I found another excellent book on Friday night, so on Saturday afternoon, I started on a doll. I don't exactly love the doll in the book, but if you ignore the oddities, the pattern works. I made her at about 75% of the recommended size, partly because I didn't want a big doll, and partly because the printer/copier only goes so big here. (I need to go to a copy shop if I want big stuff that I don't have to piece together.)
Anyway, I know now why dolls cost so much. They are definitely time-consuming. Mom has struggled her way through five Santa dolls over the last 40 years, and now I see the labor pains. (Her Santa she made for Miss E, sans jacket and boots, is shown here.) I ended up redoing the arms due to the fact that after an hour of so of play, they already were tearing apart (the fabric, near the seams). I decided they were overstuffed, stuffed with the wrong material, and needed to be replaced. I took the whole doll apart when Miss E went to bed, made new arms (with three seams where there was previously just one; better reinforced), and the next day put her together again. She is much softer, stuffed with bamboo fiber, and very snuggly, according to Miss E. She's based on the ballerina in the book, so her arms and legs are patterned like a leotard. Her girlie boxer shorts match. (I left the casing open on the legs in case we decide they'd make better undies.)
She was bald as a new baby for the first day, then I got one row of hair added in about 35 minutes. It's definitely a slow process, much like latch-hooking (remember those rugs we made in the 70s?!). Today while Miss E napped, I added a second row of long strands behind the first, and then bangs in the front. I got them trimmed up just in time for Miss E to wake up, and she was ... yes, quite pleased!
Now, I still need to get her more clothes. We found a beautiful remnant that is rose-colored silk, and it will make a perfect dress for her (with sequins!). She needs angel wings, according to Miss E, since she is supposed to be a fairy angel. And she's supposed to have a tutu and ballet slippers. Essentially, a full wardrobe. Once I master the clothes for her, though, they can be made in different sizes for the rest of Miss E's dolls, and that will be fun.
Ah, and speaking of most amazing and lush inspirations, for the last three or four weeks, my Texas Star Hibiscus has been lavishing me (okay, all of us) with bright red flowers. It has popped about one every three or four days on average, and I counted six spent heads this morning. However, today was a huge surprise. In my morning fog, I didn't even realize just what I was looking at until I walked around the back side and got ready to take another picture ... Today is TWIN blooms! Mother Nature has been very good to me. :)