I've been reading more than stitching the last few days. I've decided I'm doing research and idea icubation, which is vital to the creative process. Otherwise I'd have to admit to being lazy, and I'm not ready to concede that point.
I got a huge lot of old doll magazines on eBay (Dolls, Doll Reader, Doll Collector, Costuming and Crafting...), and I've had the greatest time going through them. The issues prior to ~1999-2000, especially the ads, seemed ancient, because there's no internet info--no websites or emails, just mailing addresses, and coupons to fill out and send in, and phone #s. OMG HOW DID WE LIVE LIKE THAT?!?
The biggest difference, though, is in the dolls: they're primarily porcelain, elaborately costumed cabinet dolls. Vinyl is seldom seen, and resin is absolutely nowhere in sight. The creative explosion that occurred a few years later isn't in evidence. I have yet to find patterns or how-tos or creative encouragement in anything other than Soft Dolls & Animals and Doll Crafter. I found a couple of articles in older Dolls that almost apologize for changing any doll in any way.
Doll Reader used to be massive, comparatively speaking, three to four times thicker than today's issues, but a lot of the bulk is in print ads that are 4 or 5 pages in some spreads--no websites meant that the stores had to get most of their stock in print. There's a lot more discussion of antique dolls, though, which is fascinating. I just got a resin Bleuette, am trying to get my hands on a good Hitty, and have four or five compo play dolls that belonged to Ann--these last aren't exactly antique, but I want to take good care of them.
I'm getting a lot of great ideas for doll outfits, though, esp. older styles. I'm resolutely a casual dresser, in extremis for myself (I live in sweatpants. Anyone surprised?), and for my dolls--I dress them in everyday clothes that are well-made (usually by me) and would be comfortable on them if they were alive. Really elaborate costuming doesn't do much for me, and I'll probably never bother to design a wedding gown. Unless it's denim. Or feedsack. Burlap?
Hitty Her First Hundred Years