Handmade Christmas Gifts

Friday, December 10, 2010
For the last few years I have felt inspired to make as many Christmas gifts as I can. It makes it busy at this time of the year, along with all the other end of year activities, but it's one of my most favourite things to do for Christmas.

So my sewing machine has been rather busy lately - in between dashing out for tennis games, art awards, piano recitals, Christmas baking, gifts for teachers and bathroom cleaning.

This year I decided to get Alice her first baby doll. Meredith was more into teddies than baby dolls as an infant, but Alice loves dolls. It's funny how at under 2 years old, that mothering instinct is very much present in her, although most of the dolls have ended up either sopping wet from being dunked in the bath, tattoos on their arms and faces from felt pens, or very untidy, matted hair, and food squished into their mouths.

I ordered this adorable pattern designed by one of my favourite designers, Rosalie Quinlan, and made this bassinette. I bought it from fionamarie here in New Zealand. It was so easy to sew together and lots of fun. I love picking out the fabric for these projects. That's the best part.

It just needs the mattress and quilt to complete it, which I haven't finished yet. I made a little cloth doll, but somehow it just didn't look babyish enough to match, and Meredith really, really wants it - so I've decided to give it to her in her stocking, and I started a hunt for a baby doll for Alice.

Do you know how hard it is to find a nice-looking baby dol!. They either have horrible un-babyish faces, or very robotic-sounding voices, or they are dolls that can't be bathed - which is essential in my house, as that seems to be the thing that my girls like to do the most to their dolls. Meredith once ruined a very expensive talking, crying, peeing doll by giving it a bath. It now makes the most unusual inhuman sounds, as a result.

Yesterday, while dashing in and out of Farmers, I stopped by the doll aisle and took a quick scan. I was going around poking their tummies or squeezing their arms to listen to the voices when a grandma stopped next to me and was looking too.

"Some of these dolls sound awful, don't they," she said
I agreed.
"Are you looking for a first baby doll?" she asked me.
I said yes, and that it was a harder job than it seemed.
She told me she was looking for a first baby doll for her granddaughter and could I recommend one?
I told her that the nicest baby dolls are the Baby Born dolls - they have no hair, soft, washable bodies and nice faces without the raucous recorded voices, but that they were very expensive. There were two of them way up on the top of the shelf. She wanted to have a look at it, so I called over one of the staff and they went and got a ladder to get it down. Even though I knew it would probably be out of my price range, I stopped long enough to have a look. And that was when the lady told me that they had a discount on the dolls that very day! So guess what?
I came home with our first Baby Born.
And here she is . . . what should we call her? I like Felicity or Kimberly or Betsy or Susan or Jemima (all the girls names that my husband didn't like when we had baby girls). I quite like Margaret too.

I've also been sewing up little Maisy dolls for little nieces and friends who want one. (The yellow fabric on two of the dolls is from Rosalie Quinlan's range - I love it)!

And finally, I have finished my felt order of five pillows. It was a big job, but fun to do and so very satisfying when completed. They'll be going out in the mail soon.

There have been one or two other things which I can't show you yet, because of the people who might see it on here and ruin the surprise. I have a few things left to go, and then I'll be all done - which is great, but kind of sad too - I have been enjoying all this creative work.


Sandy Addison said...

Love the pillows and the bassinette they are so lovely and you are a clever girl

Heather L. said...

All your sewing is so beautiful! I'm so glad you got the lovely baby doll. Just reading our favorite Tasha Tudor Christmas story "Becky's Christmas" and her doll is named "Sethany Ann".

Cate said...

You are so clever Rachel! These are all wonderful!

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