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Souvenir Outfits from Sasha Festivals
1983-2015

By Susanna Lewis

 
   The Sasha Festival is a yearly event, a gathering of Sashaphiles from around the world. Its purpose is to allow collectors to know each other and become friends. It is also to celebrate our love of the doll and the ideals it represents, all instituted by the doll's creator, Sasha Morgenthaler. Usually the festival is held somewhere in the USA, and twice has been held in the UK. Because Sashaphiles are not formally organized, the sponsorship of the yearly festival is volunteered by someone who feels up to the task, and fortunately, every year someone volunteers to host the festival. The first Sasha festival was in 1983, and has been held every year since.
   The earliest festivals, 1983 to 1991, were simpler affairs than today's festivals. They were one or two days, and did not have souvenir outfits, or a charity auction, but they did have exhibits and a sales room. There was a theme, so that participants could fashion a special outfit for their doll to wear to the festival and be exhibited (eventually morphed into the Dress-A-Sasha contest). There were also souvenirs, donated by businesses like publishers and importers, but not special handmade souvenirs like we have today. The time was spent with workshops and speakers on special subjects relating to the dolls, sometimes a field trip to a nearby place of interest, eating good food, and conversing - lots of conversing! 
   Over the years the festival has evolved to three days duration, and includes a journal filled with special articles, clothing patterns,  paperdolls, and other useful subjects related to the festival theme.  There is the Children's Fund Auction, where the proceeds of special items created by the participants, are donated to children's charities. The Dress-A-Sasha contest allows participants to show off their talents creating clothing and settings for their Sashas. Then there is the festival souvenir, usually an outfit relating to the festival's theme, and that is the subject of this exhibit.
   The first handmade festival souvenir was in 1991, Keuka Park NY, “Children of All the World.” It was the Eskimo girl’s outfit pictured further on. Since 1991, every festival has had a special souvenir, often more than one. Usually it is an outfit, and sometimes there will be a workshop during the festival where at least one part of the outfit is made by the participant. There have been two festivals, 1992 and 1993, where the souvenir was Sasha-sized accessories and toys, not an outfit, and they are pictured below. Although the first festivals did not have souvenir outfits, there were Sasha-size T-shirts made up with the festival logo or wording on it, to sell at the festival. No one could know at the time, that in the future these little T-shirts would become important icons of the first festivals. I do not have a complete set of nine in my collection, but the six I do have are pictured just below.
   All the souvenir outfits from the beginning in 1991, through 2015, are pictured in this exhibit. They are not in chronological order, but are grouped by subject. A number of festivals had more than one souvenir outfit, with different subjects, so you are going to find the same festival listed in different subjects accordingly.


The Current Exhibit Is:

Souvenir Outfits
from
Sasha Festivals
1983-2015

Updated: June 25, 2016



 

Details about identification and dating can be found in our book, Sasha Dolls: Serie Identification. Information and ordering is at this website on the Sales page.
Photographs and text © Susanna Lewis 2016.

Early Festival T-shirts, 1983 - 1991
The earliest festivals did not have formal souvenir outfits like we have today. But there was always someone at the festival, probably the host, who had little T-shirts made up that attendees could purchase in the sales room as a souvenir of the good time at the festival. There are nine altogether, one each year, the six in my collection are pictured here, left to right:
1983, “Sasha Gets Creative,” Rochester NH, hosted by Ann Chandler Barden, not pictured.
1984, “Emphasis on Götz,” Portsmouth NH, hosted by Ann Chandler Barden.
1985, “Sasha Around the World,” Rochester NH, hosted by Ann Chandler Barden, not pictured.
1986, “Sasha Holidays,” New Glouster ME, hosted by Barbara Farwell and Debi Martell, not pictured.
1987, “Sasha Goes to the Circus,” Laconia NH, hosted by Denise Ortakales and Cecile St. Gelais.
1988, “Sasha Loves Fairy Tales,” Kennebunkport ME, hosted by Roz Magnuson.
1989, “Sasha Visits Colonial America,” Richmond VA, hosted by Frances Broaddus, Florence Gadol, Betsy Jane Allen.
1990, “Children of the West: 1849,” Mesa AZ, hosted by Nancy Hoel.
1991, “Children of All the World,” Keuka Park NY, hosted by Dorisanne and Charlie Osborn.


