Sunday, December 26, 2010


Christmas is over, the presents are all unwrapped, the recycling bin in full of brightly colored paper, and we are feeling content and overwhelmed with good things in our lives.  I really love some of the gifts in our family this year!


First off, I sewed some little mermaid dolls for the girls.  These are from the Mermaiden pattern by Wee Wonderfuls, and I am sooooo happy with how they turned out.  They were very fun and rewarding to sew and used up just tiny scraps of fabric.  The only thing I bought for these dolls was the embroidery thread for the faces. (Doing the faces, by the way, was just. too. fun. seriously.)

Two little mermaid friends

The black hair and the blue hair are from felted old sweaters; the black hair was from a merino wool sweater and it turned out an especially awesome texture, sort of squishy.  (The blue hair was from an old cashmere sweater and turned out more soft and fuzzy, as you might expect.)  The original pattern has you do hair flowers from rickrack, but that didn't work at all for me.  I used some lace and regular ribbon for two of them, and then did little beading embellishment on the other two.

Two more little mermaid ladies

I used three different fabrics for the body/skin and they turned out pretty different from each other.  They each had different amounts of stretch, so the dolls each turned out slightly different sizes.  The medium brown skin was a woven with no stretch (what the original pattern calls for), so that doll turned out petite and little (also, kind of wrinkly because there is no stretch-- she is a blue-haired granny mermaid). The fair skin is a hemp/cotton French terry that has a medium amount of stretch, so those two dolls turned out medium-sized (and I think this was the most appealing amount of stretch; I'd love to find it in more skin colors or dye it or something).  The dark brown skin is very stretchy and that doll turned out, well, a bit on the plump side.  In hind sight, I should have sewn her a bit smaller to start with.  Also, the next time I sew an African-American doll, I will use a darker red for the mouth.

I really love how they all turned out different and quirky and individuals, and I am DEFINITELY going to buy her new book.  Also, I may buy this pattern from the same designer for future doll sewing.  I have never really sewn little toys or dolls before this and I am feeling a little obsessive and addicted right now because SQUEEEEEE THEY ARE SO CUTE AND FUN TO SEW.  Also, the girls really like them; Grace's are in the bottom picture and she has named them Aubra (left) and Princess Tail (right).

A subversive necklace

I got many lovely gifts myself, including this necklace from Rob.  It is made from a vintage dictionary page; isn't that the most wonderful, appealing idea?  You get to choose what word you want in the necklace, so Rob decided it should be a subversive necklace.  LOVE.


And then here is what I gave Rob (actually for his birthday, which is a few days before Christmas).  It's an oil painting done by this artist as part of a project he did for small, affordable commissioned art.  He did 100 little oil paintings based on photographs that we sent in; Rob's painting is based on this photograph of Grace when she was about 18 months old. Again, LOVE.


Christy@pipandsqueak said...

I love them all! I wanted to do some handmade gifts this year but time got away from me. As far as I got was buying towels from Target to make my own hooded towels but even that is not do handmade as I would still be buying from the big store that sells everything.

astropixie said...

those dolls are amazing, julia! i'm so impressed with your skills and creativity. the girls will love those forever!

Kiki said...

I think I've said this before but seriously, you could have an easy shop. Love the dolls, so cute. And the painting is one you'll cherish forever!

Eva said...

I want to be like you when I grow up... oh, wait.