In the story of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, as well as in other Scandinavian folk tales, it was dangerous to cross bridges because trolls lived under them.
Well, you may not know this, but trolls also live in large cardboard boxes marked “troll houses, trolls and other items from 1960’s-70’s”!You may remember that in “Second Childhood”, I mentioned that some of my first sewing projects were doll clothes. Troll clothes, to be a little more specific. In a visit to my mom’s this week I decided to take out the troll clothes my sister and I had made in the 1960s. Why do we still have them? Collector’s items, yeah, that’s it…In “Second Childhood” I described how we used to take small rectangles of fabric and cut armholes in them to make clothes for our troll dolls. I fully expected to find a lot of this type of outfit in the plastic bag marked “Doll Clothes, etc.” But I had forgotten how elaborate these troll clothes actually were! So what followed next was a “troll fashion show”.When I picked up this one, which I remembered was my favorite, it was already wearing this stylish polyester pants suit……which upon further investigation turned out to be quite intricately crafted.Apparently at one point we labeled the trolls for future reference. This one has a piece of brittle masking tape on the back that says “Deb”.I think this is my favorite outfit. I have no clue which of us made what, or if they were joint efforts. (As in a “Hey, let’s use this for the collar!” or “You do the buttons, I’ll do the snaps” type of thing.)This outfit has those kind of snaps that you have to hammer into the fabric. The thought just this minute occurred to me: someone let us have a hammer in our bedroom? Or did we ask Daddy to do it for us? (You might also note, this doll is also labeled “Deb”…)
Here you see the photos entitled “Pink Dress” and “Back of Pink Dress.” A simple, classic design that can be worn for a variety of occasions.You guessed it! This photo is called “Blue Dress”. You can see here we were getting a little more advanced with the sleeves. This one even has side seams.
This troll is wearing an elegant blue paisley wrap around dress. It took me a minute to figure out why there were three arm holes. I don’t remember if it’s supposed to close in the back or the front. (Since my sister doesn’t like paisleys, I can only assume I made this one!)When I saw this one I thought it must surely be a “reject”, something we started but never finished. But then it occurred to me…An off-the-shoulder evening gown!
Since our mom made a lot of our dresses, we had no shortage of fabric scraps and trim to work with. We even had access to iron-on tape with which we made appliques, as seen in the circular dress below.Maybe it’s just me, but I think this picture looks like a face with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.Apparently we had also learned the concept of gathers. If you look closely you can see the matching polka dot inset in the front of the shirt.This outfit features vintage buttons in back and a black velvety corsage in the front.
Speaking of buttons, this coat was obviously not for a troll doll, but it has set-in sleeves and iron-on tape inside to reinforce the button holes. Below are a few more outfits being modeled by a variety of trolls.
In case they ever wanted to have a slumber party, or go camping, our trolls also had blankets, quilts, and actual stuffed pillows!
Just when I might have begun to think we had taken the making of troll clothes a bit too far, I came across this tiny troll with no hair, wearing a green outfit no bigger than a quarter! I don’t know which is more amazing, the idea that we made something like that or the idea that we we still have it.
So next time you are crossing a footbridge, keep an eye out for trolls…
Just don’t be offended if they are better dressed than you!