Many of you may know that I have two beautiful, intelligent daughters, Abbi and Emily. Both whom have asked for special dolls of their own. Abbi has been the most vocal about her doll but that may be because Emily has confiscated a few dolls from my shop throughout the years. Abbi being the oldest was supposed to get her doll first.
Now I knew that I would know when I would be ready to make these but the dolls have never been ready. I planned for the dolls to represent each of the girls with her special talents and personality. I figured they would be graduation gifts because I thought that by that time the doll would have come to me. And I have been putting the girls off with that idea. Unfortunately Abbi graduated June of 2016 and her doll (and I) were no where near ready.
For Christmas last year I even boxed up parts of a doll I thought would be the start of her doll. Believe me she was not very excited about it. As I was continuing to work on it, the head did not work with the body. I had taken a pattern I had worked with before and slimmed it down to more represent Abbi. I did not however change the head. This the doll would no longer work for what I envisioned Abbi’s doll to be. She is however going to be a great version of the Red Queen (watch for future post about her).
So now I had to start over and in going through my patterns I came across the Arley Berryhill pattern, La Femme. I have had the pattern for years but had yet to do it. I liked the body style and it reminded me of Abbi. Yeah I was closer. 😛
Now the tricky part about creating this doll was that I had bought a violin ornament at least 5 years ago that was essential for the doll. Abbi has played the violin since she was 10. The violin was an intricate part of her youth and I knew it would be a part of her doll. The doll would be playing the violin so the scale would have to fit.
I started with the Le Femme pattern at full size and it was way too big. (Again watch for this doll to be completed soon.) I took the pattern and reduced it to two different sizes not actually sure which would get me to the correct size. I then tried the middle size and got as far as stuffing the arms to realize it wasn’t going to work. (I saved these parts to play a little prank). So just like Goldilocks, the small size was just right.
As I was contemplating her clothing I pulled out a bag of scrap fabric. It was from the senior prom dress that we made together the year before. It would be perfect to create a dress similar because it had a fairy look about it. I have always thought my girls have a bit of fairy in their blood so have seen their dolls as a part the the Fey world. I have a picture of Abbi at Mythicworlds last March wearing her dress with a pair of Dave’s wings.
From there it was easy to put her together. I did have a few more challenges such as the bow that had to be sculpted and using a few new techniques in creating her face. I also tried to create heels for the shoes. They did not work with the doll in the end. The wings I chose to create from fabric though Dave would have liked to make them.
I was pleased with the way she turned out but was nervous about Abbi’s reaction. Abbi had been reminding me in the month leading up to Christmas how she got doll parts the previous year and she didn’t want that again. (So remember the prank I saved the other parts for.) I hid Abbi’s doll in the bottom of the box, put tissue over the top and put the spare parts on top. Christmas morning I waited until she was halfway through her gifts before handing her my box. Her reaction when she saw the parts was to hurry and put the box to the side. But I told her that there were others parts in the bottom. She cried when she finished lifting her doll out of the box. She wasn’t expecting to get a doll so obviously created just for her. She thought I would just make her one of my typical dolls. Not so! Merry Christmas!!
So Emily’s is up next. I have a general idea of what I am going to do but cannot post my progress otherwise it will ruin her surprise. But there are plenty of other dolls to watch for this year.