Sewing a china doll
I sent a message out to my friends asking what they’d like me to make for them. One friend spoke up and said she wanted a suffragette doll. I thought about how to make a felt doll and was stumped, then I remembered that my mum had given me a china doll kit that she had intended to make back in the 70’s and never got around to (so unfortunately I can’t tell you where to get one). This was Betsy Ross. It came with a body and dress pattern, but no fabric, and the dress was Revolutionary era and I was going for the 1900’s.
First I made the body out of white cotton, following the pattern. I think I overstuffed the arms, or made the seam allowance too small. She can’t really put her arms to her sides!
Then I played around with the dress. I looked at different dresses from the era, there was a lot of white, loose dresses with big belts, with lace, poofy sleeves and pin tucks. The cloth from my scrap box once came from a curtain and has a nice sheen to it. I made a belt out of brown velvet ribbon (also from my mum’s stash!) I used a lace ribbon for a collar.
I tried to sew the suffragette ribbon, but it looked awful, so instead I used a white ribbon and wrote on it in fine-tip blue sharpie.
There you go. Apparently this doll will “creep the hell out of” my friend’s daughter. An unintended bonus (she promises to keep it in her room). This was fun, but I don’t think I want to pursue doll making as a favored craft. Especially this type of doll, which is very fragile. I had to save it from destruction several times while making it.