As a recent project we took a couple of 10” Patty O'Green dolls and decided to show you how to restore and clean them.
The two dolls we have are in different conditions.
One Patty has been exposed to air and dust for over 15 years, and has a gruesomely stained dress. Another Patty has loose hair, but a good dress. We are going to start with cleaning our dolls then restoring them.
Patty O'Green #1: Her dress and backside, as well as her body is very stained. The white satin ribbons and accents on her dress and boots has yellowed. Her hair however does have it's original hair ties. The tied themselves are stretched, but keeping an original hair tie is a request of many fans so we won't remove them. She doesn't have her hair ribbons though, so they will need to be replaced.
Patty O'Green #2: has a good dress and body, but has loose hair.
Because Patty's body and clothing are made out of different materials, we have to keep those materials in mind when cleaning her or you could damage the fabric.
For example: Patty's dress is metallic lame, white satin, and green nylon. Warm or hot water could be damaging to the nylon, so cold water would be best. It will also take a long time to clean because we have to be patient with the fabric while cleaning.
What we will need:
- 2 tablespoons of Wool wash
- 4 cups of cold water
- 1 white pillowcase
- 1 rubber band
First thing we need to do is remove the yellow from her body and her dress. Remove the dress from the doll. Taking cold water and wool wash, we make two bowls of solution.
Submerge the doll into one bowl and let her soak for an hour. Depending on how stained she is, you may need to let her soak longer. Rub any stained spots with the solution gently, do not scrub the satin parts because that can fray the material.
In the second bowl of solution put the dress in it. Let is sit for five minutes, then rub the stained areas with the cold water solution. Squeeze, but do not wring the dress in the water. Allow to soak for another 30 minutes before again, rubbing the fabric, gently with your fingers.
After an hour has past, squeeze, but do not wring the doll's body out. If the doll's body is not clean from a spot cleaning they will most likely need a run in the washer. For Patty, you want to try and avoid this. Her sleeve accents match her dress which are a metallic lame, and this can rub off while in the washer. But, if you do not mind this and want your doll clean, this is how you will need to prep her a run in the washer.
First you want to wrap her up. If left loose the dolls stuffing can shift to the hands, feet, or clump unevenly. You do not want this, because the doll will be more of a “rag” doll. You need to wrap the dolls limbs towards it's center. Carefully wrap the dolls arms to it's chest, and lift it's legs over it. Put the doll inside a pillowcase and either knot the case or wrap a rubber hand around the case at the base of the doll. The goal here is to wrap the doll up as tightly as possible so that it's stuffing doesn't shift around.
After your doll is soaked, then wrapped up, put it into the washer, on a cold gentle cycle.
With your doll taking a rinse in the washer, remove your doll dress from it's soak and rinse it in cold water and lay out to dry.
Once all washing is done, allow the doll and the dress to dry over night.
After you are sure doll and dress are dry, it's time to dress and fix the doll.
Look over Patty's face. This particular doll has some white paint and dirty spots. We will need to remove this. Using part of an erasure block (Mr Clean Magic Erasure, or similar product), wet the corner and rub the marks you want to remove. Be careful, this will remove the marks, but if you rub too hard you could remove the face paint too.
Now the face is clean, look over your doll. Does she have any linted areas? The yarn in her hair may have some lint balls, and in this case her hand did also. With a pair of small scissors carefully cut the balls away. You have to be careful not to cut the hair or fabric of the hands while doing this.
Also, use tweezers or your fingers to remove any lint from the Velcro in her right hand.
As you can tell, these braids are loose from age, but since we aren't replacing the ties, we won't re-braid them. However will will re-ribbon them. But since we are doing two Patty dolls, we will show you have to re-braid hair from our second doll, then show you how to ribbon them both.
For our second Patty, her hair is already loose, so we will dress and re-braid her hair.
You will need the following to fix her hair
- 4 5inch cut elastic cord.
- 2 11inch ¼ width greed ribbons
First fold the cord together and knot the end.
Then we will need to part her hair. All the dolls were given a natural part in their hair, so you need to find this part in the middle of the head. Once you have found it, slowly part and straighten the hair out.
Pull once side of the parted hair up high on her head. The pigtails on the Patty O'Green dolls are located on the very top of her head right next to the parts. Once you have found this place, you will need to smooth the yarn hair out so that it lays flat and even all the way around. Then wrap your fingers around where the tie will be and wrap the knotted tie around the hair.
It should wrap around twice, if not 3 times depending on how stretchy your elastic tie is.
Once you have both pigtails tied, divide the hair in to 3 sections and braid tightly.
Do not be afraid to pull it tight. Once you have it near the end, tie the end of the braid with another elastic tie. You should now have 2 braids which stick straight up. This is normal.
Now we will need to tie ribbons to the hair.
How to tie the hair ribbons:
To tie the ribbon it's best to tie them upside down. Have the Patty doll laying with her head toward you.
Wrap the green ribbon around the hair tie at the base of the braid.
Do this for both braids, then turn the doll right side up.
Here are both of our Patty O'Green dolls. Cleaned and fully dressed.