I was recently talking to a friend, who is working on a very exciting project of hers, and we were discussing doll clothes. I have found a passion for designing and executing little doll clothes and so, a healthy conversation followed on the subject. Which made me remember all the apprehension I used to feel when starting to clothe my dolls, and how much I didn't like it.
When I started creating dolls, the clothes were my least favourite part. I did not know how to sew, my children were very young and I had very little time, and therefore patience, to be devoted to fiddle with tiny seams, with small hems, with in-set sleeves.
Luckily for me, I persevered. I always understood that creating the doll from the bottom up, by myself, even with my limitations in regards to sewing and knitting and embroidering and all of that, represented accomplishing a doll with a unique style. I understood that by doing everything myself, my style and my skills would evolve, and the dolls would always represent "me" and speak very clearly for themselves.
I am so happy that I never went the other way, and I came close to it a few times. To ask somebody else to dress my dolls. If I had done this, I believe I would have never discovered the joys that come with designing and accomplishing an entire doll, by yourself. Selecting all the materials that go into making your own little creature, and then getting to work. I would have never understood the pleasure that comes from seeing how much my dolls and their looks have evolved by the work of my two hands. And I wouldn't have learned so much, which would be a disgrace for me. I can't explain to you what it feels when you see a doll that is made by you, and you only. It is a wonderful feeling.
When I started making dolls, I did not know how to knit. And now, by persevering and reading, and trying, I can knit almost whatever I set my mind to do. It might not be perfect, or extremely well done, but I appreciate the path, and cherish the lessons I learn along the way.
It has been a long lesson, this one of accepting my limitations, and being patient, mostly with me. To understand that, like a child, you can't just go from crawling to running, that you have to learn to walk in between.
So, my advice to anybody out there that is learning how to make dolls, or designing doll clothes is: persevere. Don't let your current stage bother you, just keep doing it. Read, experience, try new things. Don't look at what others make and try to make it yourself, as this often leads to disappointment. They are at a different stage than the one you're in. Perhaps grabbing a sewing book, and trying every single thing in it, will give you more confidence and also understanding. It could be a bit boring, but you will learn so much, and that knowledge will get you through.
These overalls and shirt are part of the "all season" outfit that my sweet winner of the clothing give way will receive once I am done...I still have to make the winter and summer outfits. Snow White was very gracious in letting me use her as a model, but kindly reminded me she already has a home to go to, and to please be very careful. Which I was. Now, off to sew more little doll clothes. Happy weekend!