I’d like to introduce you all to Melissa’s doll. She is a wonderful example of one of my custom ordered reproduction Izannah Walker dolls. Melissa requested a doll with a very thin neck and downward tilted head, that had an appearance reminiscent of one of her favorite antique Izannah Walker dolls (a doll that was previously part of the Popp collection and later owned by R. John Wright). She asked me to give her doll a pale complexion, but one without the grey tint that many antique Izannahs have. Melissa also wanted a paint surface that showed some moderate wear and age, but preferred her doll to have a “perfect” nose. She chose the antique blue paisley print dress fabric from my fabric swatch book and found a photograph of a dress she loved in a museum collection for me to use as a reference.
Because the dress Melissa wanted for her doll was of a slightly earlier style than those worn by most Izannah Walker dolls, the two of us created our own imagined history for the doll and her dress. We decided that the grandmother, of the little girl who first owned this doll, sewed a dress for the doll just like the dresses that she had made for her own daughter. As I sewed on this dress I daydreamed of a grandmother taking apart a worn out dress that she has made many years before, when her daughter was a young girl. She set aside all of the best pieces of fabric, then carefully cut them out in a miniature version of the original dress. Then as she sat sewing all the pieces together, she told her granddaughter stories of how much the little girl’s mother had loved the dress and the things she did when she was a child.
I’d like to thank Melissa for sharing her vision of her dream Izannah with me, and giving me the opportunity to bring it to life. I also have to thank her for having the patience of at least two saints, and not minding how long it took me to make this doll! ❤
14 thoughts on “Melissa’s Doll”
Exquisite! One of my favorites that you have made.
She is absolutely spectacular…I LOVE her! I love her dress with the red shoes…You are a wonderful artist.
Thank you so much!
Melissa is very lucky to have such a special doll.
Melissa will be so pleased with her heirloom doll.
I hope so 🙂
Paula, this doll is just wonderful ! I love the tilt of the head that you were able to magically create! She is very delicate and feminine. So Sweet!
I concur with all the above and more… I’m sure she will be Well Worth the wait and her new mom will be over the moon with her!!! Wonderful Izannah, Paula! Just my style…sigh :-)) Charlotte
Thank you Charlotte! ❤ I did think that you would like her 🙂
Wow! This doll is gorgeous Paula! She has such a sweet demeanor and the downward glance is perfect! Your hand painting of her face and curls are just exquisite.
Your kind words are much appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Paula, this new doll for Melissa is just perfection! I’m pretty sure I know the antique doll that you refer to from pictures that I have seen, and you captured her beautifully! I love everything about her, and I’m sure Melissa will be so thrilled for her! Also, I absolutely adore the sampler pictured behind her, and noticed the name “Jane” that is stitched on the sampler, peeking out beside the doll in one of the photos, and I know it’s certainly not up to me to name this little doll, but I couldn’t help but thinking this little doll fits the name on the sampler. I’m not inferring what the new doll owner should do, mostly just making a comment on how beautifully and perfectly your pictures are of this doll along with the sampler and the cradle. The pictures you took of her are so precious, and I love the story you imagined along with her. It would make the most perfect story book! Cloe would love it, and I’m sure my little granddaughters would as well, as well as all of us older girls! A great idea, I think! Many thanks for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work! Susie
Thank you Susie! I actually did some of the hand sewing for this doll while I was baby sitting Cloe. I thought it was quite in keeping with her imaginary history 🙂 I don’t know if it shows up clearly in the photos, but Jane stitched her sampler when she was 10. I could just picture her sewing doll clothes as well. ❤