When I was a little girl, a cousin of my father’s came to visit from Poland. He brought with him a beautiful doll that I named Sophie, a “good Polish name” according to my grandma. When Grandma Irene passed away, I received a bag of sentimental things from her home, and Sophie was among them. Grandma had kept her on the shelf over the years. Several moves and years of neglect meant that by the time I got Sophie back, she was in pretty sad condition; her hair was horribly matted and had been contained by an actual rubber band – like the kind you’d see on a lobster claw!! Her dress was so dusty and dirty it was nearly tan. Poor Sophie looked like a street urchin.
Sophie as she was when I got her back
The other day, I decided it was time to bring her back to life. A friend of mine who knows a doll restorer suggested Infusium to get the tangles out of plastic hair, and brought me a bottle she had lying around. It took a couple of hours of soaking and brushing, soaking and brushing, but I managed to get the tangles out. There was so much dust that my sink had an actual film of it once the water drained out the first time. Ugh!
The dress, I soaked for a couple of hours in Woolite. Then I gently scrubbed it, and let it air dry. I used a Q-tip to clean Sophie’s face of dust and the grime of age…and look at her now!!
Almost good as new
I plan to make her a traditional black velvet vest; I remember she had one when I first got her, but it was lost way back when I was a little girl. I might try making a pair of shoes as well.
Every time I looked at Sophie after I got her back, I felt guilty and sad about her condition, but now I feel so happy and warm. I remember the moment I got her, even though I can’t remember what Cousin Joe looked like. I’m brought back to Grandma Irene’s old house, the kitchen, and the living room where I played with Sophie all those years ago. And from now on, Sophie will have a proper display so she won’t be in that condition again.
A few other views of Sophie’s fabulous new look: