Sunday was Rana’s 6th birthday! She has been telling us for weeks that she wanted all kinds of cowboy-related things, including a cowgirl doll. If you remember from Granota’s birthday, my original intention was to make them both fairy dolls, but I was willing to switch gears. I used a slightly different doll pattern because a cowgirl and a fairy shouldn’t look the same. Somewhat ironically, the pattern I used for both the doll and the shirt were for an Indian girl. Hmm. Maybe someday the cowgirl will have an Indian friend. I don’t know if it will be anytime soon, though; I’m a little burnt out on doll-making. So many fiddly little bits!
For the most part, the doll went together pretty well. Sewing the tiny little clothes was kind of a hassle. Then I started running into bigger hassles. About the time the doll was ready for hair, I checked local thrift stores and ended up going to four before finding one with a donor Barbie head. I was feeling a little desperate, but should have checked more closely: this was a knock-off Barbie which didn’t have nearly as much hair as the one I had used for Granota’s fairy. Even though the cowgirl doll’s head was smaller than the Barbie, she has some painfully obvious bald spots. Suddenly, a cowgirl hat was no longer just an accessory, but a necessity! “Here, sweetie, I made you a doll! Also, she has mange.” And right there, your birthday party is over.
I messed around trying to sew a hat, but it looked more like a fez. Granted, it didn’t have a brim when I gave up on it, but I think even that wouldn’t have put it over into cowboy hat territory. Next step was to check around at craft stores for tiny little cowboy hats. Two craft stores, a pet store, a toy store, and a Build-a-Bear later, not to mention two hours of my time, I was still hatless. Back to the drawing board. I checked online for tiny crocheted cowboy hat patterns and still no luck. I did find a doll hat pattern that I thought might possibly work with a little bit of pinching and shaping. I was up until 11:00 Saturday night working on that, but ran out of steam before sewing it onto the doll’s head. And now I’m glad I did.
Sunday after church, I disappeared into my sewing room to finish this last step, except… I decided I didn’t like the crocheted hat anymore. It was slightly too big and seemed to lose its shape too easily. I attempted steam-shrinking felt, but just gunked up my iron on accident (note to self: clean iron before next project). Then, in my doll pattern book, I found a doll wearing a high-crowned hat. Think Pilgrims. I shortened it a little and tacked up the brim on the sides and lo and behold! A fair approximation of a cowboy hat! I like it much better than the crocheted version.
Rana had the best cowgirl birthday a 6 year old girl could hope for. She got all kinds of cowgirl stuff from family and then, the moment of truth…
She likes the doll. She named her Jessie (after we vetoed “Lily” because just about everything else in the house is already named Lily). I think they’re going to have a good time together.
And, an update on Granota and the fairy: They are friends now. Granota named the fairy Falilla and has enjoyed playing with her very much since I assured her that I did not use human hair on the doll. Yes, that’s right. Granota was actually repulsed by the fairy because of the hair. Thankfully we got that all cleared up! I love walking by her bedroom at night and hear her whispering to Falilla. Exactly what I had hoped for.