inviting play julesandbaby

A doll gets invited to a sleepover and things are not as straightforward as they would seem

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inviting play baby and jules on a stack 4

Jules is my minime.  She is approximately 15″ tall.  She isn’t me exactly and I didn’t model her after me at a certain age, but she is a representation in doll form of me throughout my childhood and to a certain extent, a representation of who I am now.

inviting play first collage

As I child, I had yellow yarn hair blonde colored hair.  My best friend used to literally use that phrase with me:  “you have yellow yarn hair”.   She’d say she could always see me coming in the sea of kids passing in the hallway at school; no one else had yellow yarn hair. Now, I have dishwater blonde hair that blends in unoticeably but we won’t dwell on that.  I didn’t have uniformly curly hair and I certainly didn’t have smooth straight hair so I chose brushed mohair wig for Jules’ hair to represent the kind of poofy uneven unsmooth hair of my childhood.

inviting play overalls collage

Now let’s talk about Jules’ overalls. I love overalls.  I loved the ones my mom made for me as a kid and I put them on my own kids every chance I got.  I chose to make Jules’ some red ones because I really don’t think there is a better color for overalls?  Jules’ overalls are made from Japanese double gauze fabric which has a whimsical pink star print on them.  They fasten in the back with one carved button.  She wears them over a soft striped t-shirt in organic cotton.

inviting play me with dollsThere is no way I could send Jules on her way without a doll.  I loved baby dolls as a super young child and as an almost too old child.  I wanted them to look like babies; the bigger the better.  I had very little interest in doll clothes or fancy doll accessories – all my baby dolls needed were their diapers and receiving blankets. So Jules has a baby doll of course.  I made the baby in the IP Fix style which is a weighted floppy style and the doll has sparse babyish mohair fabric for hair and wears just a diaper and cap (please note:  this baby is not suitable as a real baby doll for actual children as it has a pin for a diaper closure and is weighted with small parts) . In the photo above, I’m about about 10 and on a family camping trip.  The baby doll is wearing a real baby nightgown.

inviting play sleeper collageJules comes with some cozy cotton footed pajamas.  Except for the three months of summer, I pretty much always slept in pajamas like these as did my siblings and cousins and all the kids of my childhood.  Did you?  When we ran dragging our feet on the wall-to-wall carpet we’d send up sparks from the static electricity in the dry winter evenings.

inviting play blanket collage I was a blanket baby and a blanket kid and I may have even brought it to college with me as well.  It was made by a great aunt of mine and it was thin and cool to the touch; smooth cotton sheeting material with very little batting. The one I made for Jules isn’t quite the same but the pattern and colors are reminiscent.  She can use it as a sleeping bag or a security item – it will make her feel cozy and safe.  The lady reading to me is my maternal grandmother.

inviting play grey sweater 8In this photo you can see Jules wears a cozy, soft grey hooded sweater.  I didn’t have an exactly similar one, but throughout my life I’ve worn some version of this comfort item.  I had a hooded sweatershirt with muff pockets as a kid that I wore on camping trips as a layer to ward of mosquitoes.  I can still conjure up the smokey smell from the campfires.  As a mom, I essentially live in grey sweaters in the 8 months of winter.  I made Jules sweater from an upcycled lambs wool sweater and it pulls over her head without closures.

inviting play shoes2

Full disclosure, I did not have shoes like this as a child.  Nothing I had resembled these.  But the spotted corduroy fabric they are made from makes me happy and is among my all time favorite fabric – so it seemed fitting for my minime to wear these shoes and I’m sure she loves them.

inviting play nose to nose bestAnd now just a few thoughts about this collaboration:  I was surprised to find this project to be very very challenging!  I found it very complicated to make a doll to represent myself while maintaining my brand and style of Inviting Play doll.  The question was, how do I make a doll in the same manner and style as the other dolls I make and sell but still distinguish the doll so as to have  the very flawed and human characteristics of myself?  And then, how do I make this doll appealing?  Few of the dolls I make exhibit beauty over other appealing factors but I do always attempt to make appealing dolls.  but how can I make an appealing doll of myself?  Moreover, how can I send this doll out to a party with the beautiful minime’s of seven talented and BEAUTIFUL doll makers?  A lot of insecurities arose in this process and a lot of self examination.
I’m fond of Jules.  I hope she carries with her the good parts of my spirit. She is currently at a sleepover with 7 other minime dolls made by other independent doll makers.  (http://hyenacart.com/stores/sleepover/)

inviting play jules3

Jules and her baby and her clothes, blanket and pillow shown in these photos will be for sale via 1 hour auction on Sunday June 21, 2015 at 4pm Eastern.  (3pm Minnesota time).  The other dolls at the sleep over will be auctioned at different times the same day :  http://hyenacart.com/stores/sleepover/

To see the photos Megan McGinnis of Mon Petite Frere Dolls took of their sleepover please see www.facebook.com/invitingplay and following links to the other doll maker’s pages.

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Julie Colby

Mom and doll maker. I specialize in one-of-a-kind cloth dolls from original designs using all natural materials .

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