Ida May, the last baby of 2016.
That's right. Ida May is my last baby of the year, and always a bit of a bittersweet thing for me. I like to revise the dolls made within the year, and although marvelled by what I consider an amazing creative contribution, I miss ever single one.
When I first heard I was to create a custom baby doll, I knew that she would be the last baby of the year (although probably not the last doll though). I started knitting these pastel things for her, envisioning a very neutral baby. Well, that's what happens when you jump the gun because her mother requested bright colours, mocha skin and blonde hair. She has always been in love with Alva, and so she wanted a baby of her very own.
As you can attest, Ida May is "similar" to Alva, they are both the same size, and both weighted with glass beads, they both have light hair, and brown eyes and darker skin. But they each have their own personality. Ida May is super jolly, always smiling and has a knack for making everybody smile back at her.
We have been working on this wooly baby for quite a few months to be honest. It took some time to gather all the little bits about her mother that I required in order to be inspired to create her. Not her fault of course. Once we had those wonderful bits of inspiration, I set to work on her, singing and telling her stories. We talked about the wooly sisters that await her, one much bigger than her, others more petite in construction. We talked about other friends that might be waiting for her, and she was so happy to know so many awaited her arrival. We started knitting again for her, this time with a beautiful deep purple that matched the fabric of her dress. I was so content feeling I was on the right path this time.
We chose some new and some repurposed fabrics for her attire. I always gravitate to repurposed cloth when I am making babies, there is something so sweet about human baby clothes that I just can't get over. We made her clothes that were easy for her mother to dress her in, but with comfort in mind for Ida May. Babies, in my opinion, must always be dressed with comfort and warmth in mind.
She is wearing a very pretty patchwork dress with kimono opening on front. It has two little mother of pearl buttons and cashmere ribbing through out. It has a very wide skirt and is made of jersey with long sleeves.
Her diaper is made of slightly felted merino, so that she doesn't get a chaffed bum! and is lined with cotton velour.
Her cozy velour pants are very wide and allow her wee little legs to move around freely.
Her knitted boots and bonnet were made with a mix of cotton and silk, it makes her knits very soft and fuzzy, just like she wanted them.
Of course she had to start teething as I was trying to make all these clothes! So we promptly made her a reversible bib, one side summer with raw linen, one side winter with quilted cotton in the most exquisite pink.
And seeing she is a winter baby, we had to make her a coat. A-line and simple in design, with wide sleeves. This fabric is so cozy and soft, I wish I had more of it to make myself something.
As you can see, Ida May is very jolly. There is something so infectious in her smile. Everybody that has had a chance to see her here comments on her wonderful disposition and how she almost never cries, teething troubles and all. I have been seen carrying her around the house, thrusted on my hips, and going about my business as usual. My family is so used to this behaviour but the rest of the extended family is just starting to grasp the full extent of my subversive creativity. I just adore the dolls and the babies even more so. They make me the happiest.
Thank you so much to the family that allowed me to see one more of these cloth babies out of my hands. I feel so blessed and happy to be sending your way this bundle of cute. Do not be surprised if your cheeks start hurting after a while, from smiling wide every time you are around her. There is always some sort of deep anxiety whenever I create a custom doll, wondering and anguishing wether the intended owner will like what I am creating for them, but with Ida May my heart was so happy from the beginning that I had way less of an anxious heart. I feel positive this baby will infuse your life with love, with play and joy. Thank you for your enormous faith in what my hands create and for your unending support over the years. It has been a pleasure creating this baby for you. Hope she fills your life with light for many years.