You get a new outfit, and you wander over to Hilary’s Cabbage Patch Clothes Closet to see if it’s already been recorded. You look at the spreadsheet. Yep! The red and white gingham dress is already there.
But wait! You’ve only looked at the description. You still need to check the factory! What if the one you have was made by a different factory? This is important!
“But why?”, you ask. Well, this is why.
I have four swing dresses that look almost identical but were all made by different factories and use three different clothing codes. How can I record all of the outfits if I don’t know how many factories made each outfit?
The WW and SS factory dresses are 1Q.
The PMI dress is 1S.
The P dress is 1G.
I have noted in the past that letters P, Q, and R have the primary factory SS and tend to replicate previous letters in pattern/style/colour. In this case, the swing dress PMI letters S and T have as many as six different patterns/looks for only two letters. It’s a mess! To learn more about the multiple PMI dresses, visit PTP: An abundance of patterns – PMI swing dresses.
This may explain why they all look almost the same, but more importantly, how do you tell them apart?
- The lace on the sleeves of the PMI dress is gathered. None of the other versions have this.
- The PMI dress is sewn with red thread (to match the dress). The others are all done with white thread.
- The SS dress has elastic in the sleeves. The others don’t.
- The fabric of the collar of the WW dress is lighter, not as heavy/thick as the other three.
- The width, fabric weight, and shade of red of the ribbons vary by factory, although this may also be fabric lot variability.
- How wide the lace at the sleeves is varies by the factory.
- The WW dress has a Taiwanese silk label. The others are China factories.
By knowing the factory of the dress, you can determine if it’s potentially original to the doll and/or what factory the doll may be.
The Mystery Dress
I have a 5th dress, but this one is different from the others. I can’t remember where I got it from, and for some reason, I had originally labelled it WS. Based on the Velcro, I would label it WS. However, it has no tag. It doesn’t look like a tag was ever removed.
Is it a factory fluke? Is it handmade? Is it an aftermarket copy? Is there some other explanation?
Although very similar to the others, it has some significant differences too.
For the most part, it is the same size, pattern, and fabric. It even has a silk label, but . . .
- The silk tag looks odd, not like any of the others.
- The collar isn’t white, it’s the dress’s gingham pattern.
- The ribbon is made of actual ribbon, not fabric.
- There is no ‘flap’ of fabric at the V of the collar.
- The sleeves have elastic (similar to the SS dress, but unlike any of the others).
- The sewing was done by machine, but the finishing is slightly different from all the others.
I believe this to be an amazing handmade replica of a classic Swing Dress. What do you think?