Toni’s Beach Vacation

My Toni doll likes to have outfits for all occasions. This summer, as people started to travel again, she requested some resort outfits. “Where are you planning to go?” I asked. I think she gets these notions from watching television.

She said she could go to Florida and stay at a beach resort and then take a cruise. I played along, but knew that this vacation was not happening in 2021 with the horrible pandemic in high gear in Florida. At least, planning her wardrobe for the trip would keep her occupied for a while.

She decided that she needed a swim suit, a summer dress, and a few other pieces. She tried on this flamingo swim suit. I think it might look fun as a top with a long pink skirt over it. Her black shoes will be fine as they coordinate with the black on the flamingo’s beak.

“You’ll need a cover-up for your beach outfit in case you feel cool when you get out of the water,” I told her. Already, I was wondering where to get a Toni-sized beach towel. Do dolls need to wear sunscreen when they go to the beach?

For a dress to wear when she goes sightseeing or goes to lunch, I talked her into this one. Pastel colors are great for summer. I’ll need to make a sun hat for her and also get her some sunglasses.

I need to fix some summery sandals to wear with her dress.

The outfits are all from a batch that I found on Amazon that were listed as Baby Doll Clothes (for 15 Inch Bitty Baby Dolls and American 18 Inch Girl Dolls). They would fit the larger Toni dolls better than my small P-90.

Q and A: Restringing a Toni Doll

Cynthia Geer Wright contacted me recently to ask how to restring a Toni doll. Never having done it myself, I provided her with a YouTube video to watch. The title of the video is How I Restrung My Toni Doll. We posted her question on the Toni Doll Fan Club on Facebook also. Right away, some other members said they needed advice on this too.

Cynthia’s doll – ready for restringing.

Those who had experience doing this project shared their advice:

  • I personally like cord and buy that on eBay. It seems easier than the rubber bands as I can do it by myself. A big hook is the only tool I use to string dolls. You can buy the S hooks at hardware stores for a lot cheaper than on E-Bay. (Kathy Wahlquist Akin)
  • A number of people recommended Dollspart, a website that sells doll supplies.

Cynthia commented, “I’m apprehensive about restringing my first doll. Reassures me that so many others have done it.” Kathy Wahlquist Akin reassured her, “It’s so easy. After you do it you’ll laugh at how nervous you were.”

I was pleased to see a few days later that Cynthia got her nerve up and did the restringing. Here is her experience:

Woo hoo! Success! I’ll be darned. I’m not someone who is confident in my ability to learn manual skills so this is great. Advice: watch the video, The Basics of Cleaning and Stringing Vintage and Antique Dolls. I watched it a couple times, scrutinizing it and taking notes! The Toni doll restringing is about 2/3 way through. And I did use the rubber band. And the hemostat! (a hemostat is a medical clamp that looks similar to a pair of scissors)

I got stuck a place or two but figured it out…Crimped the head post that kept unhooking as I tried to pull the band, but not closed, just enough to stay better. Pulled the wide rubber band all the way down in the hook so it wouldn’t tear. I used the hemostat to grab the band. Then I had to PULL it hard through the opening and set so I could reach the band with the little hook. Yep, more pics of process would be helpful! Next time!

Cynthia Geer Wright
Cynthia, “All back together! Phew! And her limbs and head are much tighter.”

Toni’s Tuxedo

I ordered a batch of boy doll’s clothing so my Toni doll could have some slacks. Of course, the American Girl and Boy dolls are stockier and taller than my P-90 Toni. That means I needed to adjust them to fit her.

Here’s one outfit that came in the batch of clothes. It’s supposed to be a tuxedo, but I saw potential to convert the three pieces of the outfit into other looks.

As you can see, the slacks are too long and loose. The sleeves to the jacket reach well past her fingertips, so it was of no use unless I worked some magic on it.

Using the Shirt

The sleeveless shirt was long enough that my doll could wear it as a dress. Granted, it is more mini-skirt length sort of like the mini-dress that Jean Shrimpton made famous back in the 1960s. All it would need is some taking in of the seams on each side to create the A-line.

Converting the Slacks

The slacks would require taking in the inseam and shortening the legs. That sounded like a lot of work, so I opted for a totally different look as you can see below.

Toni in black outfit.

The loose-fitting pants got a quite different look when pulled up above her bust. I left the pants legs as-is for a harem pants look. I could put elastic in the hem to emphasize that. The black lace goes over her shoulders and down each side of the harem pants.

I haven’t decided yet what to do with the black jacket. I’ll leave that for another day. If you have a larger Toni doll, the outfits might work without having to remake them. Here’s where I got them (Amazon). There were 6 outfits in the batch.