Remembering Their Dad
Do you ever receive a request that you know you just can’t turn down – even if you have never tackled a project like this before? Happened to me (for the umpteenth time) this past October. I felt compelled to share this story and hope everyone appreciates it as much as I do.
While sitting at my booth during an event, a lady approached me. Not because she was interested in buying anything, but from what she felt I could do for her based upon the type of items she viewed in my booth.
This lady proceeded to share with me her story. During this story, I found out she was fostering several children who recently lost their grandmother. She was their last living relative who was providing care for them. The mother is gone, the father past away in January 2010, and the grandmother who was caring for them, past away at the end of the summer. Needless to say, the children are having an extremely difficult time especially with the loss of their dad.
The foster mother asked if I could make a series of dolls from his clothes for the kids with a message attached to each of the dolls from dad. After hearing the whole story, do you think I would (if I could) say no? Having never done this before, but knowing the lady had full confidence in me, I set about learning the best way to proceed with what she wanted based on her description. After 3 different attempts, I stumbled upon a design that seemed to fit close to what she wanted.
Using the Dad’s shirt and a pair of his sweat pants, I created 5 dolls. The goals was to make them all similar while still providing unique touches to tell them each apart. The dolls you see also include a cream colored pillow case for the head. She also requested the rag effect on the dolls based on other things she had seen.
I began by sewing the 3 different fabrics (representing the legs, body, and head)together in strips. Using a personally created template, I cut out 2 sides to form the front and back of the dolls. I sewed on buttons for the eyes and used a simply zig-zag stich to create the mouth. A touch of darker creamish fabric was added at the top of the head since the father had blond hair. To creat the buzz cut he was known for, I simply sewed a deeper seam at the top of the had to use the rag cutting techniques to spike his hair.
The foster mother was set on making sure hearts were visible. I appliqued hearts (from the fabric scraps) onto the fronts of the shirts. Plus, I created a back-pack pocket on the backside of the dolls shirts. Included in this pocket was a “note” from dad. It was hand written by me using permanent fabric markers.
While I’ve never made any type of doll before, I am so glad I accepted this challenge. It was definitly a project I will always remember and cherish. The children are coming up on the anniversary of the loss of their dad. The foster mother has the dolls and will be giving them to each of the children at Christmas. I’m sure it will be a heartfelt Christmas this year for this newly formed family.
A doll in dad's clothes
3 of the 5 dolls
2 of the 5 dolls
backpack with message from dad