Doll Parts

September 6th, 2011

Doll Parts - Behind The Awkwardness

“My sister Erica (6 years-old) is on the left and I am on the right(7 years-old). I am sure you can imagine the disappointment when my thrifty mother handed us these homemade Cabbage Patch Kids!”

(submitted by Michelle)

127 Responses to “Doll Parts”

  1. Oh boy 00 says:

    Kids will be honest about their emotions at times – it doesn’t mean that they are brats. I remember being a kid, and having ‘gut reactions’ to things that didn’t turn out the way I expected them – sometimes I wasn’t able to hide my disappointment, most times I did. That’s just the way life is.

  2. Teresa says:

    As someone who was an adult during the cabbage patch craze, I seem to remember they were very had to find. The news showed women fighting over them at stores. She probably got these dolls because that is all she could find….without brawling in the streets. Face it you mom probably wasn’t a tough chick…thats a good thing.

  3. Oja says:

    I would think that making dolls would cost more than buying them.

  4. Mamaluvins says:

    Aww, so sad for the mom who made these. My mom made my sisters and I one too and we all cherished them. Still have them, still adore them. I truly appreciate it when someone puts real love and effort into making a homemade gift.

  5. Dawn says:

    I got a homemade one too while my 3 cousins got the real deal. Disappointment doesn’t fully describe the feelings I had.

  6. Dara says:

    These are probably the original Cabbage Patch Kids. Xavier Roberts actually saw these at a craft fair and because she hadn’t trademarked them he stole the idea and made what we know today! She sued him and settled for an undisclosed amount.

  7. jay says:

    Why are the dolls mouths sewed shut? So you can’t hear their screams.

  8. ken says:

    My sister received a homemade Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas in the mid 80’s and she made sure to let our parents know that a knock off didn’t cut it. It was sort of a horrific looking doll, not too dissimilar to the ones pictured here.

    • Beth says:

      Same thing happened to me and I remember it clearly. I was a pretty calm, easy-going child, but I remember having an ugly little tantrum when I opened a fake cabbage patch doll from him. I remember clearly throwing it back in the box and saying I didn’t want it, and my mom yelling at me.

  9. theprincessmommy says:

    I think it’s awesome that your mom made these for you! Exactly which decade did kids get so materialistic that they HAD to have the same factory-made toy as everyone else, and stopped loving the amazing stuff their loved-one put so much time and effort into making for them? Sad.

    • Nana says:

      Exactly! What a wonderful mother to lovingly sew a doll for each of her daughters! I’ll bet she cried bitter tears of disappointment, even if in private, at the ingratitude. I miss my mother so much. I love homemade items I have saved from her, and wish I had more that survived the many years since my childhood.

      • Mina D says:

        I think I’d be a bit disappointed initially (but I’d never express it!) if I received a knock-off of something I had my heart set on, but I’d get over it quickly and probably love my homemade gift even more because it would be something made just for me by someone I love who loves me too. It would mean a lot more than a mass-produced toy I’d probably kill or lose interest in by the next birthday or holiday. Things like that are adorable and (to me) the loveliest type of heirlooms because of the personal love and labor that went into making them and the happiness they brought for someone else. As an adult, I’d feel horrible if I got rid of something my mom made just for me and no longer had it to remember her by and to pass on to my children.

        • Mags says:

          Lol these comments. “People are enjoying a laugh over a common childhood experience. I better jump in and make sure everyone gets a dose of shame and guilt.” What is the point? Try and enjoy life, you only get one.

    • fifitrixiebelle says:

      Most decades. I received one as well but my little cousin received a real one. They were scary looking, nightmare inducing dolls. It was the same year I received a homemade blanket, at 11 years old it meant nothing. It really wasn’t about materialism per say but more about fitting in and not standing out.

      • dashingirish says:

        I think you are right – kids just want what everyone else has. Laura Ignalls Wilder writes in Farmer Boy that Almanzo yearns for a “store-boughten cap” like his cousin has. And that was in, what, the 1860s? Today I remember with great wistful fondness the sandwiches of homemade bread that I dreaded bringing to school. My mom never could understand how important it was to have sandwiches made from Wonderbread like everyone else, lol.

  10. Sarah R. says:

    I, too, had a homemade Cabbage Patch Kid. I feel your pain.

  11. Ann says:

    *cough* I got a real one. My mother didn’t really make any plans or anything. She went to the store, and there were a few left, so she grabbed one. It wasn’t the ideal one for me (it didn’t look like me), but it was real. Nowadays, you’d be lucky to get one if you were there at 3 am. And people would be selling them on eBay for thousands of dollars.

  12. Sunnye says:

    OMG! Back in 1984, I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas. My best friend got the real thing and I got a homemade one. My mom totally missed the point! So, I received “Boris” the following Christmas. I always got the year’s must-have toy a year or two after the fact…ha, ha!

  13. Summer says:

    I like how your mom made sure her handiwork was included. I’m pretty sure you were lucky to score a spot in this pic.

  14. Kimberly says:

    Ummm, am I the only one noticing the awkward shape/placement of the left leg of the doll on the right?
    I was fortunate enough to have a real Cabbage Patch Kid, but I’m pretty sure I destroyed it and then it was forsaken in favor of American Girl Dolls….

