Hazel Johnston Ulseth, age 94, of Sun City West, Ariz., died June 1. Foremost a mother and wife, Ulseth was also an active doll club member and organizer as well as an entrepreneur, author, teacher, and master seamstress.
She was a member of the United Federation of Doll Clubs and the Detroit Doll Collectors Club, where she presided over the 1970 Regional 12 Convention in Dearborn, Mich. In addition, she started and was a charter member of the Grand Traverse Doll Collector Club and the Sun City Doll Study Club.
She won numerous blue ribbons at regional and national conventions for costuming many antique and reproduction dolls, with her pinnacle coming at the 1968 National Doll Collectors Regional Convention in Marion, Ohio, where a wood doll she made and costumed was selected Queen of the Show.
As an entrepreneur, Hazel owned Doll Art Studio with best friend, Elaine Carey, specializing in stationary and postcards. She also owned Dolls Etc., a doll hospital with a complete line of custom clothes for Madame Alexander dolls.
As an author, sometimes with her sister Helen, she created a substantial line of detailed, period-specific costume patterns for antique and reproduction dolls. These pattern sets led to four books on sewing and costuming dolls. On the fun side, Hazel made teddy bears from discarded mink coats, another specialty that she created a manual for.
As a teacher, she often hosted sewing classes through doll clubs, conventions, and at Sandy’s Dream Dolls in Glendale, Ariz. She mentored many aspiring doll costumers, her favorite being close friend Judy Frank of Goodyear, Ariz.
“Although she thought being nationally known was an accident, she remained most happy that it was all made possible by the friends who continuously visited and wrote her throughout the years, even though late in life she was unable to respond in kind,” said her son Mark Ulseth. “Hazel will always be remembered as a beloved wife, mother, and friend.”
Ulseth is survived by her sons, Thomas J. (Holly) and Mark (Bethany), and was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas M. “Marty;” sibling Helen Shannon; and parents Captain Willard T. and Anna Beddoes Johnston. In keeping with her wishes, funeral services were private, followed by cremation.
Books by Hazel Johnston Ulseth
- “Antique Children’s Fashions 1880 – 1990”
- “Victorian Fashions 1880-1890 Volume 1”
- “Victorian Fashions 1890-1905 Volume 2”
- “Little Girl’s Costumes 1880’s-1890’s Part 1”
- “Little Girl’s Costumes 1880’s-1890’s Part 2”
- “Bridal Fashions: Victorian Era”
- “Creating Fur Teddy Bears: Mink and Fake Fur”
- “Cuddy Teddy Bears to Make and Dress”
- “Costume Cameos 1”
- “Costume Cameos 2”
- “Costume Cameos 3”
- “Costume Cameos 4”
- “Costume Cameos 5”