Wednesday, July 23, 2014

the great WW1 Doll Challenge

 The great WW1 doll challenge

So… it happens that my (ever tolerant) wife has a fascination for this old French Doll called Bleuette. She was started in 1905 and ran up through the 60's, but the interesting thing about her is that they had a weekly magazine for girls in which they printed a pattern you could sew for her every week.  My wife's hobby is finding copies of these patterns, translating them, and making the patterns available (for free) on the web at .  It's a whole "history of fashion/teaching kids to sew" thing.  I figure she just likes female action figures… In fact as I put up all her patterns on the web, I made the 1914-1918 era horizon blue in background so as to remember the war.

Anyway… they printed the paper right through WW1. In WW2 they had to stop as before the invasion they were a bit mean to the Germans, so when the Germans came in it was stopped. But there are patterns for 1914-18 and illustrations showing how the girl's fashions changed with the war. In 1916 overseas hats were a big deal, and in 1917 American style campaign hats were worn.

And… it happens that there is a club of people that love Bleuette, and every so often they issue "challenges," which means people have to sew something for the doll based on a  theme; polka dots, flowers, the color red… whatever.  Then they all show their creations off, people get some very small prizes, and a good time is had by all.

So… I was just JOKING when I said, let's have a WW1 challenge!  The wife says "no, people probably would not be interested, and besides, you'd want it to end in November and that's too soon after another challenge going on."

"HA!" says I, "It should run for four years to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, so everyone will have enough time!"  She laughs and thinks that is funny and as a joke posts it on their web board.

Then… So many people say they want to do a WW1 challenge that  I find I have created a monster, work extra to post some more WW1 patterns, and end up buying some wartime issues that came up for sale.

Now... it has long been a quest for me to find a photo of a French girl in WW1 holding one of the actual Bleuettes. Every so often I find a photo with small children holding a doll, but always it turns out to be a different kind. So if anyone has any WW1 photos of girls with dolls, please send me a scan.  There just has to be one out there.  Jonatgawnedotcom.

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