Monday 8 August 2022

New girls ready for school

My newest Unicef dolls are both little school girls. This first one is dressed almost like the very ugly fabric doll I made at school when I was about 9 years old. A simple green and white dress decorated with rows of cross stitches, but back then it was all hand sewn, we didn't use sewing machines until the next year.

In this photo made for the birth certificate she doesn't have her final look yet. I added a dark green bow to keep her hair to the side.

This young lady was ready for the world today. Yesterday she had an unfortunate accident with my blue permanent ink felt tip pen, and we were both nearly in tears. Stain removing didn't help, the colour was diluted but spread wider and wider, and the damage that started at her heel was creeping up to her knee.

Embroidering the face and sewing the hair are the most time consuming parts of my doll making, and essential for creating the personality of each doll. I just could not waste all that energy, so I had to perform emergency surgery. As a happy owner of an artificial knee joint I knew a transplant would work here too. Quickly I prepared a spare leg, stuffed it, sedated the poor little doll, cut off the damaged leg and replaced it with the new one at the hip joint. Good as new, and it takes an expert to notice the seam where on the healthy side the doll has just a hand stitched line to allow the legs to bend for sitting.

Today I took her to Villa Cooper where seven Unicef dolls have already found a new home this year alone.


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