ArtistMum: Memories and Collecting – Part 1

Getting older isn’t something anyone likes to think about but as I think of the passing years, I seem to ponder upon childhood ephemera. Don’t ask me why. Don’t know!

Recently I dug up a treasured and very old rag doll that my dear brother made for me when I was little. I can remember that morning so distinctly. It was my birthday and I had just learned to whistle AND my brother had given me a very special gift He gave me ‘Abby’!

Imagine……….my brother, whom I adored, had made this rag doll with his very own hands. He was maybe nine or ten years old at the time. I was so excited that I jumped up and down on my mom and dad’s bed which was a pull out couch in the living room of our tiny New York City apartment. I whistled and jumped and clutched my precious Abby to my heart!

Needless to say, I instantly fell in love with ‘Abby’ and she has been around for almost 57-ish years! No one would appreciate her as much as I do. She’s worn, old, and…..well…..ragged! I told my ‘Darling’ that if anything happens to me, Abby has to be placed in my coffin with me because no one would ever understand the bond that rag doll has to me and my brother.

Back to Abby……..since she was so fragile and worn, I decided to replicate her and I also wanted to make a mini size that I could tuck into my travel bag for writing, drawing, and photography purposes (I feel a children’s book a-brewing!).

So here’s how I started:
I placed Abby on top of some white paper and outlined her little body as best I could in pencil. Next, I added seam allowance and penciled in all the details with a Sharpie pen. This was my pattern. I photocopied my pattern and cut it out.

(I also made a smaller pattern, about 50% smaller for my mini Abby). By the way, the larger Abby was about 9 1/2 inches tall, the mini one was about 4 1/2 inches tall. I outlined my pattern onto some good quality muslin. A black Micron pen was used to fill in the details, front and back. Fabric pens in colors similar to the original Abby were used for the hair, eyes, undergarments, shoes and socks.


I stitched the front and back together by machine and turned the body right side out. Next step was to stuff the body with polyester fiberfill using a chopstick to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Here’s the mini Abby almost finished!


I most likely will make a few small changes in the head and arms but at least I got it going in the right direction!
Here are my Abby rag dolls almost all done!

And my furry friend is always nearby!


Memories and Collecting: Part 2 will be coming soon!



About artistmum

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