I made 4 hoodie dolls for my Black Friday sale. It was not enough. They were incredibly popular and were snapped up immediately. When the sale was over I got orders for 6 more of them. I definitely think they are fun. I worked on hairing the heads before school, took a half day on Wednesday and got a HUGE amount of work done, and I managed to finish up 3 of the dolls I was working on.I was getting really frustrated with the hoodies for a bit because the sewing is challenging, to say the least. Sewing a curved narrow stitch, into a stretch fabric is very challenging. The machine(s) kept eating the fabric and I was getting super annoyed. So I finally decided it was not worth the stress and I used fabric glue to put them together. I know there are people who feel that glue is a dirty word when it comes to doll making, but I am a firm believer in using the best tool for the job. The hoods that are put together with glue are SO nice! The don't have a weird puckered stitch and they are incredibly strong. I also started gluing the hoods onto the shirts instead of hand stitching. It actually comes out neater than the hand stitching.
Something occurred to me while I was working on the batch of hoodie dolls. I will skip details if they are never going to show on a doll. I know that a lot of people love to know the little details are there, even if they don't show, and I agree, those little realistic details are super cool. But all the extra details also take extra time and materials. People don't want to pay more for their dolls and I don't want to have to charge more for details that are not seen. All the hoodie dolls lack belts. Or even belt loops. Skipping that detail also makes things sit nicer on the doll. I think it is worth skipping some things that don't show to keep costs down.
School has been challenging this week. One of the students was killed in a car accident. We don't have our usual way of dealing with the loss as a community. We have lost students before and usually the students will gather, sometimes many times, which is of course quite healthy to grieve together. But we can't do that now. We can't see a student struggling and take them for a walk to talk or just let them have a break. It's another new, weird, vaguely awful situation. Some of the teachers have mentioned the tragedy, reminded the kids that we have councilors ready to talk if they need it, and would post resources. Yesterday we spent all 90 minutes of one of our classes talking about grief, the stages of grief, more resources. That class really needed it. One of my co-teachers put together a really nice presentation. And then I told them some stories about me. I told them that I do understand some of what they might be feeling. I had a classmate when I was 16 who was killed in a drive-by shooting. I didn't know him well, but it was weird. I lost 3 friends my age when I was between 17 and 18. I explained that there really is no timeline for grief and you can't just "get past it". You have to go through it and feel all the feelings. And then even over 20 years later you might have a day when you are sad for a bit thinking about the people you lost, even if most of the time they don't even cross your mind anymore. The other teachers told some of their own stories as well. Then one of the students thanked us for sharing our stories and being vulnerable with them. I think it is easy for the kids to forget that we are human too. Even though a lot of the kids have run into me outside of school (I do live in town) I think it is still weird for them to think of us as having the same things happen to us that happens to them.
Anyway, like I told the kids, sometimes life is very random and we can't know what to expect. We need to look out for each other and not take our loved ones for granted. Call your family. Maybe send out a text to your people you haven't talked to in a while.
Tomorrow is my livestream of the results and door prize drawings for the Field of Dolls Online show. I am hoping it won't be super long, but it turns out I have A LOT of prizes that need awarding!