Monday, November 22, 2010
Someone said that Belle Boyd may have sent secret messages in the head of her maid's doll during the Civil War. So when the committee was gearing up they asked if I could make a similar doll. It was one of those times when I said "yes" and had no idea how I was going to fulfill the request.
Then the Keepsake Quilting catalog arrived in my mailbox. I was going through it, turned the page and there was this pre-printed panel called the "Melinda Dalton Doll". There was one panel for the doll and her undergarments and one panel for her dress. Then came the Nancy's Notion's catalog. They were selling the exact same panels, but had a "wardrobe" of clothing for her that included her Sunday Best Dress. WOW! I have dealt with Nancy's Notions for years so right away ordered the three panel set from their website. And waited for it to arrive. And waited. And waited. Finally, ten days after placing my order I called and asked - What Up? I was told that the items were on back order. Back Order? I asked why that hadn't been mentioned in the email they sent me confirming my order? I was snappily told that I would have appeared on the bottom of the screen when I placed my order. So I repeated my question about why it hadn't been mentioned in my order confirmation email. I was told they don't do it that way. And then she told me that the order was set to be filled the first week in December.
Now, usually I'm not a problem person when it comes to back orders. When it comes, it comes. But this time, I had a deadline. The house (museum) opens for the Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving. That means I have to have dolly done before then. So I said to the woman that I was sorry, but that really wasn't going to work for me. You're canceling the order? she says to me. I'm afraid so, I said. Fine. Thank you. Bye. Click. Someone was apparently not having a good day - and that really surprised me too, because I've never talked to anyone there who was less than nice.
So, I got online again and went to the Keepsake Quilting site. And found the doll panels - doll and everyday dress. And ordered them - for $5 more than I had originally paid Nancy. But, now it was a problem and I was willing to pay the extra five bucks. And this time I made sure to read all the page told me when I was placing the order. It actually said "Item in Stock". So I clicked checkout and was done. Oh, forgot to say that I paid for regular shipping because express shipping was just WAY out of sight.
Two days later, package in the mailbox from Keepsake Quilting! And get this - the panels that came were the doll, the everyday dress and the Sunday dress! The whole wardrobe!
So, this weekend I sat down (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) to whip up this doll. She's supposed to have 3-D feet - i.e., the foot has a bottom - but darned if I could get THAT bottom to fit on THAT foot. I finally gave up and sewed the two sides together! The hair was also a frustrating business. The instructions say "when you've wrapped the yarn around the cardboard about 50 times, cut it at one end". Doesn't say anything about the SIZE of the cardboard. So, I made two wigs - one wrong and then one right. Attaching it was another fun time. The thing I don't like is that you aren't going to be able to find yarn that exactly matches the color of brown that they've printed on the face as the hairline. So, they might as well not have printed the hairline because I think it looks a little goofy. I also think that her facial features look too old and made up.
But, at this point, I don't care, I just need to get her done. Today I'm working on the everyday dress. Sunday dress will have to wait until some time in the future. Oh! I did make her so she has a secret compartment for messages in her head. I'll try and get a picture of that the next time. I am going to print a message on a piece of fabric and stick it in there. Belle Boyd is famous for sending messages to General Jackson - what do you suppose she should be telling him? Hope you enjoyed.