Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Monday, March 5, 2018

a Big Sturdy Blond Greiner

With warm bright weather, my sun porch is a sweet place to sit and read or sew.  I spent a nice afternoon resizing a dress to fit a thirty inch blond Greiner who came to me in her old unders and stockings but no dress.  She has a petticoat, a chemise and lovely split drawers, which along with her old stockings seem original for her.

Her condition is overall very nice. Her old body is firm and  sturdy, with a few stains and patches. She has the expected scuffs and wear but has no restoration nor needs any. Unfortunately an area of her Greiner label has been torn away as someone attempted to remove part of it probably saying extended 72.  I have had this mold with just the Pat 58 date, in a smaller size, also blond. This head must have been made in a transitional time as she has the earlier Greiner hair style also seen in dark haired ones with a 58 label.

I shy away from cutting up a period garment in nice condition just to dress my old dolls! This time it was a bit easier because of a significant stain near the hem in back.  The little calico baby dress is certainly older than Miss Greiner herself.   I removed a six inch length of the hem and from that fashioned flared sleeves to extend the original ones.   An alternative if you have a nice dress you do not want to  cut up, is to make undersleeves of a cream colored fabric or lace and gather that in place to lengthen the sleeves. A too long dress hem may be turned up many inches, even 10 or so. At the waist a ribbon or an apron pulls in the fullness.

The dress after shortening it to the doll's ankle length

a closer look at the calico

And look at the wonderful old printed doll apron! This is a very large one fifteen inches long.  The tiny hand stitches on the narrow hem are almost too small to see.   It is a "pinner" type but I certainly do not intend to put any pins in this little top.  If ever needed it will get one small stitch in each top corner holding it against the dress.  Readers are welcome to copy it with a waterproof brown marker. I have spread it out to facilitate this.  

This precious antique bonnet is machine stitched, likely on a  singer featherweight like I have.   My friend EP always hated to put a bonnet on mache's because it hides their hair.  I think of her each time I tie bonnet strings under a doll's chin.

I by no means paint at my easel everyday right now, as I like to do.  But I think and paint and view art in galleries or with friends  or online everyday.    Art is a jealous master, my mind paints 24/7 when I am into it.  I need to take  a day or two sometimes just to enjoy my dolls and sew for them.   e


  1. Edyth, she is just wonderful; love the way you have dressed her; such a treasure. Blessings, Dee

  2. She look wonderful, that dress was just perfect for her, she is a beautiful doll!! Julie in Colorado

  3. How utterly sweet. She is lovely in her beautiful new clothes.

  4. What a precious face! The clothes you made look wonderful on her!

  5. What a sweet girl. That calico is perfect for her. Edyth, do you name your dolls?

  6. Love the dress you fashioned and the apron is perfect. Delightful.


  7. I do love your painting, but a real comfort to visit your dolls too ! Happy spring !

  8. She is beautiful and you have enhanced her beauty with your precious dress and apron. I think the bonnet looks very sweet on her. Blessings to you!


Blog Archive