Two festivals, 1992 and 1993, did not have outfits as souvenirs, instead, they are handcrafted toys. The baby and toddler are included in the photo to show scale.

Sasha at Play, 1992, Laconia NH, hosted by Denise Ortakales.
The toy chest in the background is beautifully crafted from red cedar by Tony Ortakales and modelled after an antique chest in the Ortakales family. The Sasha baby is holding a topsy-turvy doll, one face awake and one sleeping, made by Marilyn McPheron and included in the toy chest. A few more manufactured toys were also included.

Sasha’s 100th Birthday, 1993, Somerset NJ, hosted by Sherry and John Foggan.
Sherry Foggan made a birthday cake for Sasha, pictured in the center between the two dolls. It is a white felt covered music box on a turntable, decorated with ribbon roses. Also included is a mini Tier Quartet card set, next to the baby with some of the cards spread out on the floor. One more wonderful souvenir is the Sasha pin worn by the toddler. It is a faithful reproduction of the logo, beautifully made in glass enamels.

A few more handcrafted toys from other festivals are kept in my toy chest. The toddler holds a walnut bundle baby, made by Nancy Clem for the 1998 festival “Riverboat Days” in Cincinnati OH, and next to her is the Seminole doll made by Libby Shea for the 2004 festival “Everglades Adventure” in Fort Lauderdale FL. On the lid of the toy chest is the wood and canvas sailboat made by Jean Jensen for the 2001 festival “Sasha Goes to SEAttle” in Seattle WA.

19th Century Period Clothing

Left: Sasha Returns to Switzerland, 2010, San Francisco CA, hosted by Jan Johnson. Swiss farm girl outfit of white blouse, long underskirt and overskirt, apron, large kerchief or shawl, socks and handmade leather boots. The cotton fabrics in checks, stripes, plaids and solids, are varied so that each outfit is unique. They were made by Washington state sewers Kathy Weisner, Alison Seamans, Blanche Morris, Sally Christopher, Jean Jensen, Frankie Rice.

Right: Common Threads, 2003, Lowell MA, hosted by Ann Chandler. Mill girl outfit of 1840, made from reproductions of fabrics produced by the Lowell mills in the 19th century. Long dress from nine different printed cotton fabrics, plain white cotton petticoat and drawers, apron of woven striped cotton, fringed shawl of wool/silk blend, handmade leather boots by Jean Jensen. Outfits sewn by Millie Dingham, Karen Furst-Meeks, Susan Lozier, Chris Kading, Shari Sams, Ruth Phipps, Tim Purk, Kathy Weisner, Claire Enloe, Sandra Wessel.

Left and Right: Riverboat Days, 1998, Cincinnati OH, hosted by Kay Cassedy and Anne Votaw. A “Becky Thatcher” outfit  of short sleeve yoke dress with underskirt and pinafore made from reproduction period cottons, no two alike, white cotton lace-trimmed pantaloons and long white socks, all made by Mary Workman. The doll on the right wears the red leather shoes and Pam bonnet made in workshops during the festival. The bonnet and boots on the left doll are my additions.

Center: Return to Childhood, 2013, Cincinnati OH, hosted by Heidi Wheeler. Traditional yoke style Sasha dress made from recycled men’s dress shirts in stripes and plaids, no two alike. Petticoat and drawers of new print or stripe fabric, plain white knee socks. These were made by Kathy Weisner and her crew, and black leather ankle-strap shoes by Jean Jensen and Frankie Rice. The sunbonnet is my addition.

