I was looking through my old photos (I've just bought a new computer so I was deleting lots of obsolete stuff) and came across some pictures of the original Jemima doll I made nearly four years ago. At the time I thought I would only ever make one doll, but of course I was wrong.
Not really knowing where to start, I developed a pattern and then made a visit to The Log Cabin in Brentwood/Billericay - an Aladdin's cave with literally thousands of wonderful fabrics to choose from. I had no idea what colour scheme to choose for a handmade doll for my first granddaughter, but I needn't have worried. The assistants were so helpful and about two hours later(!) I had lovely subtle pinks, greens and creams for my special self-imposed assignment.
At the time I didn't own a sewing machine so I made Eva's Jemima totally by hand. When I finished the doll (which took me about two weeks, all in all) I made a presentation box and a cushion for her to lie on, and I took great pleasure in wrapping her beautifully. I then had to wait a few weeks until Christmas Day for my daughter Emily to open the parcel, since Eva was only a month old at the time. I'm happy to say that Emily was impressed. She remarked: ''Mum you could have made one like this", to which I replied, "I DID make her!"
After that I forgot all about rag dolls since I was at work full time and had only the one granddaughter to make dolls for. But when I retired two years ago I wanted a challenge, and starting my own business making beautiful rag dolls fitted the bill perfectly.
I got to work developing unique and distinctive rag dolls which bring joy to young and old alike. Well over two hundred rag dolls later, my products have changed a bit from the first Jemima, but you can still see some similarities. Eva's Jemima is a not quite as pristine as she appears in the photos but that's ok; she's been well loved. I've seen Eva feeding her in the high chair, tucking her up in bed, and including her in all sorts of imaginative games.
I'm so glad I decided to make Eva a Jemima. The rest, as they say, is history......