I was as girly as my boy is boy-y


I found this book on paperdolls last week at the library. I brought it home thinking it’d be a great resource for doll clothes designs. What I didn’t expect was that it’d be a fast track flashback to the mid 70s. Playing paperdolls was one of my favorite activities when I was a girl but I didn’t realize how deeply etched into my brain they were until I saw this catalog of paperdolls. I could immediately identify which sets I had and then specific outfits started coming back to me. Such fun! It’s all I can do to keep myself from running over to ebay to recreate my paperdoll collection. Actually if I was going to recreate I might veer a little from what my mom always bought me. For example I had these


but maybe this time around I’d get these!


that’s not to say I didn’t have my share of barbies, I had this ballerina barbie set


but we had more of Barbie’s friends than the superstar herself. Like Dusty, the Sabrina-esque sidekick


What we had the most of were the Gingham Girls. I think we had all of these.


So I guess I’m a Holly Hobbie type of gal on the outside but deep down I want to have shiny shiny curls….


27 thoughts on “I was as girly as my boy is boy-y

  1. Danwei says:

    Oh paperdolls! I used to love those, even though the clothes kept falling off. Part of the fun was cutting out the things. I remember having the Gingham Girls paperdolls ๐Ÿ™‚ I had tons but gave them all away… But I still have a collection of the paperdolls I made myself and I’m not going to give away them ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. amy k. says:

    oh! so great to see these. I had some paper dolls, but not a ton, I was REALLY into fashion plates and did those a lot more. i also had problems with the tabs tearing off the paper doll clothes.

  3. julia says:

    every week during my tenth year, when I got my allowance I walked the four shady blocks to the little shopping center where the pharmacy and the grocer were. I would buy a candy bar, some hair accoutrement or other, and, when I had amassed enough change (usually every third week or so, I got a new box of Ginghams. I loved them. I recently got a few boxes on ebay for old time’s sake. My best friend and I had elaborate stories for all the girls โ€“ their personalities, the dramas of their relationships, etc. We cut out food from magazines, constructed paper scenes and our own costumes. Playing with paper dolls was the most fun I had with any toys, growing up.

  4. Julia says:

    I too had the trouble of the tabs keeping the clothes on, but I diligently folded them back over every time! My mother used me as an excuse to buy paperdoll books, so I had really fancy ones like Vivian Leigh and all her costumes from her movies. I wasn’t allowed to cut them out (per mom’s orders) for awhile, but then she gave in!

  5. kathleen says:

    i loved the ginghams and whenever i ask girls my age about them they seem to have no idea! i finally feel like i’m not crazy…
    by the way, i love your blog… i hope you dont mind but i’ve subscribed to it on bloglines!

  6. Dawn says:

    My daughters had these (hmmmm…what did I do with that huge box???) and I think there may be a fashion plates kicking around in the house somewhere…I may have given it to my granddaughter.
    I realize that most of your posters are not as *OLD* as I am…but in case there are some older lurkers— My favorites were the Betsy McCall paperdolls that were published in the McCall’s magazine every month. Couldn’t wait for that magazine to arrive….my friends and I would play for hours on end with our collections of Betsy.
    Thanks for stirring the memories!

  7. Beth says:

    I had the Ginghams too! Actually, I had one, my sister had another and our next door neighbor had a third. We used to set them all up together to play.
    They did not survive our childhood, but I found all of the sets in a dollar store a few years ago and snapped ’em up!

  8. jess hutch says:

    Ginghams! I had those too… weird that I had completely forgotten about them. Must have been during my Little House on the Prairie phase. Oh wait, I’m still in my Little House on the Prairie phase.

  9. Katie says:

    What a walk down memory lane! I had forgotten that we had all of those. Hillary, do you remember my Princess Diana paper doll book? You might have outgrown them by the time I got that one. It had all of her ball gowns, riding outfits, dress and matching hat outfits, and the wedding dress!

  10. hannah says:

    oh my god, fashion plates! i had those! you mean the ones where you place the three parts of the body and then put a piece of paper over it and made a rubbing??? i wonder if my mom still has those…

  11. Kitty Jimjams says:

    I’d just like to join in and say I had a hand-me-down gingham girls set too – you wouldn’t have thought paper dolls would stand up to much playing, but me and my three (much older) sisters were *so* careful with them they lasted for decades!
    I’d completely forgotten, too, until I saw your post. Thank you!

  12. roo says:

    Did any of you have the Godey Lady Doll paper dolls? I loved them so much. I’d practice drawing all the outfits, and then see what they looked like with different color schemes or decorations…
    And fashion plates were wonderful, though I was annoyed at how smudgy the crayon could be.

  13. Anna says:

    I had Ginghams too, Katies Ice Cream Parlour and Carries bedroom, I used to play with them for hours and they are still in brilliant condition 30 years later. I loved them and I only got them out again today to help my daughter with her homework (she has to make a paper doll). I have 2 holly hobbie 100 pc jigsaws too, very well loved they were!

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