I am pretty thrilled with how my daughter's Winifred costume turned out, but, as is so often the case, that just wasn't enough. I needed to show all three Sanderson Sisters some love, so I planned out doll versions of Mary, Sarah, and Winifred, using Wild Seeds Meadow & Ash Doll pattern.
FACES & HAIRLINES
I started with the same facial features for all three (except for Winifred's eyebrows), studied pictures of the Sisters, and then tweaked the features in an attempt to make my dolls' faces resemble the "real thing". I wanted to zero in on their signature looks, the things that make them unique...for example, Sarah's beauty mark, Winifred's "kissing" or "fish face" lips (as we refer to them), and Mary's crooked mouth. I drew them with a removable fabric pen until I was satisfied with their shape and placement.
I also modified all of their eyebrows and hairlines, most notably Winifred's, as she just had to have the famous widow's peak that Bette Midler sported in the movie.
She received a bit of Cynthia Chicken scratch embroidery for her necklace, as well.
Once their faces were complete, I got to work on their bodies/dresses. Since Mary and Winifred both have that wonderful lace up front, I cut a rectangle about 1" wider than what I would need for the front of the body, and used the Daphne tutorial to create tiny inset plackets for them. I drew my center line and adjusted the measurements for the other guide lines. I made my first set of lines 1/4" to the right and left of center, and my other set of lines 3/8" outside of the first set (I used 3/8" instead of 3/4" to try to reduce bulk from folded fabric on these mini doll bodies).
I folded along the outermost guide lines, pulled them toward the center to meet the 1/4" lines, and pressed. I then cut my center panel 3/4" wide by the length of the rectangle, centered it on my body piece with a bit of glue stick to hold it in place, and basted the edges. With a removable fabric pen, I traced the shape of the pattern piece and drew lines where I knew I wanted to have faux laces. I added gold ribbon for the laces on Winifred's inset placket, and hand embroidered the laces on Mary's for a little contrast.
ARMS & LEGS
I used the long sleeve option for each doll's arms, and included lace overlays for Sarah and Winifred's sleeves.
I was cutting from some tiny scraps so I wasn't able to follow the order of the tutorial exactly for the arms and legs.
For the legs, I started with the sock option, but lowered the sock line a bit to create little "boots" instead. Then it was time to figure out the fabric for their "stockings".
I had used green and black striped knit to make Bluebell leggings for my daughter's Winifred outfit, and wanted the doll to match. I fused some lightweight black interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric to keep it from stretching and then cut and sewed her legs. To create Sarah's fishnet stockings, I cut up a pair of fish net tights to create an overlay. Mary's legs were the trickiest to plan (I had to watch her dance around in "I Put a Spell on You" about 10 times before I decided she had some sort of white stockings or bloomers on), but they were the easiest to create...just white legs with black boots at the bottom.
I color blocked all 3 skirts just like I did for my daughter's Winifred dress. I used a width of 5" for the contrasting panel on each doll skirt.
Sarah received her long hairdo straight from the Meadow and Ash tutorial. Nice and simple!
Winifred and Mary, however, called for a little more effort. I decided to start them both with the instructions for the side buns, only adjusting the placement of the circles where the yarn is continuously wrapped throughout the process. I moved that point to the top of the head on both dolls, rather than on the back of the head like in the tutorial.
Winifred's hairline pinned and ready for hair.
Half of Winifred's head covered with hair and ready to be hand-sewn.
Once Mary and Winifred's heads were covered with hair, I had to strategize how to best recreate their hairstyles...with yarn, lol. For Winifred, I originally thought I would use the side buns and just attach them at the top of the head instead of on the back near the bottom. I tried this but it just looked a little too neat. I wanted a bit of the messiness and frizz from Winifred's hair in the movie, so rather than wrapping the yarn into a ball, I just wrapped it around 3 fingers, put a short piece yarn through the center (mine was about 5" long), tied it in a knot a few times to secure, and trimmed the ends.
I placed the part with the knot on the doll's head, positioned over the point where I'd tied off the yarn previously, and hand-sewed it on. Then I repeated with the other side and our "Mini Winnie" (as we've come to call her) was complete!
Mary's hair was definitely more challenging. I tried 2 ways of doing it, only to take both off and start over yet again. Thankfully, the 3rd time was the charm. I took a black pipe cleaner, folded it in half, and then bent the loose bottom ends out 1" to 1.5". I also bent the top until I felt it was the right amount of crooked for Mary's hair (I adjusted a bit as I went).
I tucked the bent ends under the hair that I had already sewn on to the head and then used some hand stitches to secure them (if doing this again, I would secure the pipe cleaner prior to sewing the hair all over the head).
Then, with 2 thicknesses of yarn, I gently wrapped the pipe cleaner, starting at the top, working my way to the bottom, and then working my way up again, etc...
I used hand stitches here and there to secure layers of yarn, and eventually got to the point where I was only wrapping the bottom portion of the pipe cleaner (I wanted the hair to be thicker at the base than at the top). I secured with more hand stitches and couldn't be happier with how Mary's hair turned out!
Now that was a "bunch of Hocus Pocus", and I'm still ready for more! I love being inspired by my favorite characters so even though this project was a lot of work, it absolutely was a dream! Who will you be inspired by this Halloween?!?!