Saturday, August 15, 2015

Something Completely Different: Mary Alice

“It is an anxious, sometimes a dangerous thing to be a doll. Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen; they cannot 'do'; they can only be done by.”
Rumer Godden, The Dolls' House

Earlier this week as I strolled through a local thrift store, I saw a very desolate doll. She was heaped up with the tangled elbows and ankles of baby dolls all around her, and when I saw she had no hair, I thought, "That's tough luck. No little girl is going to beg Mommy to buy her the bald dolly." But neither was I going to buy the bald dolly, even for the price of the dollar they were asking.

It was a whole day later when suddenly my brain announced "You have doll hair. You got it three years ago because it was cheap and you thought you might use it for something someday. It's in the third drawer down in your stash."  

Funny, the things we pick up.

And then my brain started telling me how fun it might be to use up the smaller pieces in my stash to make little dresses and whatnot, just as a lark. So I went back to the thrift shop and of course she was still there, looking as awful as ever...

I think originally she was blonde. Her eyebrows are very pale. But I've never cared for blonde haired, blue eyed dolls; they always look a bit creepy and precious. A quick search on the internet turned up a how-to on doll wig making, and I was glad to be able to use my crochet skills to whip up a wig cap while watching Dr Who.

Stitching the hair on in layers only took about an hour, once I got the hang of it.

There were some moments when she had a distressing resemblance to a drunk goth chick. (There's a sock over her face to keep the hair from getting caught up in her lashes and tangling.)

It's not perfect, and I don't think I'd give her to a small child, but even with a minimum of styling and brushing, she looks very nice. 

I cut up an old plaid shirt to make her shirtwaist dress, with a bit of ribbon at the waist for a girly touch. Look how long her hair is in the back -- plenty to work into pretty styles. 

Dave was next to me on the couch watching that episode of Dr Who while I crocheted the wig cap. He asked me what I was making and I just dithered something about playing around, because I was kind of embarrassed to admit that I was playing with dolls. I don't even know any little girls to use as an excuse. When I mentioned my project to a friend earlier today, she said lots of women in her crafting group have dolls, and they get together to swap patterns and show off things they've made. Can't leave all the fun to the kiddies!

I've named her Mary Alice, and she'll probably show up in future blogs as I make other things for her. And in case you're wondering -- yes, I fully intend to make her a 14th century outfit and accessories like mine! 

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