Betsy McCall dolls were big back in the 60’s when I was a child. I absolutely adored them and all the little outfits you could get for them. This was before the Barbie doll, and to my mind, a much superior product.
My sister and I each had one, mine was a brunette, and hers a blonde. I eventually ended up with both of them because she was several years older and not really into dolls that much anymore. I had a little, round, pink, hatbox-type carrying case, the two dolls, and many, many outfits, complete with shoes and accesories.
One of my fondest memories is going to Lipman Wolfe, a department store that was near our house, going to their toy department, and choosing a new outfit for my doll. This was something that only happened on special occasions, which made it all that more special.
Unfortunately, once I had grown up and moved out of my parents house my Betsy dolls were given away, along with a lot of other childhood castoffs. I probably didn’t care about them much at the time, but a few years later I became interested again and started going to doll shows, only to find dolls exactly like the ones I had owned, but at 6 times the price! Oh, snap! If only I had hung on to my dolls!
Anyway, I purchased a blonde doll at one of the doll shows that I attended back in the mid-1980’s. I payed $65. for her, and she didn’t even have an original outfit or anything. It took me a long time to even find shoes for her. I wanted a brunette too, but I couldn’t find one that was in my price range, so I eventually gave up.
Several years ago I saw some new Betsy McCall dolls in a store, and I just about went crazy! I wanted one so badly, but they were pretty expensive. So one year, for my birthday, I conviced my husband to let me buy one. There was a cute little doll store out in Beaverton, Oregon that I found on the internet. Sadly, it no longer exists. But, my kids and I went for a ride and got me my brunette Betsy McCall doll!
She came with a little camisole, socks and shoes. That was it! The clothes were $25. or more per outfit! So, this is what I did. I got a pattern from JoAnn fabrics, and then I bought two different colors of fabric, and I made my two dolls matching outfits! I really enjoyed doing it and I think they look fantastic! See what you think.
I think I will always prefer the Betsy of the 60’s, but I have to admit, they’re both pretty cute. Here’s a close-up of their sweet faces. Eat your heart out Barbie!