25 February 2007

lady doll



I've had dolls on the brain for the past week or so. I began itching to make one when Amy blogged about Gail Wilson, and then the urge became unavoidable after Courtney blogged about Laura Normandin's gorgeous dolls.

I loved making this doll. She's kind of folk-y. It made me think about the time when most girls made their own dolls—how much love and thought must have been put into every detail and every stitch. How most of them were probably a little bit wonky in some way or another. But very loved despite (or maybe because of) their wonkiness.



She has a lot of Colonial Williamsburg in her. Mostly because I have a lot of Colonial Williamsburg in me. (I grew up in Williamsburg.) One very memorable summer in college, I worked in one of the outdoor markets selling tricorn hats. In costume. And they are all about the historical accuracy when it comes to costumes. Which meant wearing a shift (voluminous slip thing), long-sleeved blouse, wool skirt, thigh-high stockings, leather shoes, bonnet, and straw hat. During a coastal Virginia summer. Like I said. It was memorable. But I do love the clothes. Just so I don't have to wear them.

She's a bit too broad-shouldered. This is particularly noticeable when she's in the buff. Like a quarterbacker. She also has really long arms. I expect she'd make both an excellent football and basketball player. I think in the future, I will sew the arms separately, then attach them, instead of making the torso out of one piece. I gave her two underskirts and a billow-y overskirt to balance out her broad shoulders.



The clothes were so much fun. She's about 15" tall, which is a nice size for sewing clothes. I've made clothes for my 8" Mme Alexander dolls before and it can be so frustrating making everything so tiny. This is much easier. Though I did end up hand-sewing her puffy sleeves into the armholes. If only I had a doll-sized sewing machine to sew on. And itty-bitty little hands to run it.



I was of the Cabbage Patch Kid generation and I can remember how excited I was when they came out with the Cornsilk dolls—the ones with glossy realistic hair rather than hair made out of yarn. I considered yarn hair to be so passé after that. But I think I've come full circle on that one. Now I'm dreaming up yarn hair designs--I think my next doll is going to have coils of braids. Made out of yarn.

12 comments:

Kristy said...

This is so cute. The clothes are adorable. I love the fabric you used for the skirt. Great job!

erin said...

she is great!

Artsy Momma said...

She is so cute! I just took my first leaps into creating a "softie" so did not turn out as well as yours!

Jen said...

Oh my gosh, she is so pretty! I love her hair (I wish I had hair like that!) and her tiny puffed sleeves. And her face--she's just lovely.

abbyjane said...

She's lovely. Great clothes and great attention to detail, as usual.

I totally hear you on the doll-sized sewing machine with the tiny hands to run it. Man, we can dream.

Vaedri said...

She's lovely!

BMT said...

She is just great!! and she needed big strong shoulders in her day to work the fields, maintain the home, and wrangle the kids...she looks well proportioned to me!!!

sulu-design said...

I love the colonial Williamsburg aspect - I think that when little girls made their own dolls, parts of the makers would have come through somehow in the craft, as has happened with your doll. So sweet.

Matroskin said...

A wonderful doll, an inspiring blog! I have my grandmother's Singer from the 60s, it's pretty and very good at sewing too. I like your "products". I want to make a cover for my sewing machine too, but I'm at home with two ill boys, so it'll have to wait.

Matroskin said...

By the way, I realized that in May you made a similar smock as I've made. I used a 70s pattern from a Swedish book of "simple clothes". It was called a Carl Larsson pinafore, but I left the ruffled butterfly sleeves out (after making one with the sleeves first). I have several, they are really comfortable.

amandajean said...

she is lovely! nice job. I discovered how difficult it is to make little doll clothes awhile back. I read someone's tutorial and I thought, oh, I could try that. I did, but with less than perfect results. hopefully that's part of the charm??? can't wait to see the yarn coiled hair....yarn is good.

molly said...

this is killing me. she's perfect. and perfectly williamsburg!