Every Maplelea Doll Needs a Little Sister

My husband asked me last week how many dolls I have, and I have about 14 including three Tonner fashion dolls, three bisque reproduction bebé dolls I bought in the 1980s, three miscellaneous bisque bebés, my childhood vinyl baby doll, one eight and one twelve-inch china-head doll I made from kits, and my Maplelea doll that I recently got and her little sister. Yes, a little sister doll, how enchanting is that?

I hadn’t planned on buying another doll but the big sister and little sister meme got into my head and I thought it might be fun to sew or knit coordinating outfits for them. I tried to get a Hearts for Hearts doll at a Wal-Mart superstore near me and the place looked like a messy junk hole and had limited stock of all toys two months after Christmas. Despite their online inventory advising me that they had stock of these dolls, the store had been out of them since Christmas. Maplelea has not yet discovered that manufacturing little sister dolls could be quite lucrative, so I had to look elsewhere.

Then I saw people talking about the Corolle Les Cheries dolls who are about the right size and their heads are more in scale than the Hearts for Hearts dolls. The only one I really liked was Capucine, the little Asian girl. There are several branches of Mastermind Toys here in Ontario, where the staff, unlike the staff at Wal-Mart, knows about customer service, keeping the shelves looking good, and inventory. I was able to have one put away for me and then went down to get it. When I bought it they gave me a premium of a free Les Mini doll by Corolle, and you can’t beat that kind of customer service.

I am calling her Poppy, because I like poppies and have many in the garden, plus she is dressed in red and black which are the colours of the Oriental Poppy, the one we use for Remembrance Day. The double meaning of her name is for remembrance of my Dad who is a veteran of WW II and has not been well lately. Little Poppy in remembrance of my dear Dad.


Saila, my 18-inch Maplelea doll is an Inuit girl, but I thought the Asian features of Poppy could be vaguely Inuit since at some point in human migration around the planet, the Inuit came from Asia via a land connection between Alaska and Siberia that has since disappeared. The Inuit throat singing reminds me of the Tuvan throat singing that I discovered through the book Tuva or Bust! about the last journey of physicist Richard Feynman, one of my heroes. There are so many interesting things in the world! One of my favourite quotes from Feynman is this one:

“The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery…”

Yes, Feynman would even have been fascinated by dolls and their stories, he was that kind of human, finding out what other humans did and how things were done and finding it all out.

I bought a bit of yarn at a shop recommended to me and I finally found some circular knitting needles in a short 40 cm length. It is a wonderful store called Mary’s Yarns in Unionville, Ontario, with cheerful owners and excellent customer service. I also managed to buy some lengths of fabric in prints with the proper scale to make some doll clothes. I am trying to resize a pattern to make a rag doll in scale for Saila, which would be about 6 inches tall, maybe 6.5 inches at the most.


And speaking of scale, I found another ceramic and cloth doll for Saila tucked away on one of my bookshelves. It’s not the greatest quality but I am discovering with Saila that she likes dolls, so collecting dolls about five to six inches tall is something she enjoys. Notice how the black and white gingham on the little doll, whose name is Belle, matches Poppy’s skirt! The small Corolle doll I was given as a free premium today sits on the yarn I bought.

Saila loves the dress she is wearing so much she wants me to make a few more in different colourways. So I bought a soft denim colourway and some lilac yarn of King Cole Splash which does self-patterning fair isle or flowered bands. That should be interesting to work with. Right Mr. Feynman?

“Right Judith, you go to it.” I will thanks.



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