Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lopsided Love

Lately, I've been swamped with work: my school bag bulges with essays to grade; the literature course I'm teaching requires brand new lecture preps every week, and an influx of writing projects has me working on the computer more than usual. I've been feeling a bit like I felt in grad school, those months of slogging through Derrida and Plato, Donne and Lord Byron, all heavy-duty reading assignments that dampened my desire to read for pleasure. For 2 years, the same stack of novels collected dust on my bedside table while night after night I crawled into bed, my eyes dry and heavy from 100 page reading assignments, my mind at capacity, teeming with words and ideas. In other words, I'm doing so much writing and thinking for work, I haven't felt inspired to write for the blog.

I think my soul was longing to unplug because I developed a sudden and urgent desire to craft, to create something that didn't require hitting "publish" or "save." I'm not exactly a crafty gal, but every now and then I get the crafting yen, and woe to the person who stands between me and A.C. Moore. This time, foolishly imagining I could create anything close to as darling and hip as the Hillary Lang dolls at Wee Wonderfuls, without a pattern, a sewing machine, or a lick of spacial reasoning, I undertook a doll project.

I didn't realize I could buy the pattern for Hillary's Make Along Dolls (my favorite of her soft toy creations) right off her website, and I didn't want to wait for a pattern to be shipped to me, so I tried to make my own pattern using a big piece of cardboard and a flickr photo that displayed the cut-out pieces of the doll.

I did okay for an improvised first try, especially a hand-sewn first try. The doll, whom Mitch named Sara, is lopsided. Her stitches are ugly and obvious in a few (okay, many) places. She has embarrassing bald spots and ill-fitting clothes. Her eyes are a bit uneven; her hands are disproportionately small; and I worry that Paige may end up with a mouth full of stuffing if she plays with her too heartily. Sara does, however, have adorable feet. Turns out I'm pretty good at doll feet.

Sara has also captured Paige's heart. After 3 days of sewing, when I finally stuffed her body, and she started to look like an actual doll (sort of), Paige began to pine for her. I couldn't work on the doll when Paige was in the room because she'd sit at my feet, whining to hold the doll and pulling up on my knees to grab at her. When Sara was nearly complete, I gave her to Paige for the first time. She immediately dropped her on the floor, laid down next to her, and nuzzled her head into the doll's cushy tummy.

They lay there together for a few minutes in a bit of a rapture, and I decided that somehow Paige knew that Sara was fashioned from motherlove. The doll is scruffy, yes, but she has a soul:

And a soul sister:


Bon said...

do we get pictures of ze dollz?

Mean Mommy said...

Hmmm. I guess I hit publish before I thought I did! I didn't know a draft of this had been posted.

I just published the final post...with pictures!

Anna said...

Sara is lovely! Oh the idea of motherlove - makes me weepy... you do so much with just a couple of words.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Gorgeous post. I think Sara is absolutely perfect.

MadMad said...

Oh, how cute! The doll AND the baby! Awww. What a cutie. You know, next time you have one of those crafty urges, I know a few knitters who could bring you over to our dark side! Knitting is easier than sewing any day (though I have to say, you're obviously pretty talented in the sewing department...)