My next few Thursday blogs will be a series about my progression into doll making. This has been a labor of love from the beginning. Always loved dolls! My first doll was a Raggedy Ann that I made while in college. It was for my Japanese Pen Pal so that I could send something truly American. Yaeko and I began writing when we were 11 and still continue occasionally to this day….Oh my! It’s been 52 years. Is that a record? The photo isn’t the greatest but you get the idea, lots of red yarn hair and that recognizable face. She is still being used by Yaeko’s granddaughter. Raggedy Ann is such fun to make with that little heart on her chest, the pantaloons, apron, and dress. I enjoyed the way her legs came together with the stockings and shoes all in one piece. This is something I remembered and used in later dolls.
Part of my doll journey was making doll clothes for various dolls that made up my little family. Barbie clothes use very little fabric, but it’s oh so hard to turn over a tiny hem! My mom, a great seamstress, quilter and painter, was the perfect model for a little girl who wanted to sew. She made wardrobes for some of my dolls, like Tiny Tears and Ballerina. I still have those and the vintage patterns from which they came.
Making Raggedy Ann dolls has continued up to the present with gifts to nieces, friends, and family. When my first child was born, AKA tidbits & scraps, Julie, I made a soft baby doll for her. Now I know this is horrible photo but the only one I could find! This was a doll that seemed to be just the right size for a little girl, and even though it never became a real favorite, it was loved.
As you’ll see from reading this series, I have never been far from making dolls even in those years where other activities took precedence. Now, at the age of 52 + 11, I am more involved than ever. Next week, I’ll take you into the my world of animals and primitive dolls.