Monday, May 31, 2010
I recently had tremendous fun making a Pippi Longstocking doll. I boxed it up and sent it along with the Lauren Child illustrated edition as a gift for a little girl I know who turned five.
I tried to make the doll have the same messy, sketchy look as the Pippi in the book, and I'm happy with the way she turned out. I used linen for her face, hands and legs. Cottons for her dress and stockings. Her braids are made of strips of felt. I toyed with the idea of including some kind of bendable wire inside the braids to make them stick out, but gave it up as too dangerous.
I thought I'd be smart this time and embroider the face before it was all sewn together, but that was a mistake. Stuffing really changes the expression, and the eyes ended up slanted in the opposite direction that I had intended. So I picked them out and redid them after it was stuffed. Lesson learned.
Somehow I had managed to come through my childhood having never read the book or seen the movie, so last year my eldest and I read this version out loud together. We really loved it. I especially love Lauren Child's illustrations of the characters with all her trademark textiles and wild typography. It's a beautifully designed book, and makes a great gift.
Since the book was so enjoyable for us, we also rented the classic 1969 movie. Mistake. I'm so sorry to those of you who love it. Maybe it is because it holds no childhood nostalgia for me since that was the first time I saw it. Thing 1 and I kept exchanging very puzzled looks. She also kept asking me questions like, "Mommy, why is Pippi the only one in weird clothes? Why is her green underwear always showing? Why don't any of these things happen in the book?" Maybe the movie gets better if it is viewed on MST3K.
But the book is delightful. See?