  15. kellum says:

    i didn’t have a faux or real cabbage patch doll but I DID have those big old 80s pink sparkle glasses with the stickers in the corner!

  16. graphicartist2k5 says:

    i can’t say i blame your mom for making those by hand! those stinkin’ dolls were EXPENSIVE back in the day!

  17. Christina says:

    Oh the memories!!! I also had the knockoff doll and I was sooo upset. Then I got a real one and quickly discovered that no older siblings should be allowed to use them as weapons. Those heads were freakin hard man!

  18. Karen says:

    IIRC, the original commercial dolls were VERY expensive and also VERY hard to get – my aunt made these dolls for her grandchildren, I remember thinking she did an excellent job, as they looked like the real thing….both extremely ugly. LOL I remember our local news station running a human interest story – some local seamstress started a business selling home-made “Lettuce Leaf Kids” – they had some tag line like “We are not cabbage patch kids but we are just as lovable” or something like that. Nothing like a good case of R&D (Rip off and Duplicate) lol

  19. Grits says:

    The more I think about this picture, the more I love it. These girls were probably mortified at the time, but hopefully as adults they can look back on these dollies with new eyes. How many parents today make stuff for their kids like this?? There is something just so wonderful and sweet about these dollies, even though they look like they could inspire a new horror movie franchise!! I can just imagine these girls’ mom sitting up at night when they were sleeping, trying to make them look as much like the real thing as possible for her girls. So sweet. I would love to make homemade toys for my kids… but gosh darnit, how do you make an Ipod or an Xbox by hand?? I miss the good old days… this pic is very awkward, but beautiful at the same time!!

    • Christine says:

      Excatly! Totally agree with everything you said. The dolls looked freaky but the picture is sweet because the Mom did the best she could and because she made it out of LOVE and EFFORT and that is what made this beautiful. It’s not the material things, it’s the thought and love that is in it. These girls were fortunate to have a mom who loved them so much to do the best she could. Don’t take your parents for granted. I don’t. I tell my parents everything how much I appreciate them. Ok, sorry .. going on a tangent .. but you guys get my gist.

      Now the mom with that birthday cake with the dynamite candles … she at least DID the cake and tried to make look a like candles .. but that was jsut a bit sloppy. I would just not do anything and take him out for ice cream. LOL

  20. Janel says:

    Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one. I wanted a Cabbage Patch soooo badly for my birthday (8th, I think). I opened the present…. WTH????? NOT THE SAME, MOM! NOT THE SAME. To add insult to injury, that doll cost me points off of a second grade paper, when my teacher took off because I “misspelled the doll’s name”. Again, WTH???? I’m the one who named her! I’ll spell it how I want!

    I had forgotten all about that. I’m so glad to know that many others have shared in my disappointment. Thanks for the laughs.

  21. Jessica says:

    !!! MY MOM made home-made cabbage patch dolls….I remember her, my aunt and grandmother in a big room filled with random doll parts…my mom painted on those creepy eyes – i remember having all of the budget dolls i could ever want (not that I ever wanted any of them) Just seeing those dolls is weird…they look exactly like the ones my mom made!!!

  22. Sarah M. says:

    Haha! This cracks me up because I, too, received a handmade cabbage patch doll…and was so irritated about it!

  23. Andrew says:

    This reminds me of my sister’s agonies when they too would receive homemade dolls from our thrifty relatives!

  24. Lilly says:

    OMG! i’m not the only one who got one of those nasty, fake Cabbage Patch kids! My mom always claimed she could never get her hands on one, yet my 4 year old niece got one for Christmas….but no resentments, or anything! 🙂

  25. Em says:

    I too had a bootleg cabbage patch doll! She was more like those garbage pail kids…built like a fridge with a shrunken head- sporting locks of discarded afghan yarn for hair. Disappointing indeed. I remember trying to douse her in baby powder & had even tried to ink that signature on her backside. Life was good in the 80’s, there is no room for justification.

  26. holli says:

    My sis and I had homemade cabbage patch dolls as a tool to get ready for our new little brother!

    I remember getting to pick out the color yarn for my doll’s hair. The funny thing was when my mom was done making her, the doll only had one row of hair and the rest of the head was bald. I always felt bad for Patty Ann (I named her) because I knew she wasn’t a real cabbage patch doll so always made a point to include her when playing with my dolls.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  27. psychgrrl says:

    I had those glasses! and the little sticker in the corner. One time it was a butterfly, and one time it was my initials. I’m so sorry that your mom made you those dolls, really, I feel for ya. I feared that my mom would do that, as she already sewed everything from skirts to underwear for us. But I did get the real doll! i must admit I was dissappointed that my doll was blond, blue eyed and looked nothing like me. Now I’m sure you are grateful that your mom made them for you. – ?

  28. A little jealous says:

    Sadly, these dolls look fantastic compared to the ones my sister and I got. They were about five times the size of these dolls and wore actual children’s clothing. So disappointing.

  29. It's me! Dee! says:

    I’m loving all these reminiscing stories! Great photo to post, thanks Michelle!

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