A book lands in our mailbox: Fleecie Dolls by Fiona Goble.
The girls turn the pages: “Oh! I want to make this one! And that one… and this one too!”
At last, a decision is made: “I’m going to make Tilly, the mermaid.”
So we go shopping and come home with…
a colourful pile of soft fleece,
sparkling purple sequins and,
a ball of orange and green, uneven knobbly yarn.
I hunt out…
a scrap of felt,
reels of sewing threads,
a tangle of embroidery threads,
and my sharp dressmaking scissors.
I photo-copy patterns.
I snip fabric.
Gemma-Rose wets the end of her thread and pokes it through the eye of her needle and then sews impossibly small and patient stitches.
She stuffs and…
sews openings shut before…
embroidering a face with a huge happy smile, seaweed green eyes and two rosy cheeks.
She secures a shiny sequin on the tail, and another and another,
and cuts lengths of orange and green mermaid hair from yarn and bright orange fleece.
We find an odd piece of green hair ribbon and fashion it into a tiny bikini
top. Gemma-Rose adds an old inherited pearl button shaped like a shell, from my grandmother’s rusty tin box.
Then she smiles. “Isn’t she a wonderful mermaid?”
“She is! I don’t think we got that bikini top quite right
Gemma-Rose giggles. “It’s a little immodest!” She pulls a face.
“But it’s only a doll.”
“I think she’s perfect.”
“What are you going to make next?”
“Florence, the traditional cloth doll.”
“Why don’t you make a doll too, Mum?”
I rather like Anya the Raggedy
and Magnus the little monster…
So many beautiful designs to choose from.
Do you think if I started sewing now, I could make some dolls for Christmas presents? Perhaps we all could.
Other excellent sewing books by Fiona Goble…
Gemma-Rose wrote her own story about making her mermaid. Her version includes all the mistakes! Please visit her blog, Windy Island, if you’d like to share her post.