I bought the pattern for her in 1981 from Canadian Living Magazine. She was an exclusive design for the magazine by Canadian doll artist Judy Pilgrim Stewart who was the designer of a line of dolls called Jenny Dolls.
There was a lovely article in the magazine about Judy and her dolls. Apparently she was a prolific designer and at the time the article was written she had produced 1,394 dolls and her inventory was growing at a rate of 60 a year!!!!
Judy graduated from the University of Manitoba after studying textiles, costume design and art history. Her studio was in the attic of a rambling old house on the bank's of Winnipeg's Red River. She first started making dolls in 1967 with hand painted faces and meticulously researched period clothing.
Her attic loft had a cast of doll characters.......Praline the maid, Lavinia Catchpole the housekeeper, Charlotte the milliner and lovely Blanche the model, all under the strict scrutiny of Madame Clothilde, her workroom supervisor. One of Madame's duties was responding to all correspondence much to the delight of Judy's younger customers.
Victoria, is a Manitoba pioneer doll circa 1860, named after Judy's youngest daughter. She stands 20 inches tall, with yarn hair and embroidered features. Here is a scan of the picture of Judy's Victoria doll from the magazine......
I had mentioned at the time of my first blog post on April 21st, 2011 that I could find very little about what happened to the designer and then I received this lovely comment .......
Dear Mary Ann,
I grew up in Winnipeg as a young girl in the '70's, and I owned (and still do) a Jenny Doll. For years every christmas and birthday I ordered and received a beautiful victorian style dress or outfit which Judy Pilgrim Stewart designed made by hand in her magical attic. I have a wardrobe of about 15 outfits, it was a great childhood passion of mine, and I am very proud of my collection. I was one of many little girls in Winnipeg in that time who had a Jenny Doll, and collected outfits from Judy. Judy was a wonderful lady, and had incredible taste and flair. All the doll's hats were hand crocheted straw, and she would embroider and knit to scale. She usually made the dolls to look like their owners, but would also make fictional characters like Laura Ingalls and the Little Women sisters.
I still keep in touch with Judy from time to time, as her husband was a teacher at my high school. Judy worked also at the Dugald Historical Costume Museum near Winnipeg. She came back to making Jenny Dolls (named after her daughter) after a long break (my nieces were happy recipients about 5 years ago), but has since quit making them. I have wonderful childhood memories of Judy, an incredible lady with a great passion for craft, design, and history.
How cool is that:)
I'm joining up today with The Needle & Thread Network.......please visit and see all the lovely work created by other Canadian bloggers:)