I had a bunch of time in hospital waiting rooms lately ( everyone is fine now) and so found the forum Maida today. Maida is a site run by a doll artist that makes dolls inspired by antiques, particularly antique dolls that were made of cloth and then pained. There were many of these made- the Alabama Indestructible Baby, the Izanna Walker dolls, the Maggie Bessie dolls. The point of these painted cloth dolls was to make a doll that children could play with and not break. There are also folk dolls of this type- the reg doll, Charlotte, in Little House in the Big Woods was cloth with a drawn on face. After a disaster in Little House on the Prairie, Ma makes a new face for Charlotte.
Here is the back, where I tried to paint curls. You have to look closely.
Here’s a back view, with her little painted garters and stays. People felt that children needed to wear stays, a simple type of corset, to strengthen their backs, up untill the early part of the 1900’s. Here they are shown laced in the back, over a shift and under a petticoat.
The rows of stitching that look a little like braid are the reverse side of the stitch from my antique Willcox and Gibbs sewing machine.
Here’s dolly with the machine that I made her dress on. Chain stitching will ravel easily, particularly if you cut it, and so I can’t use it for the way I piece quilts. If the seam is not cut into then the stitch will not unravel. The W & G was most often seen as a treadle machine. Here is mine, an early electric machine that was bought in Los Angeles in the 1920’s. Chain stitch machines are still used industrially, but rarely at home. The lockstich machine won out on that. The nicest thing is that there’s no bobbin- only a top thread.
Here’s dolly’s little hand. The thumb is applied. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this doll, especially considering I drew the pattern myself. I might change the shape of the head a little, and take more care with the hand shape if I make another. I will also use a lighter weight fabric for the dress and under things, as muslin worked up too stiff. I haven’t made a doll in a few years, and I had forgotten how fun they are!