At about 12 years old, I spent hours sewing. When I wasn't sewing, I was thinking about sewing. I could visualize pieces of cut fabric coming together to form whatever I was trying to construct. I had my own Viking sewing machine that I bought with money I had saved since 4th grade. My mom had an Elna. My mom's Elna might have sewed straighter stiches but my Viking was a beast. It could sew through thick layers at full speed without jamming or breaking a needle. I loved my Viking more than my bike.
Simplicity Pattern #6008
A visit to Minnesota Fabrics was heaven. When I saw a pattern for a Holly Hobbie doll in a pattern book, I knew I had found my next project. I located Simplicity pattern #6008 in the metal pattern cabinet and pulled it out. I opened the pattern envelope and took out the instruction sheet. It looked hard. Much harder than anything I had ever tried to sew before. I had made stuffed animals, but a doll with a bonnet, petticoat, shoes, and a pinafore was sewing on a whole different level. Undaunted, I convinced my mom to buy the pattern.
Me and Holly, December 1973
It took about a month to make that doll. First the cutting, then the sewing, then the ripping out, then the crying, then the sewing, then the ripping out again. I remember being frustrated and screaming at my beloved Viking and a naked Holly Hobbie. I begged my mom to fix my mistakes but she wouldn't. She kept saying that I would figure it out if I re-read the directions. Eventually I finished the doll. I remember feeling like I didn't like Holly when she was done because I could see all my mistakes. It took a couple days before I could be proud of myself.