Sunday, February 13, 2011

Doll aren't just for kids...

When I was a little girl I played with dolls like everyone I knew. I draped fabric from my mom's fabric stash and 'designed' ball gowns and wonderful clothes. Then I moved on to using the sewing machine and creating 'real' clothes for my Tony doll - a Barbie look-a-like. I made hats and handbags jewellery and shoes all by hand to coordinate with every outfit. When they created a category "Best Dressed Doll" at the local fair, guess who entered her doll and wardrobe? After winning for a couple of years, they dropped the category and I moved on to sewing for me.

So as an adult, when doll making became so popular I was not at all surprised. After all, dolls don't squirm around during a fitting nor do they bleed if you prick them in error. They don't grow so what you make fits forever! And they can't tell you they hate that colour or go jump in a mud puddle and ruin your creation!!

At the height of the doll craze I created "The Grace Knott Dolls Clothes Collection" which included miniatures of the classic Grace Knott patterns and a doll's dress form all to fit the very popular American Girl Doll. My own daughter was away at school and far beyond playing with dolls so I got to create and play to my heart's desire.

Then with the help of my husband I designed a wooden bed with all the accessories sized for this popular doll. Bob created the frame and headboard, sanding and finishing the wood. I made the mattress from a foam slab covering it with fine cotton and then a custom mattress cover. I was on a mission! Everything had to be to scale. Next came the sheets, fitted bottom and a European style top sheet trimmed with Swiss insertion, French val lace and silk ribbon roses. Next a blanket of softest fleece hand bound with silk ribbon. Then came a pillow with a coordinated pillowcase trimmed in Swiss triple entredeux and a silk ribbon rose.                                                      
What beautiful bed would be complete without a duvet and piles of pillows? This was turning into a major work of art packed with teaching techniques. The duvet has a centre panel of diamond tucks, mini piping and a button closing. There is a pillow sham with flange finished; a demi-moon shaped pillow with the same diamond tucking, lace edged ruffle and faggoting; a bolster with monogram and a teddy dressed in white Swiss edging and a ruff of French Val lace. Most of this could be done with the odds and ends from other projects. But the beauty of all this is it is to scale so if you learned how to do it for the doll you could do it full sized!

Oh, what is Samantha wearing? She will be snug in her smocked flannel nightie from the pattern, "Dolly Snowdrift".

I had a ball doing all this and Bob had fun with his part - so much so that he said he would make more if people wanted to buy them. Well like all phases, dolls have passed but I still have this wonderful collection of bed linens for the Samantha doll. Perhaps one day I will have a grand daughter who will have hours of fun playing with all these things.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Best wishes to you all and don't forget to make something chocolate for your special love!!

Till next time, keep stitching......

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