This week, in honor of Mother's Day I would like to honor my Mother. She is the reason I am what I am today. Mom passed on her love of dolls to me. As a child, while other kids were playing ball or jacks, Mom liked to sit in the shade of the grape arbor in her back yard and make clothes for her dolls. She had two dolls, one to play with and a china doll, given to her shortly after birth, which was for display and "keeping", only.
Mom learned to sew from her Mother, who had been apprenticed to a dressmaker shortly after the turn of the Twentieth Century. My Grandmother made all her own clothes and clothes for my Great-Grandmother as well. She raised her children during the Great Depression, so nothing went to waste. Her scrap basket was always full of small bits of fabric which Mom could use to make her small creations. I remember Grandma's button jar was a very large old mayonnaise jar that was full of buttons she saved from all the worn out and outgrown clothes her family had. When the clothes couldn't be salvaged for anything more than a dust rag, at least the buttons would be used again.
One summer, when I was about ten years old, Mom decided the living room needed new curtains. My sister and I learned how to hem fabric on curtains for 8 large windows in that room. She taught us how to measure and cut the fabric, then turn under the hem 1/4 inch and baste it in place. Then turn it under another 1/4 inch and hem stitch it. Its a lesson I use almost weekly, to this day.
Once I had mastered hemming by hand, Mom taught me to sew on her old Singer sewing machine. Its hard to imagine, now, but at the time I didn't like sewing very much, but I loved the doll clothes she made for me.
As my sister and I outgrew our baby dolls and turned our attention to Barbie, she found patterns to make clothes for them, too. During the summer, when we were at the lake, and she couldn't use her cabinet sewing machine, she rented a portable machine so we could have new clothes for our Barbie dolls. I watched as she stitched tiny little collars onto suit jackets, and hemmed tiny armholes for a summer dress.
Mom passed in September of 2008, at the age of 92, thanks for all the lessons, Mom! Please come to the Doll Making Forum and share your stories about how your Mom influenced you.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.