Friday, May 22, 2009

Retracing My Footsteps

Several years ago I was very active in the area craft show circuit. My craft was handmade rag dolls, specializing in Ozark style as well as little clowns. They were called Carmon's Cuties. I sold at shows in Ok, Mo. and Ark. It all ended when I went through a divorce. Most of my patterns were either sold off or got lost in the many moves I made before finally settling down again.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across some pictures of my dolls. I fell in love with them all over again! I frantically searched my whole house for any of my old patterns. After tearing the house apart and creating a major mess, I came up empty handed. The only remaining evidence of my craft was one little doll and one table ornament! Next I began searching the Internet in hopes of finding a couple of my favorite patterns. I also looked to see if anyone was even making rag dolls, and if so, what kind they were. To my relief, I found nothing that came close to the style I made!!

After doing my research, I became somewhat excited about the idea of trying to come up with at least one of my patterns. I spent a rather sleepless night trying to remember how I had made the little clown. I actually crawled out of bed at 3 a.m and began sketching a pattern. I used old newspaper to draw on, then when I thought I might have it, I cut it out. Next, I took and old sheet and used it as fabric for a model pattern. The hardest part was trying to remember how I had made the body. It took several attempts before I was satisfied with the look. Once I had made a few adjustments, I decided to try it out with some new fabric.

The cost of fabric has gone up! I nearly fainted when I saw the price of fabric and patterns! Mind you, I have not sewn a stitch in more than 20 years! For a few minutes I doubted whether this was a good idea or not! I decided to buy enough fabric for make a least one doll and test my skills and the market.

The next couple of days were spent testing my old sewing machine. None of my plans would work if I didn't have a machine! I dug it out, cleaned, oiled and adjusted it then held my breath as I tried it out!! Thank goodness Sears made a great old machine 30 years ago! She runs like a dream! After that time was spent redrawing the pattern, cutting , and then sewing together my first little clown in more than 20 years!

I must tell you, trying to remember how I made the body was difficult, but trying to recall the clothing and drawing out a pattern took another couple of days! Once I had come up with what I thought was the clothing pattern, I was absolutely shocked that it fit perfectly after one drawing!

Finally, I would like to introduce you to Reddy Red, my own design from Carmon's Clowns!
Please let me know what you think! He can be done in almost any color!