Mermaid Doll – Take 1

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This little lady was finished up in the zero hour before being gifted to another special little lady for her 4th birthday (please excuse the quality of the photos!).

The pattern is the Marina Mermaid Doll from the summer issue of Stitch Magazine.  Overall I like the doll and most of the pattern, though I made some major modifications.

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What I changed:

1)  The hair.  It’s a doll for a 4 year old.  She’s got to be able to play with the hair!!  Also, it just seems fitting to me that mermaid dolls have multi-colored hair.  Seriously, what other dolls could you put that on and it not look funky?!

2)  The swimsuit top thing.  The way my arms got put in didn’t leave me room for the strip of fabric the pattern called for.  This is a perfect place for felt though.  I just laid it down with some Fabri Tac, whipstitched around all the edges and voila!  No need to worry about frayed edges.

3)  The finn.  I didn’t add fusible fleece to the finn part of the tail, nor did I stuff it.  Instead, I went around the entire finn with stitching – the stuffing stays in the body this way, the edges won’t fray and the thing can flip like finns do!

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I didn’t change the stitching on the face.  She’s got such a sweet expression!  I really like the way the designer (Heidi Boyd) chose to embroider the features.

(note the stitching around the finn below.  how could you not with those huge arrows!)

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Lessons learned:

1)  The construction on this was NOT fun for me.  The arms were sewn and stuffed, then put in between the body pieces and then the whole thing was sewn together.  That was rough for me to get through my machine and I don’t know that I’ll do it that way again.  It makes sense to do it that way – giving the arms a joint like that, but I ended up with a bit of the arm out of the seam that I had to stitch down by hand and that’s not ideal.

2)  Not sure how I feel about fusible fleece.  This was the first time I’d used it.  It definitely added to the structure/stability of the doll and with the light colored fabric on the body, it helped hide stitches, etc.  It was a bit of extra bulk though and I don’t think it fused all the way in some areas.  Think I’ll try one without it and see how I like that.

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Overall I think she’s a cutie and I’ll definitely be making more mermaids!

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Who knew making dolls could be so fun?

I apologize for the quality of the photos – these were both gifts and I was trying to get them to their cute recipients on time and not so worried about getting a picture of them!

This one was almost straight out of Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.  I had a bunch of mini tote bags left over from Wyatt’s birthday party, so I appliqued  her initial on and used it as a gift bag!

I had so much fun with this one.  The little girl’s dad is a chef, so I though the fabric was so cute and appropriate!

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Then I got a bee in my bonnet to make a mermaid.  I took the general idea of the doll above, but made some major tweaks and came up with a little mermaid.  Afraid I deleted the picture of her!!!! 😦

So much fun!  I have lots more ideas but need to find the time…