Well, technically this is still considered a post per week, right? Oh, I’ve just been soooo tired, but all is well.
I was in full swing to post Sprout’s room today, but alas the camera Gods are against me! I got out our actual camera (as in NOT my Iphone) and after a couple of shots the battery died. Or the camera died, not sure. So, that must wait. Instead, here’s a crappy phone picture of my latest project that is seeming to be called “mama is dolly ready yet”, which is what I keep hearing from Sprout. He was so enthusiastic about it, he was playing with him (it’s going to be a boy) when he was just a head and detatched arms… kind of creepy actually
This is my first attempt at making a doll. This particular kind of doll is Waldorf inspired, with soft, neutral features and all natural materials. It’s not so hard so far and took less than a week to (very calmly) put together up to this point. And then I froze. It’s been in this baldheaded unclothed state for nearly 3 weeks now I think. Part is due to sheer exhaustion on my part, but the biggest part is due to my fear of sewing on “boy’s” hair. I keep thinking of the botched mess I made of Sprout’s hair the second (and last) time I tried to cut it. Not nice. But hey, it would grow back. And it did. And then I took him to the hairdresser. I wonder what she would think if I showed up with a cloth doll with 100% wool hair. Ha!
Anyway, all that’s missing is hair and some clothes. It’s 100% cotton knit, filled with 100% wool stuffing. The body was stitched up by machine, but everything else was hand sewn. I’ve really been enjoying the process and can see myself making more in the future (if only supplies weren’t so pricey!). I’ve followed the pattern and instructions from one of my new favourite books, Growing up Sew Liberated. So many projects in there I want to try. I have another waldorf doll making book I’ve had for ages, but I really feel the pictures helped guide me through my first attempt.I think the pattern is good (I would personally change some things like the arms – the Making Waldorf Dolls book has a different construction method I think would have preferred, plus these seem a bit too long compared to the legs), but the step by step instructions are truly excellent.
And I can’t talk about making my little boy a doll without touching on the whole gender stereotyping through toys thing even though there are tons of posts out there very well written with which I entirely agree (I’ll add them in here if I find them again). Sprout is now 2.5 years old. He loves lots of typically “boyish” things without our ever pushing anything. However, he loves more typically “girl stuff” as well. He likes strollers. And play kitchens. And doll houses. And so many other role-playing toys and games. Why are these things almost exclusively marketed towards girls? And why does almost everybody who buys him a gift think it has to be some sort of vehicle or sports toy? He loves them, mind you. But just as much as he loves other gender neutral or even more stereotypically “girly” toys. Or books, which I do believe are his favourite. It’s amazing how much and how early we teach our children the roles they belong in. Sprout loves cooking, so of course everyone in our family says he’s going to be a chef. What if he was a girl. Would they say that? Or would cooking just be considered matter of fact? Or maybe he would be a cook? And don’t even get me started on pink. Pink = girl apparently. God forbid a boy has anything pink, no matter how obvious it is he’s a boy, everyone will refer to him as being a girl. They just assume, despite pink actually being a boy colour before the World Wars and baby blue being for girls. All this to say, it’s good to stop and think what messages we’re subconsciously (or sometimes not so much) transmitting to our children. Up until the age of six, boys and girls are attracted to pretty much the same toys if given the chance, even though they may play with them differently. It’s usually our reactions to their play that sway them one way or another so deeply and so early in life.
How do you feel about dolls for boys?