Meet Our Advertisers #4: Penny at Antique Dollhouse of Patterns

by Erin on June 26, 2008


McCalls_5898

Here is the fourth in our continuing series of "Meet Our Advertisers": Penny from Antique Dollhouse of Patterns!

How long have you been in business?

THE YEAR 2000! I did not have one pattern or antique doll before the year
2000! My life was uncomplicated before 2000!

What motivated you to go into the vintage patterns (and dolls!) business?

I love dolls (a latent passion) and was in WalMart in the summer of 2000 in
Hood River visiting, and the salesclerk told me about the Barbie doll
patterns and how they were destroyed after 6 months … they then became
collectible. I was hooked and started collecting from that moment on.
Over 100,000 patterns in stock today …

What did you do before this?

I was a secretary for the Government, for the Railways, and I volunteered with the Lions Clubs.

Where are you based?

Fort MacLeod, Southern Alberta, Canada, the first town in Alberta.

More fun questions:

What's the weirdest/best/craziest/most beautiful thing you've ever found?

When I first started on Ebay, I was in a secondhand shop on Vancouver
Island and loved this little blue vase for 10 cents … One of the first
items I listed, and no camera at that time! That little blue vase, I found
out, was one of only 4 in the world made in that color, 4 in green, in yellow and in pink. The new owner was sure one happy customer, he built a case for it and drove down personally hundreds of miles to pick this little vase up. He paid $22. That is what it went on Ebay for with no picture …

What do you have in stock that you can't believe hasn't sold?

My Marilyn Monroe and Elvis costume sewing patterns … doesn't everyone love Marilyn and Elvis?

What do you dream about finding?

A warehouse or Quonset hut to put all these patterns and antique dolls and
costumes and vintage hats and belt buckles, toys, stuffed animals, vintage
jewelry, 18 pattern file cabinets, 100,000 patterns, all my collectibles
all under one roof … Now that would be organization!

What do you enjoy most about working with patterns?
Historic value … and because it is a link with my mother's memory. She
has rapidly declined in the memory area at 85 and it is hard to visit a
parent daily in a nursing home at times. We count pattern pieces together, and many patterns trigger a memory. "Your aunt Nina made that outfit for you when you were three … This is the 1950 coat and hat set pattern … I wore that 1940s two piece peplum suit when I married your dad …" And on and on.. It passes the time while we are visiting. I am sure all mothers at one time sewed to survive. This is our link. I yell out the numbers or the letters and Mom ticks them off on the pattern sheet. And my world is fine when I see that wobbly OK on the back of the envelope.

What do you wish someone would ask you about your site?
"Did you do this all yourself?" Yes, I typed every word, even had to do those 15,000 items twice over, and I set up the website twice over. I love
typing!!!!

It's a good day at work when …
The piles of patterns are lessened, when I receive a gorgeous antique doll
in the mail and she is in perfect condition!!! And it is a good day when I
can go through a whole day and someone is not wearing perfume! I am so
allergic to perfume!!

If I ran the internet for a day I'd …
Promote healthy living, living off the earth, being so positive and so
happy. I was born happy and positive and cannot imagine life without
laughter …

The blogs I read (other than A Dress A Day) are …
Marty North, Greenfield Park, Quebec, Canada, area near where I grew up in, and Chambly County High School, and Classmates.com, too. Erin you are the only blog I read about regarding fashion because you are the Fashion Queen!!!

You'd laugh if you knew this about me …
I walk funny (they say) — people can spot me blocks away from my
walk. And I am psychic … my mother, grandmother and myself are born
tealeaf readers (I am now retired).

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

the_lazymilliner June 26, 2008 at 9:07 am

I love the story about Penny’s mom. It’s so sweet.

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Becky O. June 26, 2008 at 9:20 am

Lovely interview.. I can tell that Penny was smiling the entire time she was writing. … and I was smiling too!Thanks Erin and Penny.

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AliceM June 26, 2008 at 9:37 am

What a terrific interview. It’s a great idea to let your readers know more about the amazing folks who find and save these great old patterns. (I think that we’d all secretly like to be one ourselves!)Thanks,AliceM

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Anonymous June 26, 2008 at 10:03 am

Best so far! (No offense to the other ladies, they were cool too.) Also, the fact that she can laugh about selling an incredibly rare vase speaks volumes about her.Liz from Brooklyn

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What-I-Found June 26, 2008 at 10:38 am

100,000100,000100,000Gotta keep saying it over and over till it sinks in.Tina – bowing down

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Eirlys June 26, 2008 at 11:41 am

Great interviews! Keep ‘em coming. I’m also going into linktastic withdrawal, though. Now, is Brown Dress saying “Look! I can hopscotch without looking down!” while Yellow Dress says “Whatever.”?

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Rebecca June 26, 2008 at 12:25 pm

My mom is still in pretty good health (should be, she’s only 70) but my life has been so different from hers that we don’t always have very much to talk about. But sewing is one of the things that works.

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Dr. Julie-Ann June 26, 2008 at 5:57 pm

This interview was sooo sweet! Thank you!

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Jen ~ MOMSPatterns June 26, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Lovely to blog-meet you!

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Anita (Penny) Hodgson June 26, 2008 at 8:56 pm

and thank you Jen, and all the other wonderful pattern sellers here, good to blog meet you too!!!! and thank you everyone for the comments and Erin for featuring my site. I love what I am doing and afraid I have a compulsive personality, I never stop collecting patterns and never stop listing, lol!!!! Long weekend in Canada here, July 1st coming up so all who will be enjoying a well deserved long weekend, stay safe… Penny

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Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library June 27, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I love this interview, especially when you talked about counting pieces with your mom. Patterns really ARE a link to the past!And hubby says I walk like a duck, so you’re not alone in the funny walk! My kids got my weird walk, too.

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Kath September 11, 2008 at 12:23 am

Penny is my friend and such a sweet gal she is. I met her thru ebay a few years ago now buying patterns of course as I love to SEW and anytime I see patterns at a great deal i email Penny and tell her the good news. She always loves to get those patterns- LOLShe is quite the gal and you would love her if you met her!!!Love the interview here PennyHugs from your friend Kathy

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tuesdayrobinson January 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Quick! Someone tell me what pattern this is!

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Erin January 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

It’s McCalls 5898 :-)

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