Today I bought a new sewing machine. It was a very long time coming. I would say about 6 years overdue. It is exciting to have a new machine and to feel it pur along under my fingers, especially with some of the more challenging pieces I am making right now for my Bird show in July.
Oftentimes I don’t realize that most people don’t know how much work goes into making a doll. I have been more aware of it since people were asking about it on the feedback form I recently sent out and also while preparing for this workshop in July.
Recently there was a group of students coming through for a studio visit and I had put down a doll that I was sewing on. Someone who was already familiar with my work saw the doll laying there and exclaimed, “You sew everything by hand!? Oh my god!”
Well, I do use a sewing machine for hemming and for the larger pieces like a skirt or pants. But if the clothing needs to be fitted, I have to stitch it on to the doll’s body. There is a lot of hand stitching that happens on the dolls. I spent 2 hours on Sunday and 2 hours today just making the ruffles for a dress I am working on. The lace on the bustle and the blouse and sleeve details are all hand stitched.
Every doll needs “under wear” to keep their stuffing in place. This is what it looks like and is all hand stitched.