Sunday, March 22, 2009
The dolls above were sewn by my grandmother this Christmas past for my cousin's 4-year-old twins, Abby and Chloe, using a vintage pattern and mostly fabric scraps. The dolls are appropriately named Abby and Chloe as well. :) At 85, my grandmother has been stitching away for decades and is still kicking up dust at the sewing machine. I think she missed her calling in life. She made beautiful dresses for me when I was small... sewed wardrobes for my younger cousin, Pam... made dresses and nightgowns for my daughter and is now sewing for Pam's girls. She made my wedding dress, from which I, in turn, used the train to make a hand-smocked and beaded traditional christening gown that all of my children wore. What? you say – You cut up your wedding dress?? (Everyone says that.) Yeah... I did... I figured I have enough pictures of it, right?
My grandmother taught me that it's okay to think 'outside the pattern'... to deconstruct and reconstruct. She often remakes patterns or combines pieces from different patterns, or just improvises (a traced dinner plate makes a perfect scalloped hem on a flower girl's dress). Sometimes she enlists my help and I get to make satin rosettes or create pink-and-purple yarn hair for a rag doll (we ran out of orange).
Here's a picture of the real-life Abby and Chloe girls... or is that Chloe and Abby??
Take a cue from my grandmother. If you've been thinking about trying something new, go ahead – mix it up a little. Color outside those lines. Personally, I think the pink-and-purple hair looks fab, don't you?