I found proof that I had a Betsy McCall doll….

My mailman delivered a box today! That’s exciting enough as it is… but wait until you see what was inside!!! Oh, I can hardly wait to show you!


Look at all the bubble wrap… somebody packed this box well!


OH MY….. I think I see a head!!!!


IT IS A HEAD!!! A doll head…




My dear, sweet reader, Joy, sent me a Betsy McCall doll that she wasn’t using!!! I am astounded at her generosity! Betsy is just wonderful and so adorable!!! Here’s another look at her…


Before I did another thing, I grabbed Isabelle’s green bodice and slipped it on Betsy! IT FITS!!! This isn’t a very good picture but you can see how sweet Betsy looks in it…


Joy told me she was the Cheerleader Betsy and had a stain around her waist and a little one on her thighs, from her outfit…but that doesn’t bother me at all. I know of this cream that is supposed to take stains off and I think I’ll order some and do a blog post using it on Betsy.



Betsy has the same size feet as the Effner Little Darlings, which makes it wonderful, considering how many shoes I have for my girls!!!



You can see the dolls side by side here… Betsy has a little bit different proportions to her body, but they are the same height.



She has the prettiest, thickest hair in the sweetest shade! Thank you Joy! I am so blessed by your thoughtfulness! Betsy and Janie have become great friends already… (Sorry about Janie’s “nudie” shots!)




So ALL this Betsy talk this week, from the Betsy Paper dolls I received in a box earlier (HERE) to my new doll today, got me to thinking back of when my sister Cindy and I were younger. I called her in PA today and asked her if she remembered when we had our Betsy McCall dolls and where we lived. We chatted back and forth for a long time trying to remember what she looked like and how old we were and what was Betsy wearing and what ever happened to our dolls… well this led to us both getting on Ebay and looking at the 8″ Betsy McCall dolls and trying our hardest to remember. We thought maybe if we SAW her, we’d recognize her. Well, we tried as hard as our brains would let us, but we both had to admit, we really couldn’t remember much about her. Then Cindy said, “I think I remember seeing a picture of us in Italy at Christmas, and I vaguely remember seeing the dolls.”

Well, that’s all it took for me. I decided to play Super Sleuth and see how my detective skills were. Years ago, my brother put together a CD with all of our family slides and pictures on it. I began the arduous task of looking through them all. Some were in order and some were not. I looked for over an hour and then I saw it! One single picture of me and Cindy, at Christmas in Italy, and there was Betsy McCall.. One for me and one for Cindy…one still in the package (probably Cindy’s!) :o) and I’m sure the one opened and on the coffee table was mine! :o)

If you click on this picture, you can see it larger.

Sept 1962

Sept 1962

She was the Betsy with the dark hair, in the blue and white striped sunsuit, just like we had seen on Ebay. Oh, aren’t pictures wonderful! I’m so glad I found this picture.

What a trip down memory lane for us!

Thank you again, Joy!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Her hair came like that? You didn’t have to restyle it after the journey? Joy is a wonderful packer as well as a generous friend. I’m afraid Linda is in trouble, with her new Betsy. That green dress is perfect for her. She’d probably look just as nice in the others, but the green is very pretty on her.

    Thanksgiving is coming. You probably have the ingredients for the corn casserole. What else are you planning? I was in the produce department yesterday and didn’t see cranberries. I wonder if I just missed them but it doesn’t seem likely. I do hope the crop is as big and delicious as usual. Years ago a friend made that raw cranberry compote with orange and I think nuts. I still cook my cranberries but always add orange in her honor.

    Do you ever add something Italian to your Christmas menu in honor of your time there? My birthday present to me was American Cake, by Anne Byrn. The great thing about having lived for a while is all the things you remember, and this book has a lot of them, including the Italian Cream Cake that my Mom requested for her last birthday. Of course, it’s not at all Italian, but would still honor the idea, and this recipe does look good.

