My Great-Grandma was an interesting lady. Fiercely independent, opinionated, entrepreneurial, yet absurdly generous. She baked a cake for someone in her company every day she worked, she made Easter eggs out of sugar with little scenes inside of them to sell, and she sewed many many many Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Those things were everywhere, and I’m pretty sure each of her 17 great-grandchildren had multiples of those dolls. Fast-forward to present day.
Next week, when I go to see my family, I’m going to a baby shower for my dear cousin who is due in September. She’s doing her nursery in Raggedy Ann and Andy motifs because (I imagine) it makes her remember Grandma St. Joe. How could I pass up the opportunity to make her a doll that Grandma would be proud of?
I used my TNT doll pattern, piecing the arms and legs to make them a little more patchworky, like Grandma’s dolls were. I copied the face in fabric paint from a vintage Raggedy Ann doll picture I found on Flickr. I used this tutorial for the hair, and the clothes I just cut a little bit of this and that and went to town, as I always do for my dolls. Actually, it’s probably because Grandma St. Joe that I make dolls at all. I remember being a kid and being allowed to raid her scrap piles in the attic. I made many many a costume for my beloved squeaky pig, Spam from those bits, the most treasured being my Henry VIII garb I made from an upholstery scrap (wouldn’t you know Spam is at my parents…one of these days I’m going to rescue him and do a proper photo shoot). I never cared much for the dolls themselves, but clothing them has always been a pastime for me, as I imagine it was for my Grandma. Traditions at their best always feel that way to me. It’s amazing to participate in a tradition and to remember those before you doing the same thing while you’re doing whatever that thing is.
So, though my Grandma was quite a firecracker, I feel really blessed that she invited all of us into her world and taught us things. I miss her.
(I was the baldest baby ever!)