Thursday, December 16, 2010


One of the many advantages of being an author for a top-notch publisher like Stewart, Tabori and Chang is that I sometimes get copies of other books they publish. (This is especially nice since many of my favorite craft books are STC Melanie Falick books--if you're going to get free books you might as well get the ones you like, right?.) So when Wee Wonderfuls arrived in the mail the other day, Tsia and I immediately dove in. She picked four or five (!) projects she wanted me to make for her and, after a lot of discussion, finally narrowed her selection to two dolls.

I'd never sewn a Wee Wonderfuls pattern before, and it was a pleasure to make the mermaiden. It takes a little patience, but the doll is assembled in a unique and clever way that I suspect eliminates potentially fussy bits. The hair and fin are each assembled separately from the doll's body, and then you sort of tuck them all together and discretely stitch the pieces to join the doll. I had loads of fun with it.

Hillary introduced the project by asking "Who says mermaids have to glitter and sparkle?" I wholeheartedly agree, but a certain 5-year-old is still very keen on pink and fairydust. So I used some leftover sequins and pearls from a few years ago when I repaired a vintage beaded sweater. It took a couple of evenings, a little practice, and several French films on Netflix (it's tricky to sew sequins and read subtitles, so my French skills got a good workout) to cover the front and back fin entirely. But it was a fun diversion, and I think the resulting doll will be a great stocking stuffer for the kiddo.

S keeps asking when I'm going to finish her mermaid doll. I hope she forgets about it before Christmas so she can be surprised.

Here she is, swimming away, sequins and all...

Next on our toy-making list? Margot the topsy-turvy doll. Although personally I'm itching to make Melvin or Marian.


  1. Yay! This is adorable - I'd heard about the Mermaid from wee wonderfuls, but hadn't seen it (a shopper where I work told me all about it!) So fun to see it on your blog! And holy moly, sequins?

  2. your mermaiden is super cute, liesl! i made margot twice - once for each of my kids. they love their dolls!

  3. I just got this book! I made the mermaiden my first project too. My 4 year old daughter wants the topsy turvy doll next, but I'm itching to make the slumber party dolls! Such a cute book, I could look at the pictures for hours, imagining all the possibilities. I hope you'll post more of your dolls!

  4. Beautiful mermaiden!! I love the sequins, they look glamourous and fishy at the same time!

    I've had the mermaiden in my to do folder since the summer, I still hope to get around to it before Christmas!

  5. wow! fabulous work! I can't believe that you hand stitched each sequin. I thought you had bought that fabric. Such a good momma! And now I am also intrigued about the doll assembly. Must check it out :)

  6. So fabulous! French films and handstitching! My gosh, I can't even fold the washing during subtitled films. That little mermaid is just adorable.

  7. I just added this book to my Amazon wish list! I'm sure Clara would love to have some of these dolls - especially the mermaiden. I am quite sure that hers will not have the sequins, though - I'm not as patient as you! Wonderful job. She's adorable.

  8. How funny. I just stumbled across your blog, but I blogged earlier about having made the Mermaiden as well. It's cool to see different variations on the same craft.

    Check out my lady:


  9. The sequins look divine on the mermaiden! Wow, I can't believe you handstitched all of them. I think I will buy some sequined fabric! I love that book. Please share with us your other projects from i.

  10. Anonymous12:54 AM

    that is very cool. i've never made a doll before but bet it is a challenge getting all those shapes to fit together just right. of course, you've got the skill to do it! bet your daughter is tickled.

  11. Oh my word you sewed on ALL THOSE SEQUINS??? You. are. insane. :P

    It is just so adorable!!!
    And just love Ms. Lang and everything she does too!