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The Joys of Dollmaking and Doll Dressing

September 30th, 2012

Some years ago one of my husband’s aunts passed away. She was artistic, bubbly, and a favorite of mine. I had always enjoyed visiting with her at reunions. I made it a point to talk about her with her husband when I saw him at the reunion the next summer. He told me that she had left some unfinished doll clothes that she had planned to make for their granddaughter. I offered to finish the doll clothes. He thanked me, but I didn’t hear anything more about it for over a year. Then one day a delivery man left three huge boxes on our porch. The boxes were full of craft projects, mostly cut out clothes for American Girl and Magic Attic dolls. I had not realized that I had volunteered for such a large undertaking, but I was a good person to choose to finish this project. I had most of the doll clothes patterns that she had used. Some of her patterns and their guides had been misplaced, but I was usually able to find the information that I needed to finish the outfits from my own patterns.

I could not finish everything in the boxes, because I have an allergy to wool and I had to give some lovely wool pieces away. I made and dressed three dolls for my young cousin: one American Girl size, one Magic Attic size, and one the size of my Florabunda doll. I made the small doll to use up the scraps. It took me three years to finish all the dolls and their clothing. Since we have a reunion every year, I brought a doll along me to give her each of those three years. The “reunion doll” almost became a tradition.

My young cousin is now in high school. I sat by her at our last reunion dinner and she told me that she still has her dolls and still displays them.

Here is a doll I made for my sister-in-law using a “reunion doll” pattern that I drafted to wear American Girl doll size clothes.

My Kitty doll pattern is related to this pattern, but I have made a lot of changes in the original pattern. I think that Kitty is easier to sew.

If you happen to try to look at my website this Tuesday (October 2), and it has disappeared, don’t be alarmed. My web service is changing servers and the site may be down for a little while. It should be back on line in a few hours.

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