    • HI Marilyn,
      Yes, her hair did come just like it looks in the box. No restyling necessary. Her wig is so thick and just kind of stays in place where it is! Yes, I would totally agree with Joy being very generous and a super packer! She was surrounded by tons of bubble wrap and tissue paper.
      She wasn’t going anywhere!
      Kristoffer texted me yesterday and said, “Don’t worry about a turkey, I’ll get one from work!” So that’s one thing I don’t have to buy. He would be happy if all we had was turkey and corn casserole. Rebecca would be happy with turkey and salad. George would probably want turkey and green bean casserole and I would be happy with turkey and sweet potato souffle. So we’ll probably at least have turkey and everyone’s favorites.

      Oh, Marilyn, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Italian Cream cake. A good friend of mine gave me her recipe and asked if I could make it less “fattening.” I figured out the calories in hers and I think it was something like 8000 calories. I did tweak it but I’ll have to check and see what I got it down to. It was still delicious!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    Oh my gosh!!! How perfectly SWEET of Joy to send this absolutely darling Betsy McCall doll to you! And yes, Marilyn, I AM in trouble!!! My Betsy is just like that, but I am not sure about the exact color of her hair, yours seems a bit lighter brown, but that could be the lighting. I’m not sure if I could fix her hair like that, but could try. They may have different wigs, but yes, the Betsy wigs are very nice and thick! I think she is so cute and pixie-like! And yours even has panties! Try to find underwear for this size dolls is crazy, and they charge too much for shipping to boot! A pair of those lace trimmed socks cost more than I even what to pay for a pair of a real child’s! I am lucky enough to have tights and long stockings from dear Marilyn, though, so I’m happy. Where does anyone get underwear for these tiny dolls?

    I loved seeing the picture of you and Cindy opening your Christmas gifts! Let’s see, for Christmas 1962 I was a college girl! I too, have a box full of pictures from my childhood, and love to go through them every once in awhile. So many memories!

    • It looks like Doll Secrets on Etsy would make your Betsy some underclothes. They have them in white for $3. Little Princess Frocks used to have excellent choices, but I think she’s changed her business and is not selling a wide line of clothing. Lynniejo on Etsy specializes in 18″ dolls but might consider Betsy/Effner sizes. I’d be surprised if Deb’s, the doll shoe specialist who sells on Ebay, didn’t have them. Also, anyone on this list who is also on the Effner Little Darlings list, would either know or be able to find out quickly. Someone else who might at least know a source is Becky Colvin, who specializes in jeans for Effner and some Kish dolls. Try Ebay under Colvin jeans or she’s also selling on Etsy. She also has tee shirts and hand-knit sweater patterns and has a great website under sew-cool separates.

      • Shara Smith says:

        Wendy at Doll Secrets is terrific.. she has lingerie for many dolls. Ive met her at doll conventions and shes a sweetheart:)

        • Thank you TOO, Shara,
          I appreciate you and Marilyn letting us know about under things for our dolls!
          Blessings, Jeanne

      • Thanks for all your help Marilyn…
        You are my super sleuth when it comes to finding out something!

    • HI Linda,
      I was just getting ready to comment on your comments, but George needs my help with the porch project…so I’ll be back later to finish…
      Ok…I’m back…
      I bet I know “someone” who could come up with some panties for Betsy!
      My sister Cindy was thrilled to see that picture of us too. I’m not positive of the ’62 date…I thought I was 4 and 5 in Italy but maybe I was 5 and 6…
      THANKS Linda!

  3. Hi Jeanne – Before you order that cream, I have had great results with marks on my dolls using 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and one part Dawn (or probably any dishwashing soap). I mix it well and dab a paper towel in it and apply to stains on the doll with a gentle rub. You have to dip and rub a few times, and then the stains suddenly begin disappearing. I just cleaned a doll up that had quite a few little black dots and she ended up looking like new.
    Love your new doll.


    • HI Ann,
      I think I’ll try your stain remover first. I can still do a post on it too… :o)
      I tried a Magic Eraser, but it barely made a difference… only a little bit changed in the back.
      I’ll give it a try!
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. What a lovely gift from Joy to you, Jeanne, in that Betsy McCall doll. She surely is a sweetie (both the doll and Joy!). Betsy does look very lovely in that bodice. I bet you’ll have a great deal of fun with her…and how fun to find that one photo…you’ve had quite a journey to the past with it all.


