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  • Writer's pictureKendraB

Join Me in Making a Fabric Suffrage Doll Ornament

Updated: May 17, 2023

Thanksgiving is behind us, and Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years are on the horizon. As a child, these festive days were filled with decorating, putting up the tree, shopping, wrapping packages, present snooping (peeking), neighborhood caroling and parties. With all that going on, it was all I could do to sit still and pay attention in class during in the interminable days leading up to Christmas vacation.

I grew up in Connecticut. Our Decembers were cold. Although not as frigid as February when I could feel the hairs inside my nose freeze with each inhale, I would spend hours outside piling wood for my father. Today I brave the cold with the help of Thinsulate, Gore-Tex, synthetic down and fleece. I don't know how I survived with just my low-tech parka. I guess the hot chocolate and pumpkin pie my mother had waiting in the kitchen helped.

The scents and sensory overloads of the holidays were exquisite. And if we were fortunate enough to have a couple early December snows, that was icing on the cake. And forget about learning anything.

It's said that you should never buy a car built on a Friday as the factory workers will be too occupied with weekend plans. Well, I say that a smart teacher shouldn't bother trying to teach anything critical during December because it's bound to be lost in the fog of holiday day-dreaming.

I live in Maine now, and ordinarily we'd be up to our knees in snow by now (well, at least up to our shins). But we've been blessed with La Niña this year, and so far the weather has been quite mild. As a child, I'd have been devastated by temperatures in the high 40s. Now I think, well at least my trip to the post office with customer orders will be easy.

You Can Sew Fabric Ornaments...I'm Living Proof

And speaking of customer orders, we picked up an order for our original suffragist fabric ornaments. I thought this would be a great time to make a video showcasing how we make our handcrafted fabric ornaments.

I think you'll enjoy the video...especially if you know that when it comes to sewing, I prefer to tack a hem with tape or staples and tighten my belt instead of sewing a button back on my slacks. So for all you anti-needle and thread folks, there's hope!

Decorative and creative sewing is a very different animal. I taught myself to use a sewing machine, wind bobbins, change thread colors and practice with the various stitches available on my machine. I can even work with a simple pattern! You can do this, too. All you need is a modicum patience and smidgeon of determination.

Can Do Women...And You Can Too

You know what they say. Necessity is the mother of invention. In my case, it was maybe a little less necessity and bit more desire. Matilda and I decided to create original art for the historical suffragists Nannie Helen Burroughs and Victoria Claflin Woodhull. You'll see the images on the inserts with us with any of our suffrage items.

But using them as inserts wasn't enough. I wanted to give the women more dolls. And that was how our historical women ornaments were born. From Nannie and Victoria, we started a whole line of historical CAN DO women--available on Etsy as ornaments, keychains and even acrylic figures that make great cake toppers.

Each day that I sew a fabric ornament, I get a little more adventurous and willing to try something more complex. I made myself a Rosie bandana and fleece neck warmer last winter. It's great. Besides getting compliments, I keep the winter wind off my cheeks and neck. I'm thinking that maybe we'll bring that out as a new product in January.

In the meantime, our suffrage women fabric ornaments make great gifts that last for years. And if you need a special message on the back of the doll, we can do that too. Our suffragist women fabric ornaments are available on Etsy and Amazon.


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