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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Dean

The Start Of Rag Dolls - Raggedy Ann and Andy And How StepStitches Expands That Magic For Everyone

Updated: Apr 18

Black Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Ann dolls dressed in pink and blue plaid

Raggedy Ann and Andy,

the beloved rag dolls with their iconic

red yarn hair and button eyes,

have captured the hearts of children

and adults alike for over a century.

Created by Johnny Gruelle in 1915 as a way to bring joy to his daughter during her illness, these timeless characters have become enduring symbols of love, friendship, and imagination. 

Raggedy Ann and Andy were first introduced to the world in a series of books

written and illustrated by Johnny Gruelle.

The first book, "Raggedy Ann Stories," was published in 1918

and quickly gained popularity due to its heartwarming and imaginative tales.

The books were filled with stories of adventure, kindness,

and the power of love, all centered around the lovable rag dolls.

The success of the Raggedy Ann stories led to a demand for toys based on the characters. Johnny Gruelle's mother-in-law, Myrtle Gruelle,

sewed the first Raggedy Ann doll by hand using a pattern created by Gruelle himself.

The doll was made with a simple design,

featuring a soft cloth body, red yarn hair, and button eyes. It quickly became a favorite among children, who were drawn to Raggedy Ann's cheerful smile and comforting presence.

In 1920, the first Raggedy Andy doll was introduced,

modeled after Ann's brother in the books.

With his own unique charm and mischievous personality,

Raggedy Andy quickly became a companion to his sister Ann

and a beloved character in his own right.

Throughout the years, Raggedy Ann and Andy continued to

captivate audiences through their books, dolls, and various merchandise.

They became staples in children's literature, with new stories being published regularly.

The dolls themselves also evolved over time, with new designs and additions to their collection.

Raggedy Ann and Andy became more than just characters in a book;

they became cherished playmates for children all over the world.

As the years went on, Raggedy Ann and Andy's popularity only grew.

They appeared in animated films, television shows, and even had their own musical. Their iconic red yarn hair and button eyes became instantly recognizable symbols.

StepStitches aims to do is create the same experience for all children .

My multi-racial, black and brown rag dolls are perfect for children of all diversities while still capturing the magic of the dolls that started it all.


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