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  • Writer's pictureAnna Branford

some new dolls

Here are some new dolls I have been making, all ready to take to the Makers Market in Thornbury this Saturday. (If you'd like to come, please see the details at the end of this post!)

Meanwhile, I'll tell you something about the fabrics I use, since people often ask me. The thing is, I am not very good at throwing away old clothes. To me it seems that the more clothes are worn, the softer and nicer they feel. So I quite often wear things until I need to patch them...

...and patch them again, and after a while there there are so many patches it gets silly. But I still love them and can't quite bring myself to throw them away. The wonderful thing about making doll's clothes is that almost no scrap of fabric is too small or too holey that you can't find at least a bit of it to wash carefully and use.

So as a final act of loyalty to my favourite dresses and shirts and skirts, I use the very last of them in these little creations. For example, the tops that this whole set of dolls are wearing are made from my absolute favourite pajamas that I bought back in 2010 when I was doing some fieldwork in Lourdes (a shrine in France right up in the snowy Pyrenees). I'd only brought my normal Melbourne pajamas and I was icy cold in the nights in my hotel, so I bought these ones. I love them so much, partly because they were the nicest and comfiest pajamas ever and partly because they are associated with such a happy time in my life.

I have already sold three dolls in this set. Two were flown off to New York as gifts and one was taken home to England by someone who was travelling through Melbourne and asked if they could see my collection. So that means that my best ever pajamas, after seeing me through eight winters until they were threadbare, are now being scattered all over the world in carefully cut little pieces. It makes me so happy to think of that. (Happy enough even to make peace with my slightly less comfy replacement pajamas.)

The soft grey fabric in the dresses and skirts is from an Indian cotton shirt I love but managed to tear too badly to fix. The white is from an old embroidered pillow slip that was a present so long ago that I don't even remember when. Making these little dresses and skirts has felt like a lovely, respectful way to say goodbye.

This is how I've packaged these dolls all ready for market, in case anyone would like to take them home. The brown boxes close like books. They're really lovely, I think.

Please come by and say hello if you like.

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Sandie Mirabai
Sandie Mirabai
Sep 30, 2018

your dolls are so beautiful Anna. Love , Love, Love x


Kathie Gray
Kathie Gray
May 09, 2018

What exquisite dolls and the book boxes are wonderful. I completely understand about the fabrics, in our house we wear clothes until they are unfixable and then I turn them into other things such as cushions, rugs, toys, cleaning cloths, art projects and much more!

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