by Karen Rubsam
I admit it.á I play with dolls.á I always have.á As a teenager I was still playing with my Barbie while other girls had moved on to boys.á It’s an oddity that is usually best not discussed outside the doll world. So imagine my surprise when I spied a traditional style Raggedy Ann and Andy on my friends dorm room bed at college.
I didn’t think she had the same attachment to dolls as I do, so I avoided a full throttle discussion on the joys of dolls.á My friend’s raggedy dolls were just something her mom had made for her and they reminded her of home so she brought them back each year.á Careful not to reveal too much, I never openly coveted them, though I watched as several of her friends got their own set made especially for them by her mother.á I wasn’t sure if they were gifts or if they paid for them.á Paying for them was out of the question as a cash-starved student.á And, I guess I never made the BFF list to earn a set as a gift.á So I suffered in silence.á After graduation I moved on, or so I thought, and focused on other things.
I started sewing again about a year ago.á And yes, it was related to my doll fixation.á Though, the memories of Raggedy Ann were not in the forefront of my mind ô I had moved on to Betsy McCall and American Girl types.á I couldn’t believe how expensive clothes were for them so I decided to sew my own.á Mind you I had already amassed a collection of Barbie dolls.á The Barbies didn’t need clothes as they could be fashionably attired at reasonable prices.á Not to mention their clothes are just too small for me to even attempt to sew!
Ah but the Raggedy Ann memories came streaming back one day as I was browsing a pattern book at Joann’s during their $.99 pattern sale.á I saw the Classic Raggedy Ann & Andy pattern (Simplicity 9447):
They looked just like my friend’s set!áá I thought…”I could do that”…and quickly bought the pattern.á As with most sewing projects, it sat there for a while.á I was finally inspired when I found out that one of my mom’s caregivers has the same birthday as I do.á And, she still plays with dolls!á We have a big birthday coming up (I won’t say which one) so I thought I would do something special for her.á I think she might like her own Raggedy Ann doll.
The actual sewing of the doll was pretty easy.á Surprisingly it was somewhat difficult to collect all the right fabric.á I wanted to make the doll with darker skin and brown hair since this lady is from Jamaica.á I’m still not sure I got the tone just right.á I needed to look around for the red and white striped fabric for the legs.á I finally found some mixed in with the Christmas fabric.á I was thinking you might also find it with the Halloween costume material when that comes out.á My point? if you ever think you might want to make this doll and you see red/white striped fabric ô buy it ‘then’ don’t wait!
I bought the pattern before I had an embroidery machine.á I am sooo glad that I waited to make the doll.á The embroidery machine made it easier and added those special touches.á Rather than using buttons and paint, I opted to embroider the face.á I think it looks even better than those silly faces on my friend’s dolls!á I embroidered a heart on her chest and a cute little “Made by Karen”Ł on her bottom (I wonder if the birthday girl will ever see it).á I wanted to personalize the doll so I came up with the idea of adding a monogram to the pinafore.áá I used a frame from the Monogram Frame set which is available from Designs by SiCK:
I love how it turned out!
The hair was the most difficult to add and in my opinion there is some room for improvement.á The directions in the pattern were not really clear regarding how much yarn to use or how to actually sew it on ô I guess they expect us all to be expert seamstresses.á After thinking about it for a while I decided to sew the hair on using some tissue paper on top to hold the yarn in place.á It worked okay but next time I will try to use a color that matches the hair as it was difficult to pull green tissue paper out of her brown hair!á I might try to look online for other hints as well (please feel free to comment if you have an easier solution).
I will be giving the caregiver the doll next week.á I do hope she likes it as much as I do.á Regardless, with my good deed done I feel that it is now appropriate to make one for myself!