    • Thank you Becky,
      I was so surprised that Joy had an extra Betsy and sent her my way! I had never seen the 14″ doll so she was a complete surprise when I saw her face for the first time! It was very fun to open up that box!
      I think I might have to print out that picture of me and Cindy with our Betsy’s! I just saw a Betsy doll listed on Ebay today in the blister pack like our Betsy’s were in…from 1960! It was $395! Yikes! Sure wish I knew where my doll was now!
      Thanks Becky,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Shara Smith says:

    What a sweetheart Joy is!!! Betsy is wonderful!
    I just removed some minor stains from the Effner Shirley Temple that was given at thr recrnt MDCC meal event that Dianna had. (The black thread to sew her black tights wasnt color fast:( i got sone 10% benzonate acne cream at CVS and it worked well.. three applications for me.. Betsy will require more but it will be a nice tutorial!

    I see both 8″ Betsys in the holiday photo:) one on the end table and one on the floor:) always a wonderful Christmas when a doll is received!

    • HI Shara,
      I’ve seen the recommended Oxy Acne cream discussed on the American Girl Playthings forum, but I’ve never tried it. I’ll try Ann’s hydrogen peroxide and Dawn first as I have those already, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll get some of the Acne cream at CVS.
      I’ll do a tutorial on it too… if I have to.
      Yes, I did find a few other pictures with dolls in them too, but I decided today’s post was ALL about Betsy…
      Thanks Shara,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. What a cute Betsy McCall ! How sweet of Joy to send her to you. And she looks like she fits in the bodice pretty well. Love that Christmas print too.
    I loved seeing the picture of you and Cindy at Christmas time in Italy. What a find showing the both of you with the dolls. Getting a doll certainly was an exciting present as Shara said. How long did you live in Italy?
    Dianna has an Effner Shirley Temple? I’ll have to look online to see if there is a picture of her. I loved Shirley Temple and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I required a S.T. doll. It was a real treat to see her movies on TV.
    Have fun with your new Betsy McCall. She is adorable.

    • HI Paula,
      Yes, Betsy is very sweet and she’s prettier in person than she is in my pictures. I can’t seem to capture just how cute she is. It’s so nice that she and my Little Darlings can share clothes. I do think Betsy is a bit longer in the waist, so I’ll have to figure out just where to put the waistline if I plan to have the 2 different dolls share the clothes. The dresses that I’m making right now for my Effner girls might be a bit too short waisted for Betsy… I’ll have to see, though.
      We were stationed in Italy for 2 years. My dad was in the Air Force and was a missile instructor.
      There is an antique store in a near by town and they’ve had a vintage Shirley Temple doll in a certain booth for a few years. I guess nobody wants her… or maybe the price is too high. I don’t remember what they are asking for her, but it must be too high because she’s still around.
      I will enjoy Betsy and she’s already made herself at home… :o)
      Thanks Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. I had 8″ Betsy McCalls when I was young also. I still have mine but they are very well loved. I remember making furniture for them from boxes covered in fabric. I had an area under the stairs going to the basement where I played. I finally got a set of wooden furniture. It was unusual furniture and light wood tone and orange. Sure wish I still had it. Surprised I can remember this in my old age!

    • HI Marsha,
      Cindy and I were trying to remember everything we could about our Betsy dolls, but we just don’t remember much. I can’t even ever remember playing with her. It’s kind of strange that we both are drawing blanks on her. But at least I know we DID have one!
      I used to do the same thing with shoe boxes as you did… turn the bottom upside down, poke pencils in the 4 corners , add the lid to the top and turn it into a canopy bed… is that what you did?
      You’re not old! :o)
      Thanks Marsha,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Oh, your photos make little Betsy look so sweet! Want her back! Just Kidding! I have another one with a slightly different hair style. Glad she has a new home.
    Love your Xmas photo. What fun. My tiny Betsy is definitely older but the same concept. I am going to have to dig her out of the storage box and take a look.
    Great getting some tips on where to find underthings for dollies, and I must locate the broccoli cheese casserole recipe. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week!

