Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Representation matters

Stepping away from books agin this week to talk about a custom order I just shipped out on Monday. A woman reached out to me, and said that her four-year-old granddaughter was obsessed with the character of Chrissie from Daniel Tiger. Apparently Chrissy has spina bifida and uses crutches and braces on her legs. The little girl had never seen a doll like her before, and Grandma wanted to know could I do something similar that wasn't exactly Chrissie.

It's high craft show season, so custom orders aren't my favorite, but I took this one as a challenge. I didn't have any pale gray felt on hand, and since this order was already going to take more time than it should have, I wasn't going to run up to the fabric store to buy any. The braces and the crutches are made from felt of another color, covered with light gray cotton which I did have in stash.

The braces are stitched onto the doll's legs, while the crutches have a snap fastener so they can come off her wrists. I was baffled with what to use for the crutches, and then it came to me that straws would work. Of course, I didn't have any of those either, but my local buy nothing group supplied a handful. Really, the hardest part of the whole doll experience was calculating the width of fabric to make tubes for the straws. I left a tab of fabric at the top, to be sewn to the cuff, and the leftover fabric at the bottom was tucked inside the straw using the tube turner.

I can't wait to hear what the little girl thinks of her.

Also, because everything does lead back to books eventually, another reason I wanted to do this was because the youngest daughter in Coming Apart wears braces on her legs, and I tried to imagine how it would feel to her to find a doll that looked like her. Representation matters.


Carol in Denver said...

Great job on the cute doll. I can feel the delight of the little girl when she first sees it. Thank you for taking on the challenge.

Karen said...

It was really fun, and I enjoyed figuring out the crutches.