Handmade Pop Bottle Doll with Dress

Back in 1977 I was twelve years old and very shy. I hated being in groups and had problems fitting in. So you can imagine how I felt when my teacher announced that every student was required to pick from a selection of craft-based group activities as an extra class. The list was diverse, and although I can’t quite remember them all, most had to do with handmade efforts. One was guitar lessons, but you had to have your own guitar. I didn’t.

I had a friend who was of like mind and interest, so we decided to choose the most unlikely activity: Handmade Dolls! It was close to Mother’s Day and we thought it would make a nice gift. So we two boys and a room full of girls (!!!) started sewing and stitching, and I eventually came out with this:

Handmade Doll Front

 I thought she was cute!

She used to have a little bonnet but it has since been lost. She is now 40 years old and looking a bit faded.

Handmade Doll Back

Not to brag, but I do remember the teacher saying that I was one of the best students and I remember helping many of the girls with their stitching. Where that came from I can’t imagine!

This doll was made using a large pop bottle as a base. I think I used a Pepsi or Coke bottle. The bottle was filled with sand to weigh it down and keep it from tipping over. A cloth sock was pulled over the bottle as well as the Styrofoam ball which was used for the head.

Handmade Doll Sleeve

The cloth was cotton:

Handmade Doll Cotton

Here is a closer look at my fine-stitched hemline:

Handmade Doll Hem

Still holding after all this time!

My mother taped a note on the bottom to remind her of when the doll was made:

Handmade Doll Bottom

My mother is now suffering the early effects of  Alzheimer’s disease and has forgotten all about the doll made by her son so long ago. It used to be displayed in her kitchen but I recently found it on the floor in a corner as I was helping my parents pack for their recent move. My mother looked at it without recognition and asked if I’d like to have it.

Handmade Doll Profile

She’s still smiling!

I reclaimed it as a memento to remember the better times and it now belongs to my wife.

I’m glad I was able to go against character way back when and produce this wonderful keepsake!

Cowgirl & Square Dance Jessie Dolls from Mattel

One of the stand-out characters from Toy Story 2 was Jessie, the Yodeling Cowgirl. It was amazing to see her introduce Woody to all of the vintage merchandise from his marionette TV show! Right from the first blush, I’ve wanted to add her to my toy collection.

The Roundup Gang 003

The Roundup Gang merchandise

But here’s the thing: Almost all of the dolls produced of Jessie look… freaky. The manufacturers seemed to pattern her expression off the scene where Woody first meets her and she is closing in on him. Remember?

The Roundup Gang 001

The Roundup Gang 002

“It’s you! It’s you! It’s you!” – Jessie

Since then, I’ve been able to buy one deluxe version (with real wool hair and normal expression) and now these two great dolls from Mattel:

Jesse Cowgirl Fr     Jesse Cowgirl Bk

Jesse Cowgirl Tp

COWGIRL JESSIE

Jesse Square Dance Fr     Jesse Square Dance Bk

Jesse Square Dance Tp

SQUARE DANCE JESSIE

There’s a Lots of Looks Jessie but the vendor only had these two of the set. I was able to get them for $10 US each plus tax, which I thought was quite reasonable. Both go for over $30 US on eBay, plus shipping. He had three of the Square Dance Jessie doll and two of the Cowgirl Jessie doll. This was good as I was able to take the ones in the best condition.

Mattel marketed these in 2001 as part of the Toy Story and Beyond! line. This opened up the merchandising of the movie to feature costumes and props that weren’t in the original movies but were merely inspired by them.

Well, I reckon it’s time for this cowpoke to two-step out of here, so git along little bloggers!

This post was brought to you by: COWBOY CRUNCHIES