Thursday, August 4, 2011

Giveaways Arrived & Mysteries Revealed - Part II : )

I just posted Part I of this giveaway posting/mysteries revealed saga which told about Betty's runner-up giveaway items.  In this posting I will tell you about the items sent to Trace.

About a month ago I decided to make a primitive doll.  I have made dolls before but not very many & no primitive ones.  Over the past 2 years or so I have purchased several primitive doll patterns "to make one day."  So ... it's about a month ago & I go to one of the local prim shops where I pick up the most recent issue of a prim magazine.  Inside is a picture & pattern of a small doll & I think "That looks easy!  I am going to make that!"  A couple days later I've purchased some nice muslin for the doll's body & I start tracing out the pattern.  I decide to make 2 dolls with the plans of keeping one & giving the other one away on my blog when I reach the half way point in my dieting.  A Half-Way Giveaway!

Some of you will remember me posting about the total hell this pattern brought into my life.  The directions were ... how shall I put this nicely ... somewhat lacking.  For example, there was a dress pattern.  This dress consisted of a muslin bodice & a printed skirt.  I kid you not ... these are the printed directions for how to make that dress...

Sew the dress.

I couldn't believe it.  When I looked over the rest of the directions, they were similar.  I don't know about you but when I try to teach someone how to do something or write out directions for someone to follow, I make sure I cover all the bases.  Someone who has never picked up a pair of scissors & a yard of muslin in her life would understand how to go about making something that I've designed.  I noticed that the designer had included her email address with the pattern.  I emailed her & took the burden of this "pattern from hell" on myself.  I told her I had never made a prim doll before & had no idea what I was doing.  I apologized for being so dense.  Did she want me to stitch on the traced lines or use a 1/4" seam allowance & cut on the lines?  How was I supposed to attach the arms & legs?  And how in the world do I "sew the dress?"  She responded by telling me she's good at designing but not very good with directions.  No kidding!!!  Don't you think someone at the magazine would've realized that this pattern might be missing some vital information & deem that it needed to be elaborated on just a bit?  Anyway, she tried to tell me how to sew this dress ... "Just sew the top together & cut it down the back & then sew on the skirt & then put it on the doll."  Hello???  How do you keep the dress together?  Why bother sewing on all the traced lines when I then have to cut them open at the neck & arms to put the blasted dress on the doll?  I decided to wing it.

I shamelessly lifted up the dresses of some of the dolls I have on display.  Since my doll's body was already sewn shut where the arms were to go, I stuffed her body & then the legs, attaching them to the inside & then stitching up the bottom of the doll.  I then stuffed the arms & just tacked them to the doll's sides.  I decided to stuff her not too tightly but not too loosely either.  I Googled needle sculpture & found a tutorial showing how to make a nose.  I used someone else's staining directions rather than those provided by the doll's designer.

The dolls were supposed to be angels.  I scrapped that real fast & decided to just make them prim gals.  I traced around one of the dolls in an attempt to make a dress pattern.  I got something I thought would work & did a trial run sewing a dress from some muslin.  I had to make just a few adjustments, thank goodness, & then was ready to make a real dress.

The winning names for my giveaway had already been drawn.  I had emailed the "grand prize winner" to let her know that her giveaway package was going to be a bit late.  I decided to give her the option of letting me send her something else.  She responded saying no, she would be happy to wait for whatever I had initially intended to send.  This actually worked out to her advantage because I was able to adapt the dress to suit her personality!  The "grand prize winner" was Trace whose blog is Granny Trace Scraps & Squares.  She has a "thing" for chickens & I remembered that I had an old piece of material from back in the 90s that had chickens printed on it.  Dug that out & made the dress but something was missing.  The doll needed something ... but what?  I tried to find a little basket she could hold with some miniature eggs in it but had no luck finding those items.  Then I thought maybe I could find a little stuffed chicken or sack of corn she could hold.  Nope, couldn't find those either.  Meanwhile I went ahead & made the dress for the second doll, all the while wondering what I was going to do with Trace's doll.  Finally I decided to wing it (no pun intended) & draw up a little chicken pattern to make a prim chicken for the doll to hold.

Although I didn't take a photo of Trace's things before I mailed them ... same as Betty's ... I did take a photo of the 2 dolls together when I finished them.

Trace also received a quilted chicken pinkeep.  She has posted photos on her blog which you can access by clicking on the link above.

I think I will rest from my doll labors for a while.  I know that I will definitely read through patterns in the future before attempting to make dolls again ... lol!   


Angela said...

Shirlee, Your dolls turned out great. You did a wonderful job. Loved Betty's goodies and just visited Trace and saw the doll and pinkeep. They should be two happy ladies. I am working on a doll right now and just found out the arms to her were not enclosed with the pattern. So I feel your pain when it comes to a designer not being careful when designing a pattern. I have to admit this is a first time for me, and I realize we all make mistakes and are not perfect so I am trying to make do and continue on with the doll. Oh, you can click on the stitchery on my blog and it will enlarge. If you can't and want to know what it says, I will send you a copy, I found it somewhere and just drew it off for myself. Just let me know.

Lynn said...

OMG, these were the first dolls you made?? Girl, I would have loved to have one in my home. I know you said you would not try again for a while but girl you have talent.

bettyj said...

Your dolls are wonderful. You did go out of our way, girlfriend, but we both appreciate it and thank you! I am heading over to Trace's blog.

Wendy @ Ravenwood Whimzies said...

Yikes - despite all the problems you had, the dolls turned out cute! I'm sure Trace loves hers!