Spring Dresses

Left: Cowboys and Culture, 2015, Fort Worth TX, hosted by Brenda Myers. A beautifully crafted dress of white organdy with full slip of white batiste, with a blue ribbon insertion at the waist and hand-embroidered Texas Bluebonnet flower on the bodice. Both fabrics are Swiss, decorated with French laces, and they were made by Lynn Blanchard. The Bluebonnet hair ornament, shoes and tights are my additions.

Right: Passage to America, 2006, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer. White gossamer dress with matching drawers, of fine Irish linen with French cotton lace, designed by Laura Lindberg with fabric and laces from her personal stash, and sewn with help from Millie Dingham and Lynn Blanchard. Handknitted lace-patterned silky stockings made in Belgium, black leather court shoes made by Laura Lindberg. The floral wreath was made in a workshop at the festival.

Sasha, A Modern Groovy Girl, 2014, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Marti Murphy. Sleeveless dresses for baby or toddler, made from vintage fabrics such as table linens or tea towels, featuring decorative embroidery. These were made by Marti Murphy and her sewing crew. Because they are vintage fabrics, no two dresses are alike. Plain white underpants included. Shoes and socks on both dolls are my additions.

Left: Pieces of Time, 2011, Springfield IL, hosted by Charla Neal. Edwardian style dress with pintucked yoke, puffed sleeves, drop waist and ribbon sash, made in several different small-flower prints in soft colors. These were made by Karen Warnaka and her team of sewers. The dress is accessorized by white tights, straw hat, and black leather shoes made by Lisa Hartley (UK).

Center: Return to Childhood, 2013, Cincinnati OH, hosted by Heidi Wheeler. Smocked dress with short sleeves, waist sash, and peter-pan collar in a variety of pastel colors, with matching lace-trimmed full slip and panties, all made by Millie Dingham. Each dress has a unique smocking pattern. Lace-trimmed ankle socks and black patent leather shoes by Lisa Hartley (UK). The handknit lace hat is my addition.

 Right: Sasha Visits the Genesee Valley, 2009, Rochester NY, hosted by Sheila Foery. White cotton dress with matching panties, with smocked yoke and stitched trim in lilac, made by Dottie Daily and her sewing team, handknit lilac cardigan made by Freda Ainslie (UK), ankle socks, and handmade lilac leather ankle-strap shoes by Jean Jensen. The lilac straw hat was decorated in a workshop during the festival.

Sasha Through the Looking Glass, 2000, Huddersfield UK, hosted by Marie Morgan. Spring outfit of “London” print dress in several different floral cotton fabrics, gray Yorkshire wool coat lined with the same fabric as the dress,  white pinafore with Swiss embroidered ruffles, white panties and ankle socks, black hat, shoes, and a little purse containing a bright new copper penny. One more very important souvenir from this festival is a twenty-minute video, produced by Brenda Walton and Marie Morgan, titled, “English Sashas, the early years 1965-75.” It documents the dolls and their production during these years.

Native Americans

Children of All The World, 1991, Keuka Park NY, hosted by Dorisanne Osborn. This was the first year that a special outfit was made as a souvenir of the festival, an Eskimo girl’s costume. They were designed and made by Denise Ortakales. The boy’s costume was offered as a pattern in the festival journal and Denise made a few to sell as special orders. The girl’s parka is made of quilted printed cotton in blue, green, and a few in pink, with the hood lined in faux fur of various colors. The pants are of chamois cloth and the boots of ultra-suede with more fur trim. The boy’s parka is of ultra-suede. The costumes do not represent a particular tribe, but all tribes across northern Canada and Alaska.

