Mabel’s school assignment was to represent a character from a historical fiction book
(Mabel’s book was about a pioneer girl on the Oregon Trail) using a pop bottle for the body and a styrofoam ball for the head.
Mabel and I agreed that we both had lots of other things we’d rather spend our evening on, that it wasn’t worth being perfectionistic, that her teacher would give full credit just for completing it, that we didn’t want to stay up all night working on it, and that we should just throw it together and call it good.
We started working on it around 7 PM (other than the skirt, which we’d finished earlier) and finished at 10 PM. This actually isn’t too bad, for a homework-for-parents project, except I’d already had a long day and was tired when we started. Dean came in around 8:30 and said, “I thought you said you were only going to take a half an hour to make this?” I said, “Oh, we knew that wasn’t really possible. That was just wishful speaking.”
Mabel LOVES it, and she loves me for helping her make it, and she wishes it were a real doll. (And so do I, because what are we going to do with a dumb pop bottle doll that’s perfect and beautiful?)
Other positives, though, were that Mabel was due for a refresher course on using a sewing machine, and we really did have fun working together in spite of kind of hating the project. She said she wishes we could work on projects together all day every day. So do I, sweetie, so do I. (But real projects.)
We put beans in the bottle to weight it, and when she accidentally shook it, Mabel realized the doll could be a fancy maraca.
I told her to tell her teacher I want an “A.”
The bonnet is one we use for dolls and stuffed animals, and was I tempted to make one that was more authentic, to scale, and matching? Yes, yes I was. I was also tempted to make an apron, and to make the dress removable so we could use it for dolls and stuffed animals later. And I resisted ALL of these impulses.