Working on these four custom dolls has been the adventure of a lifetime. Little did I know the trials and tribulations that come with adding four kids to the family. From lack of space to hold four custom dolls in-process, plus the myriad of little ones that have been made and left the nest already, plus the slight bickering that ensued when the knitting needles came out to make their knitted items. Sheesh! they are so well-behaved but they do have preferences of their own.
As you can see they are all part of a family. It was such a nice thing to work with linen almost exclusively for their clothes, and to make them very classical, elegant, simple yet sweet; with little twill ribbons and cotton trims. While every dress is pretty, I think I was most excited about the little boy's shirt. It was the collar and buttonholes that gave me the most pleasure of his outfit. Don't ask how many flat-top hats and prototypes for his Sperry's shoes I had to make. Let's just say I am happy these items of clothing are finished and I doubt I will repeat such madness.
It is certainly not the first time I make four dolls in one go, but it's the first time I make four siblings. I was most excited about the challenge of recreating these children in doll form, especially because I love it when I get to see four dolls at the same time, all finished and interacting together. I think I might have to come up with a way to repeat this adventure, perhaps in making four little babies all at the same time. Who knows? this might be my new thing.
There were also many *new* things for me, not just the collar, hat and shoes of his little outfit, but doing a full-on hair cut on a doll was nerve-wracking. I kept shaking while holding the scissors because I know all too well the mistake of snipping just a little here, only to poke a doll and have to re-do a limb. Ouch. I was most lucky (and patient) when I did his hair so I am very happy with the result. Perhaps this will bring a bit more hair-styling into my doll making future.
All their knitted items were also unique for me. I tried my hand at mock-cables for the oldest sister cardigan, which I now love and plan on incorporating to other knitted designs. The embossed leaves on the red beret are the cutest thing ever, I wonder why I haven't made them like that before?. The little mister has a beautiful boat-neck jumper, which of course I *forgot* to photograph because I wanted to show off his amazing shirt (that's why!). And the little pointy bonnet has been the simplest thing after I made her a knitted-smocking one and hated the way it looked on her once I blocked the thing. You know? doll making is a profession of many trials and errors. Sometimes you think it is definitely going to work only to be massively disappointed once it is finished, but you learn from those mistakes and you move on (after spending painstaking hours knitting and waiting for it to dry!). Point is, I will still tackle knitted smocking because it was fun to do, but I will do it with much thinner yarn next time.
The great thing is that their mother requested a second outfit for all of them so I get to *hold on* to them just for a *little* bit longer. I know she is really excited to greet them in her home but the selfish doll maker wants to play with them one more time. It should not be too long before they are sporting their more casual clothes, when I can pack them all up and bid them good-bye. But-not-just-yet!. To be continued my friends.