The other day my granddaughter, Sofia, came into my workroom and she said, "Grandma, I like your princess doll." She was looking at this doll sitting up on a high shelf. "What's her name?" I thought for a moment. She doesn't have a name, but I replied, "Juliet." Sofia was happy. "I like Juliet." I like her too.
I made this doll more than twenty years ago. It is my own design. It was one of several items that I created patterns for, with an idea that with young children at home I might have my own little business selling patterns. "Little" was the operative word. I took them to sewing shows and expos and peddled them to local shops, but it was not a very successful business. My patterns were complicated for one thing. Most people wanted simple and easy. The other problem was how to get them out into the world, beyond my own town. This was long before the internet. Of all my patterns I sold the most for this Elizabethan doll. A doll catalog picked up the pattern and sold a lot. I also sold them at the gift shop at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
So much has changed since then. I was spending a lot to have these patterns printed in larger quantities than I really needed. The photo on the front is an actual photo print, glued, by me, to the cover sheet. Digital printing did not exist. There was no internet, no Etsy, no way of networking with other crafters like myself. I love the revival of independent design and craft that is happening now and all the young Moms who are making such great stuff to sell and share! I think I was born 20 years too soon.
Most people say they were born too late. It's funny to hear "too soon." but you're right, if Etsy existed back then, you would have been right in the middle of it!ReplyDelete
Beautiful doll and the fabric of the dress is so lovely. Lucky Sofia to have a dollmaker in the family!!ReplyDelete
WOW! Gorgeous doll and the workmanship!!!! I am sitting here being very impressed with you and your talents.ReplyDelete
I had no business skills but was always one of the women who was trying crafts during the 70's while raising my children. I stayed at home with them until the youngest entered kindergarten and then I went to work.
As to being born to soon or too late--I don't know. I have always sort of felt "just right".
I can see a treasure gift at a future occasion for Sophie. I stumbled through the same timewarp - designing bags and totes made from old blue jeans. I copyrighted a pattern and sold it through one of those tiny ads in the back of "Quilter". Made and sold hundreds of "AZZBAGS" from the kitchen table. It kept me out of trouble for a while when the boys first started school.Marketing was always the hardest part back then.ReplyDelete
Oh she IS wonderful! So do you have any of those patterns left? It's never to late to open that Etsy shop!ReplyDelete
I agree with you also, that I was born too soon. I used to sew and craft for a whole year and then set it all up in my clean, painted basement and sell to friends, family and friends friends. Now there is an easier way to do it all but now I don't have that kind of energy. I love your doll and I hope to get back into doll making again some day.ReplyDelete
Too soon for what!?! Sell her now! :-)ReplyDelete
Make a PDF of the pattern, put it on etsy.... I know other people sell PDF patterns.... From the outside, it surely seems like (once the pattern has been PDF-ified) there wouldn't be much to do.....
I have an Elizabethian doll...I'm pretty sure it is one that Grandma slaved (and swore over). I remember her putting the yarn in the oven to make it curl...if I am thinking of the same project. The doll sat in my parents living room for years and has faded. She has not made the long journey to Boise yet, but I think once her owner is established, she can come home. I sure like her a lot! :)ReplyDelete