I started thinking about doll making earlier last month.
I’d never made a doll before; something about their three-dimensional bodies intimidated me. Also, I bought a sewing pattern for a Care Bear once, and, after taking one look at the pattern pieces, I folded that mess right back up and left it under my bed (where I keep all my bad ideas and boogeymen). 25 individual pattern pieces? All of them tiny? Not a chance in hell, Birthday Bear.
But then last month, I started thinking. I thought to myself “Why not try a simpler doll? They can’t all be 25-piece monstrosities with darts and half-inch appliqued doodads as far as the eye can see, can they?”
As it turns out, no they can’t.
I made this little gem all on my own. No pattern, no nothing.
Yep, a felt blow-up doll. With stuffed boobies, and real holes. Those holes, I’ll have you know, are made using the welt-pocket technique that I learned right out of my copy of Tailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket.
So I started making more dolls.
That creepy red thing was my first attempt at making a sock, or stocking doll.
That row of heads was my second sock doll attempt. I had just returned from the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in Niagara Falls, and was inspired by the shrunken heads. Check out the conjoined action on the rightmost doll heads. Cool, huh? I think the pantyhose doll heads were my favourite.
And then I made a bear. That was a commercial pattern, and it sucked soooo hard. Like seriously, darts that led nowhere. Unnecessarily gigantic stuffing holes that had to be slipstitched shut. Some kind of ridiculous crap – that I’m not even going to get into – involving the ear fronts. And the paws? Fuck you paws. Fuck you forever.
And last, but not least, I made that weird skinny psychedelic flannel thing. She was adapted from a doll making book, Sew it Stuff it, by Rob Merrett. Cool book, full of easy patterns.
So there you have it. A bunch of dolls. I’m pretty stoked to have a fun new project to keep me occupied this winter.