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

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy fourth of July

Time flies!  
Today I finally made the commitment to myself to gather and sort and re box a few  things in my  out of control storage. I want everything sorted and labeled. But I must begin with a few and work out from there. To that end I emptied drawers and boxes and began new piles with names on top of each stack like Doll unders or doll clothes or whites to make doll unders or lace for 18th century dolls and doll body fab and on and on.  One  rubber made bin got put away in the garage, labeled wood and wood carving tools. I do not plan to carve anything just now. Another is hoops and hooks and rug tape. I will add to it as I come across more here and there.  You get the idea what I am working with but could not imagine how much there is and how mixed up it is after moving many times and stirring through it. A box says string, another says bungies. Another holds cross stitch supplies and frames, another Paternayan yarn. Several big ones hold light bulbs. When these are gone what in the world will I do with my iron lamps and hand made shades?   There are more than 150 picture frames in there plus all the stuff you would expect, scales for weighing packages and empty boxes and packing supplies and on and on. 

My garage is an untamed wilderness. At this point I am committed to sorting doll clothes and fabrics for them. Whatever else gets done on the side as I go along is a bonus. But I can’t dress the dolls without this basic start.  

Here is Kathryn, a lovely 24 inch wooden doll carved by Kathy Patterson in the style of the mid 18th century woodens.

Kathryn is among the most beautiful dolls I own. I am trying different fabrics for her clothing.
I should explain that I enjoy making dolls and doll bodies and have made my own patterns dating back to newspapers cut up in the 1950's in all sizes.  Unfortunately I do not enjoy making doll clothing other than the simplest pieces.  Many of my old dolls have old clothing I have bought for them over the years.  I will not be able to dress my Kathryn as she should be, though I have nearly a dozen books on 18th century clothing, and many articles on them from doll mags plus a large computer image file. 

When my daughter Beth was born, I had made for her a Christening dress with 52 hand rolled tucks across the bodice and tiny hand stitches throughout.  When I made bed hangings for my bed in the old cape the hand stitched French seams were 90 inches long all over it.   Once I could sew.  I had a thimble on my finger from the age of five.  These things are not going to happen now.   

So Kathryn is out of luck on the best clothing. I have found some mid-19th century unders that she is going to wear and I have the finely quilted piece of old blue polished cotton that I hope will make a quilted petticoat for her.  I have made her a day cap and will make a few more. One gathered to frame her face is wanted.  Some sort of jacket or short gown will happen I hope!  Her apron will be a tiny handkerchief with bobbin lace made by my dear friend Eula.   

The set of 19th century unders is hand stitched so finely I had to use a magnifying glass to see the stitches.  The petticoat is cartridge pleated, on a band with a button, not the ties Kathryn would prefer. The split drawers are not proper for the doll, but I would not want to separate these three pieces made together long ago with so much love and care. So Kathryn shall wear  them.  We will not mention the early glass eyed papier mache doll off in a corner crying over all this, having lost her unders from over 150 years ago! 
Sad to do this.  wrong, wrong. My bad.

A little moppet I have made, dressed in fabric out of the sofa as discussed in earlier posts. 

My old one has been named Marley, that is an English name meaning pleasant wood.  Marley has been to the spa in Canada with David and Paul for a bit of restoration and stabilizing. Here is her picture there with their doll Elswyth.  Marley is on her way home to me now. I will be glad to have her back!  E


  1. Oh, my! Kathryn strikes me as one, though used to luxury, will enjoy the simplicity of style...sometimes change is goode. :)

    ~~Nancy of The Bonnie White Hare

  2. oh my gosh, I just found you today,, my first visit here but it will not be last, I joined to follow you,, your dolls and work is amazing, I have sewn and created many dolls in the past but my vision has been impaired form a brain injury so I don't do it anymore, but now I can visit your blog and follow along on your creating journey,, when I saw the photo of the tiny pantaloons and under garments it brought back such wonderful memories, I spent many hours creating clothes for the dolls I made, thanks for sharing with us!


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