Angela’s Holly Hobby Sewing Machine 1970s, Palmerstown

” I loved this little sewing machine. Our mam, in those days, made a lot of our clothes and the machine reminded me of the Singer one that she used.

We usually had special outfits made for us at Christmas and Easter by mam. It was more economical to make clothes than to buy them in the 70s and 80s, and I remember shopping for fabric in Hickeys on Henry St, Dublin. There were often plenty of scraps of material left over over for Sindy and Teddy clothes. Often I just made up the pattern myself, drawing it onto spare pieces of paper. Of course there were also patterns available for doll clothes and one time I sewed a lovely bridal dress for my Sindy. I was very happy with the result, but there was just one little problem. I had been a little impatient with the finishing touches which required hand-sewing, and in the end I sewed the dress onto the doll, instead of adding the buttons as per the pattern. So Sindy remained permanently a bride!

As I grew older I graduated to the Singer sewing machine, and made clothes for myself with varying degrees of success. I thought that clothes from the shops seemed cooler. ..Little did I know!”

Angela Finegan

Durham Industries INC, New York. Item no. 5825. Made in Hong Kong. Americian Greetings Corporation. Durham Industries INC. 1976.

Instruction leaflet.

The Chad Valley Co. Ltd. 234/236 Bradford Street, Birmingham B12 OPP. Printed in Hong Kong.

About Holly Hobbie Holly Hobbie was an artist who specialised in drawing greetings cards. She worked for the American Greetings Card Company. Her name was used for one of the characters she drew, which was then made into a doll. 

During the 1960s and 70s,  people were  intrigued by Hollie Hobbie’s designs which featured a girl dressed in a long patchwork dress and pinafore, and wearing a large floppy bonnet obscuring her face. The fashion of the day was for long, freeform, ‘prairie’ style dresses featuring small prints, (Laura Ashley) and the Holly Hobbie doll fitted in well with the trend.