Dolly Dolly Oxen Free is a great name. Right? Yes. I thought so, too. My fantastic and brilliant friend, Lindy, came up with it.
I began this adventure a long, long time ago when I stitched up my first doll for my little girl. The doll was...well... she was a mess! I used wool roving for hair which would have been fine, but I did not take into consideration, I was giving it to a toddler. In no time, her lovely locks were two dreadlocked bird's nests. the body was made by stuffing a pair of tights that my kiddo had outgrown. The stuffing was part fiberfill, part yarn scraps, part "whatever I had lying around that was soft". This chaos did not hold up well and in no time, the dolly had one very short, thick leg and one long and skinny leg. Aparently, not coordinating the stuffing materials in a stetchy body was a bad idea.
To be a bit dramatic with my description, I could say: it was as if I had packed one leg with jeans and the other with newspaper. But to my kiddo, the doll was great. Even my husband gave me an "Aww, good job, Honey. She looks great." But I saw a possibility. If I could make this poor little thing, which I was embarassed to give to my child, and people liked it... what more could I do?
I began thinking more about dolls and stuffed monsters. Toys that were just as eye-catching as the things for sale on store shelves, but with something more. I started playing with fabrics and learning more about sewing and embroidery. I scouted discount bins, thrift stores and yard sales for fabrics with personality. I drooled through every book on dollmaking I could find. I doodled dollies on envelopes, napkins, and magazine covers. I began to really look at the toys in Kiddo's room. I am not sure when it happened, but not long after the obsession started I had a sketchbook with plans and my sewing machine threaded. Oh, how gently it started way back then...