A few people left comments the other day saying they were curious about my design process. I just finished a new doll so I thought I'd run through how I got from a to b. The "a" here was actually a freak out realization that I'm raising a girl and a slow rising panic about the challenges I will face trying to raise a strong, self-confident, independent girl. Especially with so many crap pop culture influences to deal with. Anyway, that reminded me that one of the ideas I'd had for the Kit, Chloe and Louise dolls was to name them the Can-do Girls. I thought it'd be fun to set them off on all sorts of adventures and challenges, sort of like scouts or something. Then it all started getting very American Girl doll in my mind so I shelved it and just went with Kit, Chloe and Louise. But now I'm back to it and was thinking what kind of doll my Can-do Girl would be. That lead me to the sketch…
I thought a can-do sort of girl would need to be very poseable and action ready so I was thinking button joints for the arms and that I'd sew seams at the elbows and knees as well. Then I was thinking sort of floppy and not so super stiff and stuffed like my dolls are normally.
After the sketch I start sewing. And I wish I'd taken photos of my disasters. I started in flannel. I drew out pattern pieces and then sewed it up and it was a floppy, smushy pile of gush. Not good. I decided if it was going to be not as densely stuffed that the fabric would need to be more sturdy so then I went to this cotton duck stuff I had. Not my favorite but all I had on hand. I got the arms and legs right the first time (miracle), the body was too short so I made a second longer body (after sewing all the arms and legs to the first too-short body of course) and then the head. I have a problem with heads. You'd think I'd be able to by now look at my drawing and go "oh, that's this shape", but no. I tried at least 3 different heads, two pieces, four pieces, two pieces with a dart and finally ended up here, two pieces but even this took me two or three times to get the shape right. Her hair is a little weird. I wasn't sure where I was going and ended up here. So here she is.
I'd like to try her again in a better, softer but still sturdy fabric and give her hair another shot. I love how poseable she is, although I'm not in love with how the button joints look. Maybe just the elbow joint is enough. So that's where I am now. Next time I'll be sure to take pictures of the missteps. That'll be good for a laugh! Actually what I should do is replace our broken video camera and get Oscar on tape when I show him a doll in progress. He is always very concerned and very displeased. "Mom, that one doesn't have a face…it's all wrong. Just make it like your other dolls. sigh."