    • Thank you JOY!
      This has been so much fun sharing Betsy with everyone today! I have really enjoyed it and it caused me to find that photo that I don’t ever remember seeing. My sister enjoyed it too!
      I think Betsy will fit right in with my Effner girls. She’s ready to see what I’m going to make her. I told her she might have to wait… I’m working on other things right now… but I’m sure she’ll be patient… she has that patient look!
      No, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. I am totally not ready for it. I better get on the ball and quick like!
      Thank you again Joy! Your kindness came at a really wonderful time… who wouldn’t be lifted up by a new dolly?
      Blessings to you,

  9. So sweet!

  10. Hi Jeanne
    What fun another new dolly for you, that makes three in a month me thinks…. im jealous! lol … Joy that was so sweet of you!
    Jeanne I love the Christmas dresses. can’t wait to see them finished
    Have a good evening

    • HI Ingrid,
      I have gotten 3 new dolls recently… Willa, Nahji and now Betsy.. Me thinks someone needs to find a new home… I’m debating about who that might be… I only have so much room on my dolly shelf…
      I can’t wait to see the dresses finished either…but my hubby wanted to see the porch project finished today… we did get it done and primed… now we just need to get some exterior white paint for the top coat.
      So… it’s now 6:15 in the evening and I haven’t been in my Sewing Studio all day. I better get in there ASAP!
      Thanks Ingrid,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Betsy is absolutely adorable. I love her impish expression. It looks as if she’s hiding a secret to me. When you get those Little Darling dresses made I would love to see the green and red ones on Betsy as well. I think they would complement her coloring perfectly.

    • HI Laura,
      I think I’ll be trying those dresses on all the girls… and Betsy too. I hope the dresses don’t look too short on her… as her body is longer than the Little Darlings. If this dress is, I’ll have to work at tweaking my pattern to make it work for both kinds of dolls.
      Thanks for your thoughts Laura,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. How sweet of Joy to send you the Betsy doll. Her wig is so nice, and it’s awesome that she wears the same size clothes and shoes as the Little Darlings. No worries on forgetting to mail my prize–it’s very generous of you to provide a prize for the contest, and I’m not in a rush!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, it truly was sweet of Joy to send Betsy to me and it is so great that both dolls can share things. I really didn’t need a doll who needed different shoes and dresses…
      I hope you’ll like your prize. I’ll show everyone else after you get it…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Anne Johnson says:

    What a wonderful surprise, Jeanne! Joy’s name suits her very well, as she has brought you so much joy with this gift. Bless her for her thoughtfulness and generosity!

    Betsy is a sweet little pixie. Your girls must be so excited to welcome her to the group; they have so many little friends and playmates now. Didn’t you “adopt” a couple of other dolls this year besides your three recent new ones? Trixie and…….? I think the doll shelf is like a mother’s heart — always room to love one more!

    So glad you found the picture of you and Cindy with your Betsy dolls. You two are as cute as can be in your PJs. Even at that tender age, I can see a resemblance between you and the little girl in “Afternoon Chores” (the Jessie Wilcox Smith illustration on your blog). I hope the picture brought back fond memories for you and your sister of your time in Italy. Wouldn’t it be FUN if all the blog ladies could share a childhood picture of themselves and their dollies?!

    I stopped at Home Goods to make a return after my physical therapy appointment today, and I saw that they had many different Our Generation Dolls for $24.99, as well as some lovely furniture and accessories for them. Wanted to pass that along in case anyone is looking to buy an OG doll for themselves or a grandchild. They had many American Girl craft kits, too.

    Glad you could help George on the porch project today, as winter is around the corner! Congrats on your detective skills, Jeanne, and enjoy your sweet new dolly. We’ll look forward to some Jeanne Marie Originals for Betsy.

    • Hi Anne,
      Joy’s name certainly fits her!!! I am truly blessed and so is Betsy…she’s enjoying herself with my Effner girls.
      I have gotten a few new dolls this year…Trixie, Addy, Willa, Nahji and now Betsy.
      It really would be fun if we all had “dolly and me” pictures when we were younger.
      We got more done than I thought we would. There is about a 14′ section that goes over my sewing room windows that he said we’d have to wait on…but the entire porch is finished and that was our main goal. Now it just needs to have a top coat of a good exterior paint.
      Thank you Anne,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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