An Everglades Adventure, 2004, Ft. Lauderdale FL, hosted by Fran Brambier, Susan Steirn,  and Phyllis Goedeke. Outfits representing the Seminole Indians were made by Phillis Goedeke and her helpers for both Sasha and Gregor. Sasha’s outfit has a cape and long skirt made from pieced cotton squares and strips in a variety of colors trimmed with ric-rac, traditional headpiece of black felt, suede shoulder bag containing a mini wallet with mini $5 and $20 bills, beaded necklace, and bracelet with a feather charm. Gregor’s outfit consists of short trousers, decorated shirt in a variety of colors, suede vest and headband, and leather sandals made by Jean Jensen.

Indian Camp, 1997, organized and sponsored by the New England Sasha Club. This is not a festival souvenir but one from summer camp for Sasha and Gregor, each year a different theme, held on alternate years from 1995-2001. Both outfits were made by Denise Ortakales from sueded fabric, decorated with woven tapes, sewn beads and feathers, and cut fringes. The outfits represent tribes of the plains and prairies area of the USA and Canada, but not a specific tribe. Sasha’s costume has a long tunic, headband, and moccasins. She carries a rolled-up suede with a map drawn on it, detailing her adventures at camp. Gregor’s costume has chaps with loincloth, tunic, headband, and my replacement moccasins (his lost originals were like Sasha’s). He carries a decorated stick used in ceremonial dances.

Costumes

Winter Holidays, 1994, Portland ME, hosted by Ann Chandler Barden, Roz Magnuson, Anne Votaw. Skating dress of green micro cord with white peter-pan collar, lined with dark blue cotton tartan, and matching green cord panties, made by Roz Magnuson. White hand knit wool socks made by Amei Walder, and white leather ice skates hand made by Denise and Tony Ortakales. The white knit beret, scarf and mittens are my additions.

We’re Not in Kansas Any More, 2008, Omaha NE, hosted by Karen Furst-Meeks and Susan Lozier. Dorothy’s outfit from Wizard of Oz is a jumper and matching panties of blue gingham, white blouse, light blue sewn socks, all made by Karen and Susan’s team of sewers, and shiny red leather court shoes with bows by Jean Jensen, blue hair ribbons. Dorothy is accompanied by her little dog Toto, and her basket containing a red gingham cloth.
Cowboys and Culture, 2015, Ft. Worth TX, hosted by Brenda Myers. Mid-blue belted denim jeans with all proper pockets and top-stitching, western shirt with pearl snap closures, suede vest, cotton bandana, leather cowboy boots, and a straw ten-gallon hat.
Maine, A Well Kept Secret, 2007, Portland ME, hosted by Joanne Libby and Maria Lantagne. Gregor’s foul weather gear for commercial fishermen in Maine keeps him warm and dry while working. Brown micro-wale cord trousers, handknit gansey pullover made by Louise Atkins, black heavy knit watchman’s cap, tall waders made by Ruth Hartley (UK), and yellow nylon overalls, slicker, and hat made by Jeanne Sieg.
Sasha Travels Arizona Highways, 1999, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Mary Glenn. Mexican Fiesta dress with tiered circular skirt and sash, all trimmed in white lace, made by Mary Glenn. Handmade beaded necklace with flower motif, white ribbon-trimmed court shoes, and white ribbon roses headband and waist decoration.
Passport to Fun, 1995, Columbia MD, hosted by Loretta and Wendell Barrett. Gregor’s sailor outfit has striped seersucker bell-bottom trousers, middy with collar and ribbon necktie, and navy cap. The outfit was made by Evalyn Stiles and the ladies from the Tallahassee Lassies.  A pattern for the girl’s outfit was included in the festival journal, but Sherry Foggan made a few to sell at the festival, and also in a kit. It has matching fabric to Gregor’s outfit, with pleated skirt attached to a seersucker bodice, middy that opens at both sides, ribbon necktie, and navy cap with ribbon decoration and red yarn pompom. Her kneesocks are my addition. Both dolls have their accompanying whistles, and navy leather shoes with anchor decorations made in a workshop at the festival.
Left: Sasha Salutes the Summer Olympics, 1996, Richmond VA, hosted by Betsy Allen, Sheila Bailey, Frances Crutchfield, Florence Gadol. An outfit for viewing the excitement of the games held in Atlanta GA, Sasha wears white cotton vest and underpants, navy cotton trousers covered with stars, a handmade waistcoat embroidered with the Olympic logo, and red/white ankle socks and red sneakers. Her hair has a red ribbon barrette, and over her shoulder she has her flight bag with the Swissair logo and a passport to the games.

