I Forgot My Homework

I got up this morning and realized I had nothing for Handmade Monday!  I did finish something last week and had a fleeting thought of saving it for today, but clearly that thought didn’t last long and I posted it on Friday.  Over the weekend I never gave it another thought, as we ended up watching a couple of movies (Hugo was awesome!) and here I am, Handmade Monday-less!

So, I have a couple of options. First option, ignore Handmade Monday.  Clearly I didn’t choose that one, or you wouldn’t be reading this. If I did that I would be bugged by it all day.  All week in fact.  Second option, and clearly the better one, admit I didn’t have anything else and link to Friday’s post.  And that is what I’m going to do.

I finished a rag doll I have been working on since before Christmas and got her sent off to my Sister in Law, who has named her Stella.  I struggled with her (the doll, not my Sister in Law who is the sweetest person ever) but learned a lot and hopefully my next one will be much better.  You can see all the details and photos here.

That’s really all I have, so now I’m going to head over to Handmade Monday and see what everyone who planned better than I did is up to!  🙂


She Finally Got Ahead!

I should probably explain the title right away. I have been working on this doll since before Christmas. I had an idea in mind which she didn’t really turn out to be much like, although I’m not that disappointed. But after I finished her body, I had a devil of a time deciding how to make her head and face and hair. So, she sat from early December until this week, headless. Frankly, I was getting tired of looking at her that way and decided the only answer was to just do it.

I knew I was going to make her face/head out of some white muslin fabric I had bought for exactly that purpose. I had thought to embroider her eyes, nose and mouth on, but changed my mind and drew them on with colored pencil instead. I have a wonderful friend who makes beautiful dolls and I got the idea from her. Of course, mine is a pale comparison, but still, she has a face.

I needed to make a neck to attach her head to her body using my machine, which ran out of bobbin thread, of course. For some reason when I put the new one in I must have put it in wrong because each time I sewed the neck up, the thread just unraveled. I tried doing a search online but couldn’t find anything. Finally I took the bobbin out several times and put it back in and it worked the last time. Something had been wrong, but I’m still not sure what. Machines!

Then I sewed her head up, leaving a large enough spot to stuff it, stuffed that and her neck, attached the head to the neck and hand stitched (not very well, if you look at the photos you can see I didn’t do a very good job–well, she looks VERY hand made–probably shouldn’t have used red thread either, I don’t know what I was thinking other than I am SO tired of this project!) After I was done I noticed she had a sort of “tumor” on the side of her face which I took a tuck in and it left a bit of an ugly spot too. I will have to do better with the next one.

Next problem, her head was sort of floppy, back and forth. Either her neck was too long or not stuffed enough. So, I made her a little collar and tacked it down in front to hold her head up. Looks decorative, but it’s really functional. A neck brace for the poor dear with her congenitally weak neck.

Then for the hair. I had dreaded this, because for some reason I thought doll hair was the hardest thing. My husband and I had gone to the craft store and I had found 2 types of yarn. One was really hairlike and I liked it best, even tho the color was not all the same, it went from a pale cream to a darker blond. However, I thought it would work beautifully. I made a lovely little *wig* out of it and sewed it into her head and it looked pretty nice until it started pulling out in tufts! Oh, this would never do! *sigh*

OK, so I got out the other skein of yarn, very glad that I’d gone ahead with a backup plan. It was a pretty, sparkly gold color. I made a big glob of it, tied it in the middle, cut the loops at the ends and sewed it in on the top of her head (where the seam is). Then I did a second one behind that one toward the back. This gave good coverage, and turned out pretty nicely, I think. She has a better head of hair than I do, actually.

Other details. Her hands are mittens added over her arms and her feet are booties added over her legs. Those were both a little tricky to make because they were so small.

The skirt was more see thru than I intended, but I didn’t think it really mattered since her body looks like clothes anyway. I had intended to give her knees and elbows but didn’t realize I needed to sew those before I stuffed her. Live and learn! 🙂

So, not too terribly bad for a first try, I think. All done without a pattern. Maybe I would do better to actually use patterns, but I don’t follow them very well. And it takes the fun and excitement out of it for me. 🙂