What does Charting a New Course have to do with Doll Making?

I love to sail. I'm a member of a great little sailing club named Wet Pants and I do most of my sailing in a small boat on Long Island's Great South Bay. I like to sail across the Bay to Fire Island and then walk across that narrow island to the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. People who sail, myself included, have a tendency to think in sailing terms and often use them in conversation or when they write.

I love to make dolls, too. A Long time ago, I made a doll for my daughter and embroidered a big heart on its chest in thread to match its skin color with the words "For Jocelyn from Mommy, Christmas 1972". When my daughter loaned the doll back to me for photographs. I discovered the embroidery which I had completely forgotten I had done. Without that little bit of embroidery it's not likely that either of us would have been able to remember the exact occasion or date that the doll had been given and received.

I now have three granddaughters and they each have an American Girl Doll. Those dolls are very nice, but they are stiff and hard to the touch. And their knees and elbows don't bend. I, and probably you too, have made, or purchased, clothing for those dolls. And maybe you've taken some trips into the big city to have lunch and enjoy other activities with one of those dolls. It's fun, but recently I've been thinking that we who sew have an opportunity to make dolls and do doll related activities closer to home. To put it in sailing terms, I'm thinking it's time for us to chart a new course in doll making.

I have designed the My Doll'n™ pattern to make it easy to sew an 18-20 inch girl OR BOY doll which will be soft and cuddly, with bending knees and elbows. These dolls can be made by us for our daughters and sons, our grandchildren, any other kids or maybe an adult that we care about and love. They will have been made by someone the recipient can care about and love back, rather than having been mass produced in a foreign factory.

Each doll will be similar in size and recognizable as one of its group yet each one will be unique to each doll maker and doll recipient. And in My Doll'n Friendship Groups™ we can plan our own local activities. We can take our Doll'ns™ to lunch in our favorite local restaurants. Our doll recipients can write their own doll's story in a My Doll'n Diary.™ And if we want to, we can even embroider a little message on the doll's body or on a piece of its clothing.

As a group we can have doll shows. We can make and donate dolls to charity. We can set up group sewing sessions or give doll making lessons.

We can invite interested youngsters to join us at our sewing machines and perhaps they will even want to have a hand in creating a Doll'n™ of their own. Kids love it when they discover that they are able to create something special for themselves or someone else. Let's encourage and empower them.

I am currently forming the first My Doll'n Friendship Group™ on Long Island and I invite you to start one in your community. Invite your friends and neighbors to join the "crew" and come aboard too. We can have a great time "sailing" together. Let's make memories. Let's make a Million Doll'ns.