Sewing · Soft toys

Doll’s cradle and bedding

Little C loves her Carmen doll. Her reaction when she opened the gift was beautiful – her face lit up and she grabbed the doll for a kiss. Carmen was carried around the birthday party, tucked under an arm or sat on her lap to watch proceedings. Her mum tells me that in the days since the doll has been a constant companion. I visited them last week for some doll-surgery, securing the arms more strongly and adding a few stitches to the hair.

Caro gets doll

I found this picture of me at exactly the same age, when I was given a cradle for my second birthday. The doll in the bed is Jemima. The look on our faces is universal – happy little girls, so proud of their dolls.

When I was young, my mum’s best friend spoiled me with girl things, like this cradle. Susie’s boys, the same age as my brother and me, were tousle-haired rascals, full of laughs and rough’n’tumble. We were bought up very closely, especially the younger son and I, so in many ways I was the little girl in Susie’s life. She liked doing my hair, dressing me up in fineries and sewing for me.

For my second birthday Susie’s husband made me a doll cradle and Susie dressed the bed in gingham, ribbons and lace. That very cradle and its handmade bedding are now being used by another generation, at my mum’s house. This is the beauty of handmade things.

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