and sew those seams. Don't accidentally sew the leg or arm openings together, as I have done more than once. Depending on your fabric, you can hem the raw edges or not. Some swimsuit fabric is really tightly knit and you won't have to do anything to the edges.

Here I just added a skirt to Caroline's outfit and she's ready to party.
Now I was going to put my most wonderful find, a Tonner doll, in this post but I don't have time so I will save her for the next post. Here is a sneak peak of her:

"I'm not very impressed with my sock dress!"
Also, I have named the new Tollytots doll Sandra (and don't call her Sandy, please). I took Lizzie's advice and combed out her hair and she looks a little happier now. Auntie Berman gave her the sock monkey dress.

That's a Wells Fargo horse on the left, not a piggy.


  1. I've never heard of a Lorifina doll. She is exquisite. I'd have a very hard time not favoriting her. I looked them up on ebay. As I'm sure you know, you got a fantastic deal. I love her dark hair and dark liquid eyes. I've never thought about buying one of the thousands of china dolls at the thrift store so that I could reuse her outfit...great idea! Lorraine's new dress is lovely as are the swimsuits. I've never tried to make a swimsuit. I think sewing with unusual materials has intimidated me. I tend to stick to cottons. You know the monkey-lover in me approves of Sandra's new dress. Thanks for entertaining us with another post. I can't wait to learn more about your Tonner doll.

    1. The Lorifina dolls ARE exquisite! The pictures don't do them justice. I'm really glad I got a dark-haired one because I think they are prettier than the blondes. All the thrift stores around here (my own Savers included) seem to think that porcelain dolls are very very valuable and price them way too high, I think. That's why I look for them at Bargain Bin and Salvation Army Warehouse. Some of the clothes are marvelous but an awful lot of them are glued on or sewn onto the doll. And then of course I love to get their wigs!

      Cotton is my favorite fabric to sew on too, but you might want to experiment by buying a swimsuit at a thrift store and making something simple out of it. My old Singer doesn't much like stretch fabrics but I do have a Janome (okay, actually I have two Janomes but I didn't want to get into my sewing machine addiction here) that does a much better job.

      I knew you would appreciate Sandra's dress!

  2. I think they are all Hot Chicks in the swimsuits you have made them. Cassie is an incredible find and she looks lovely in her christmas dress and like Raine I have never thought of re-purposing porcelain doll's outfits. Looking forward to hearing about your Tonner beautie too. Sandra looks good with her new hair style and I think you have photographed her on her "best side"

    1. The two older girls might be horrified at being called Hot Chicks and Cassie is probably too sophisticated to want to be called that! She was an incredible find, but I seem to remember that we had a lot of dolls at that time. A majority of our customers are Hispanic and their little girls seem to gravitate towards baby dolls, fortunately for me.

      Auntie Berman gave Sandra another outfit, jeans and a tee shirt, but I wanted to show off the sock monkey dress.

      I think I remember getting the Christmas dress from a doll that we thought was vinyl but turned out to be porcelain (and the doll had a broken leg). The dress was so pretty I kept it, thinking it might fit Lorraine but it was slightly too small for her. I knew the right doll would come along who could fit into it and sure enough!

  3. I've just been catching up with your blog. Wow, you found some fantastic dolls, especially the Sasha ones.

    Love your wigging stories, good idea to reuse the porcelain doll wigs. Sometimes they have good shoes too, but usually they are a bit small.

    I'm not showing my dolls your swimsuits, they'll all want one. And I love those outfits made from socks, I have just the doll to make one for.

    I've neglected my dolls for a while, been doing other things. Decided today it was time I gave them a bit of attention.

  4. I'm so glad to hear from you again. I noticed you hadn't blogged for a while but who was I to say anything!

    I always save any shoes I find, even single ones (except the giant Build-A-Bear shoes that always seem to show up at Bargain Bin). My hard plastic girls have very small feet and the porcelain doll shoes often fit them. Fortunately Casilda still had her own shoes because they are an odd size and are really expensive on eBay.