Right: Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2012, Stratford-Avon UK, hosted by Dawn Law. For the summer Olympics held in London, Gregor has a uniform for the UK track and field events. He wears a satiny vest and track shorts decorated with Union Jack colors and flag made by The Sasha Wardrobe, and a warmup suit of red velour trousers and hooded jacket embroidered with UK Olympics logos made by The-Doll-Works.com. He has white socks and high-top Union Jack sneakers, and a gold winner’s medal around his neck.

Right: Passage to America, 2006, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer. A Chinese girl’s outfit made by Vivian Yee, of a jacket made from printed cotton with Chinese characters , black cotton long trousers, and white leather sandals made by Jean Jensen.

Left: The Japanese girl’s outfit was also made by Vivian Yee and given as a table gift at the 2010 festival in San Francisco. It has a long cotton kimono with sash in a variety of fabrics, long trousers in coordinating color, and suede sandals.

Modern Styles

Sasha, A Modern Groovy Girl, 2014, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Marti Murphy. The Mondrian-inspired outfits for Sasha and Gregor were designed by Marti Murphy and were made up from custom-printed fabric which included the colors, Sasha and Gregor’s names on the color squares, and the shape of the garment. Sasha’s dress is fully lined and has matching underpants. A headscarf emblazoned with the Sasha logo, lacy stockings, and leather boots made by Marti Murphy complete her outfit. Gregor’s special shirt is paired with navy cotton shorts and brown leather sandals made by Marti.

Right: Sasha Visits the Genesee Valley, 2009, Rochester NY, hosted by Sheila Foery. White denim trousers, lilac T-shirt, hand knit cabled cream pullover with lilac stripes made by Freda Ainslie (UK), ecru leather laced shoes made by Jean Jensen.

Left: An Everglades Adventure, 2004, Ft. Lauderdale FL, hosted by Fran Brambier, Susan Steirn,  and Phyllis Goedeke. Ankle length rust-color suede straight skirt, cream hand knit cabled cardigan and beret by Margaret Stewart. The leather boots are my addition.




Summer Play

Left: Camp Ioway, 2005, Des Moines IA, hosted by Sharon Sams and Chris Kading. Mid-blue denim shorts, white T-shirt with “Camp Ioway 2005” printed on the front, blue denim cap, socks and navy sneakers. Sasha also has her felt sash covered with merit badges, and her whistle. The duffle bag is filled with sleeping bag, Colman lantern, and other Sasha-sized camping necessities.

Right: A Country Fair, 1997, Urbandale IA, hosted by Chris Kading and Sharon Sams. Mid-blue denim jeans with pockets and topstitching, T-shirt with Iowa decal on the front, white denim cap with Iowa embroidered emblem, Iowa state flag. His sandals are my addition.

Right: Come Play in Grandma’s Attic, 2002, Bloomington MN, hosted by Cheryl Cloutier, Barb Warrington, Elaine Gorshe. A 1940s style sundress, in a variety of prints and solids, with matching panties and bonnet, was made by a team of sewers including Cassie Guy, Jean Jensen, Tillie Masson, Shari Sams, Sandra Wessel, Evalyn Stiles and Joan Wilson. The bonnet is cleverly shaped with a pleat and bow in the back. Her leather sandals are my addition. A pattern for a vintage baby sunsuit was included in the journal. Two printed-fabric aprons were also souvenirs, and a collapsible Sasha-size dollhouse of four rooms plus attic, made by Alice Holesworth.

