The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,602 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,898 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Safe Toys Intermediate Level Merit Badge, I was fondly getting lost in my memories of my most favorite doll, back in the day. (Besides myself, of course. My next favorite doll then). She was a lovely thing, a soft rag doll with a Sunbonnet Sue bonnet and a calico print dress. Her legs were made of muslin and had MaryJanes painted right on them.
But the best thing about this dolly was the bows on the sides of her bonnet, because if you pulled on one, her eyes would go from closed to open. Then you pulled on the other, and vice versa. It was so clever. I get wistful and nostalgic just thinking about her.
Anyway, in order to earn my Intermediate Level badge for the Safe Toys category, I needed to make a doll. Since I had mine in my mind’s eye already, I got to work. I wasn’t quite sure I was adept enough at making those amazing eyes with the pull-tab bows (that sounds like more of an Advanced Level badge, dontcha think?) I decided to skip that part. But everything else was going to be the doll of my dreams, I was sure of it.
Going with the nostalgic flow, I put on some music from my childhood and treated myself to my favorite girlhood snack: Rice Crispy Treats. (Remind me to attempt to make them a bit more farmgirl and organic friendly sometime, okay? They are currently sitting like a brick in my tummy. Alas.)
I decided to forgo a pattern, being the out of control, rebellious, rogue sewer and crafter that I am. I merely drew the shape of a doll onto some nice, soft, cotton fabric, making sure to leave allowances for hemming and/or mistakes. So she looked a little chubby at first, but I’m sure she’ll slim down as I go along.
Chubby dolls are people, too. They have feelings.
Well … you get my drift.
I used fabric paint for the face, except for the eyelashes, which I embroidered on. I wasn’t sure whether to go with yarn for hair or buy one of those doll wigs I’ve been somewhat creeped out by at the craft store. I went with yarn, a nice strawberry blonde with some caramel highlights. I even styled it in a chic chignon, which was probably silly, since I was planning on covering it with a bonnet, but still.
I made a simple dress out of some adorable gingham, and then—get this!—I put my Superior and Stellar Apron-Making Skillz to work, and topped her outfit off with a completely cute little stripy number. This was one well-dressed doll. I was getting jealous.
After that, I totally needed a snack break, and also a band-aid because my darn needle had it in for me. All I had left was the bonnet. How hard could that be, after all?
It was pretty hard. All those gathers, and measuring, and pinning, and seam ripping … I don’t recommend bonnet making for out of control, rebellious, rogue sewers.
Needless to say, my—I mean, her—chignon totally saved the day after all. (Wouldn’t be the first time, right, ladies?)