Heubach Girl

Reproduction closed mouth, socket head (circumference 8 inches) from Seeley mould S361, on composition Byron B494 German ball-jointed body.
Reproduced as a child doll. Dressed in white linen sailor-style dress and jacket; socks knitted in white cotton, and cotton underwear. See below for further construction details.
Original made in Germany by Gebrüder Heubach (1910-1938) circa 1910, who produced extraordinarily moulded character heads, usually with painted and moulded hair, intaglio eyes and closed mouths. Character heads first appeared around 1908, and differed greatly from the usual doll faces at that time.

This is another charming character doll from Gebrüder Heubach; she is an unmarked head with a lovely serene expression. The Seeley mould S361 is known as Die Schwester II (there is a larger version I), which means "the sister", and she has a little brother that I may get round to making one day, called Bruder Ärgerlich or "brother angry" - another character whose expression I leave to your imagination! I think she needs all her serenity to manage him. She has moulded painted hair with a curl "drilled" to thread a ribbon through.

I used the Joan Nerini pattern N139 scaled down to a size to fit this slim 10¾ inch body. Both dress and jacket are constructed in a fairly thin white linen. I made some small short cuts and alterations as I went along to accommodate the smaller size - for example, I made the sleeves on the dress, (which are hidden under the jacket), somewhat less full. The ribbon trimmings I took from my stock, the fine ones obtained originally from Little Trimmings. The pattern calls for a double band of ribbon on the skirt and dress sleeves but I thought this was too fussy for the smaller size, and omitted it. I stuck the ribbon on using Allene's Tacky Glue, which, despite being some sort of reproduction crime, is a lot neater than sewing on this scale; you do have to be careful though, as it does alter the drape of a fabric and can look poor. However, in this case, the linen has quite a lot of body and the jacket construction was quite rigid in its own right. To avoid as much bulk as possible I used Fray-Check and folded hems and facings only once.

Socks are hand-knitted in white Coats Crochet Cotton 20 from a pattern leaflet Yesterdays Knitting Patterns for Antique and Reproduction Dolls [Doll Designs by Patricia Evans and Jane Woodbridge]. I did not make the shoes, which are vintage commercial. The underwear is of white muslin (looseweave thin cotton), decoratively edged with eyelet lace and yellow ribbon.

Our serene sister was offered as the prize in a "name the doll" competition at the Bourne Quilters Exhibition in July 2008.

HeubachSchwesterBodyS.jpg HeubachSchwesterUnderwearS.jpg