Friday, April 5, 2013

The merry mermaid.

I finally followed through with my recent urge to make dolls and made one! This was more of a quick fix project, instead of a doll with lots of interchangeable clothes that I'm still wanting to make. I've been in a bit of a sewing slump over the past week or two, so this was a good way for me to get drawn back in. :)

This is the Merry Mermaid pattern from We Make Dolls. It's one of my favorite projects from the book, even though she's not at all a traditional doll (she's even the slightest bit creepy-looking :). I loved that she was unconventional and the use of free-motion machine embroidery for her face. Plus, she always reminded me of a flapper for some reason...maybe it's her hair or eyes? A flapper mermaid...I like that. :) Though I suppose it would be hard to dance the Charleston if one has a fin rather than knees. {Speaking of that clip, maybe I'll name this doll Ginger. She reminds me of Ginger Rogers...or maybe Jean Arthur?}

She's about 13 inches tall. Her body is cream muslin, her hair is yellow broadcloth, the stars are wool felt (I contemplated making her a bit more modest but didn't want to mess anything up. I suppose she's just as modest as Ariel or the mermaids in Peter Pan :), the scarf is red organza ribbon, and her fin is some Lisette lawn that I bought at Joann's last year. I got the last 1.5 yards of that bolt and have been holding on to it, convincing myself it was enough for a blouse for me. I finally admitted that it wasn't enough, but it was just perfect for this project. And there's plenty left for a scarf or a little girl's dress or something (if I have a niece :).

I followed the pattern except for one part: I didn't do the free motion scales on her fin. I was going to, but the cotton lawn was so thin that it was puckering up and looking awful. And honestly, the print is busy enough and didn't really need extra scales sewn on. {I also had problems later on with the fin fabric. Because of the 1/4 inch seam allowance, it was fraying into the seam and causing holes.}

This pattern also used this incredibly genius idea of using pink chalk for her cheeks. I would have never thought of that, but look at how adorable it turns out! I just used some pink Crayola chalk we had around the house, and applied it with a q-tip. It's a lot more subtle than in the book, but I like that. Sometimes I get a bit obsessive about wanting my projects to look exactly as they do in the book, but I'm trying to learn that's not necessary. :)

She also has slightly pose-able arms (as seen in the first photo), because they're attached with buttons. I didn't have a long needle to work with, so the arms might not be as securely attached as I'd like, but it's good enough. This is more of a decorative doll than a toy one, anyway.

Here's my mermaid with her book twin.

I want to make another doll soon. I'm feeling a bit low on pretty fabrics (and I can't exactly afford a Hobby Lobby shopping spree right now :), but I know I have some small bits that would be perfect for dolls. I just need to find them.

Until next time,


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