Toni – Polar Bear

The October blog challenge suggested we interview someone for our blog. Toni said she was too shy to go on camera, so I had to settle for a simple question/answer format.

  • Me: “How did you develop an interest in wearing costumes?”
  • Toni: “I get tired of wearing little girl dresses all the time.”
  • Me: “So going back to the 1950s and 1960s is not a dream of yours?”
  • Toni: “No, I’m at least 60 years old, and a lot has happened in that time. I spent years stuck inside a box and now I want to experience life and different cultures, different eras.”

Movie Star?

I spotted a white fur jacket worn by a Toni on the Etsy site. Would that make a movie star costume suitable for the 1930s and 1940s? After hunting around on the Internet, I couldn’t pin down a specific photo that would be a good match. Both Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe appeared in white fur wraps, but not in short fur coats.

I found photos of Shirley Temple in a white full-length fur coat with a muff from the movie, Bright Eyes. That would be complex to recreate as there was a fur capelet, dangling fur accents, and a white Robin Hood style hat.

Polar Bear Costume?

Then I thought of a polar bear. This sweet Toni has platinum blonde hair. Give her some white tights and 2 bear-style ears and her costume is done. If you want to have a polar bear face mask, I found one that you can download online or use it to draw your own mask. The download is probable for a child-sized face, not a doll-sized one.

Disclaimer

If you happen to be an animal rights activist, I’m not promoting that anyone go kill an animal right now to make their Toni doll a fur coat. If you are wanting to make a coat, there are faux fur available for crafts and sewing.

This particular fur is likely a domestic rabbit who ended up on someone’s dinner table in the 1950s and the fur repurposed. Actually, we raised rabbits when I was a child in 4-H and our rabbits won dozens of ribbons at the county and state fairs over the years. Feeding our family of eight, we had many a meal of roast rabbit, fried rabbit, etc. We never tried making anything with the fur though.

Toni – the Nurse

If you want costume ideas for your doll, you came to the right place. I’m featuring vintage Toni dolls from the 1960s in a variety of outfits during October 2020.

Today, Toni is wearing a nurse costume.

Slide the center post to see either picture.

I love the simplicity of this nurse outfit. As far as I know, Toni dolls were never sold with such a costume.

Here’s the description from the seller vom. You can see the doll on eBay (I am not a seller and receive no commission for featuring this).

This is a vintage nice looking Ideal Toni P-91 nurse doll. She shows normal/minor wear and measures about 15 inches. The dress, apron, underwear, and hat all look fine. The dress is still sewn onto the body. The socks and shoes do not look original here. Her green eyes open and close just fine. She would grace any vintage Toni collection out there.

eBay seller – vom

I think this would be a fairly easy outfit to make for your Toni doll. It’s a plain white dress with no ruffles or tricky sewing to do. On the apron, you need to draw in the red cross outline and the words NURSE. If you use a marker or Sharpie for this, test it first on some scrap fabric to be sure it doesn’t bleed.

The cap has the same design on it. If you go to the eBay listing, there are more photos of the cap and dress from the back.

If you want to go fancier, you could make a waist-length navy-blue cape to go with this.

Toni – the Gardener

While browsing on Etsy for ideas for a Toni doll Halloween costume, I discovered this delightful vintage outfit. My mind immediately jumped to gardening and the accessories that would make this a great Victory Garden costume. The style of the bib overalls makes me think of the 1940s as does the ribbon in her hair.

This doll and her overalls are for sale on Etsy. The seller is BullwinklesAttic.

What She Needs

  • A basket to hang on her left arm. I happen to have just the right one stashed away in my Christmas storage.
  • Some things to put in the basket. You could make tiny seed packets with paper and fine-point markers. Find some small balls to paint red for tomatoes. Clip some bits of greenery from the yard to tuck into the basket too.
  • A small rake (the miniature kind that you can get for use with houseplants or for a tabletop zen garden). Place the rake in her right hand.
  • A straw gardening hat (you can cut up a worn out straw hat you have).
I decorate a small Christmas tree with baskets each December.

I made a straw bonnet from a worn out hat once. Let me put my thinking to the farmer’s hat. I think I’ll cut a big enough section to fit over a coffee cup. I’ll soak it first to soften the straw and put a rubber band to hold it to the form.

Then I need to cut a strip to be the brim and figure out how to attach that.

(PS – I’m not an Etsy seller and make no commission from recommending this doll)