Left: Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2012, Stratford-Avon UK, hosted by Dawn Law. Made from Union Jack print fabric by Ruth Hartley, it is a classic yoke dress decorated with red piping, with matching panties and brimmed hat. Her navy leather sandals are my addition.

Right: Pieces of Time, 2011, Springfield IL, hosted by Charla Neal. Soft denim dungarees made by Mame Harlow, T-shirt with a printed design on the front, straw hat. The leather sandals are my addition.

Left: An Everglades Adventure, 2004, Ft. Lauderdale FL, hosted by Fran Brambier, Susan Steirn,  and Phyllis Goedeke. White cotton capri trousers, wrap top in a variety of colors, with all edges bound with bias tape, made by Phyllis Goedeke and her sewing team. The sneakers are my addition.
Sasha Travels Arizona Highways, 1999, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Mary Glenn.
Right: Turquoise cotton shirt with white canvas shorts, and a tote bag from the same fabrics, all made by Betty Osberg. Around her neck, Sasha wears a bolo tie with a real turquoise stone slide made by Val Watson, and a matching braided headband. Instructions for making the headband are in the festival journal.

Left: A pink check cotton blouse paired with coordinating cuffed shorts made by Claire Enloe, with a matching ribbon and hair clip to decorate her hair. Leather sandals on both dolls are my additions. All five outfits from this festival were presented on hangers and contained within a cloth fabric garment bag, large enough to accommodate the accessories too, made by Mary Glenn.

Left: Sasha Goes to SEAttle, 2001, Seattle WA, hosted by Kathy Weisner and Claire Enloe. Long sleeve navy/red striped shirt, navy shorts, red polarfleece zippered vest made by Letha Keyes and Claire Enloe, red/white striped kneesocks, navy sport shoes.

Center: Passport to Fun, 1995, Columbia MD, hosted by Loretta and Wendell Barrett. T-shirt with decal celebrating crabs, red cotton shorts, brimmed hat of printed cotton, all made by Trudy Adrian and Evalyn Stiles. On her arm is a charm bracelet with crab, anchor, and heart charms. Her sandals are my addition.

Right: Sasha Salutes the Summer Olympics, 1996, Richmond VA, hosted by Betsy Allen, Sheila Bailey, Frances Crutchfield, Florence Gadol. Hand knit star-spangled pullover made by Ganz, red ribbon/button hair ornament, fanny pack, American flag. Her capri trousers and navy sneakers are my additions.

Right: Maine, A Well Kept Secret, 2007, Portland ME, hosted by Joanne Libby, Maria Lantagne. A-line sleeveless cotton dress with decal of a Maine lighthouse made by Jeanne Sieg, white leather sandals made by Jean Jensen.

Center: Sasha Travels Arizona Highways, 1999, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Mary Glenn. Flower print sundress with white lace-trimmed panties made by Pat Allen and Karen Watson, braided headband, manufactured sandals. Instructions for making the headband are in the festival journal.

Left: Sasha Goes to SEAttle, 2001, Seattle WA, hosted by Kathy Weisner and Claire Enloe. White cotton dress with inverted front pleat and large square sailor-type collar, made by Jean Jensen and Frankie Rice. Her sneakers are my addition.

Left and Right: An Everglades Adventure, 2004, Ft. Lauderdale FL, hosted by Fran Brambier, Susan Steirn,  and Phyllis Goedeke. For Sasha, a two-piece cotton swimsuit with bias tape around all edges, plastic hairclip. For Gregor, cotton swim trunks with drawstring waist, terry beach towel, made by Phyllis Goedeke and her sewing team.

Center: Sasha Travels Arizona Highways, 1999, Phoenix AZ, hosted by Jackie Kraemer and Mary Glenn. Lycra half-and-half one-piece swimsuit made by Laura Lindberg and Marge Bourke, aviator sunglasses.

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