A couple months ago I went to visit a neighbor. She doesn't live here year round but comes every couple months to mow the lawn, check the house over and camp out in their house. The house is sort of a get-away for them, here in the mountains. She is a seamstress and has a huge sewing room in her house here and in her other house as well. While I was visiting with her on their back screened in porch, I noticed a doll laying on the table. It was mildewed and the seams were popped open in places. She told me she was going to throw it away, her girls were now grown and no one wanted it. So I asked if I could have it. (I have no idea why I asked for it, it was pretty nasty really). When I left, I forgot to get the doll. A few weeks later, I was knitting a baby sweater for a contest the Carolinas Guild was sponsoring for the members. The contest was to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket as written up on www.junebugsplace.com or use the Susanna Lewis machine pattern for that jacket. The original was a hand knit jacket designed by Elizabeth Zimmerman.
I decided to give the jacket a try and once I finished, I needed a model. I thought about the doll I forgot to get and told myself I'd go see if I could get on the porch. If not, I'd go to Walmart and get myself a life-size baby doll. Luckily the doll was still there but oh, what awful shape it was in. I brought it home and sprayed it with pre-soaking solution (Spray and Wash) and left it sit in the bathroom sink overnight. I didn't have a lot of hope. The next morning I threw it in the washer and threw in so much bleach I was afraid the whole thing would disentigrate. Well, she turned out beautiful. Her hair was pretty much gone so I did make her a hat. The hat pattern is from Knitters Edge, lesson # 2. Here's a picture of the doll wearing her BSJ (as we like to call the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket).
Honestly I was afraid to show it to the neighbor when she came back, I just knew she'd want the doll back but luckily she didn't. She did ask for a picture of it to show her daughter. Yesterday she came up to see me and brought me another doll. She called it the "brother" to the first doll. I thought I'd take a picture to show you how dirty and nasty it is, before I clean it up. I took the picture yesterday as he sat in the sink soaking with Spray and Wash. Today I restuffed his arms and sewed them up and he's now in the washer. My fingers are crossed that he'll turn out as nice as his sister did.
When I get time, I will make him a sweater and hat to match his sister's. BTW, my neighbor originally made these dolls for her girls. They have beautiful little faces, don't you think?