JOCELYN decided last Wednesday that she would issue a Sewing Smack Down to me and Dawn and Hillary. Now why Cara and Marissa weren't included I do not know...but would like to. And not only is it a smack down but it's 3 consecutive Mondays in a row smack down. I tried to weasel out of sewing but having her agree that the sewing I do ON my knitting would comply. But oh, no! Sewing. Something simple she said. Something I had to sew now, new, not a formerly completed project.
Well, sirs and madams...I am always up for a Smack Down. Here is first offering: Betsy Buttons
There is this very old book, entitled Betsy Buttons, in fact...written by Erla Young. I knew of this story thanks to Rebecca Stay and actually ordered a copy years ago. It was in the Pioneer FHE file. I didn't think I would have given away the book when I gave away the files but I did. I knew Hillary nor Marissa had it because they didn't want the files. I saw Dawn was on IM and sure enough, she was the recipient of that particular file and had the book. The story goes like this:
A little girl, Liza Jane, lived across the sea. She came to America on a big boat and landed in Illinois. Some times she got lonely for things she left behind and one day her mom said, Get the sewing basket. She took some pieces of cloth from the basket and began snipping with her scissors and began stitching. Eventually a beautiful soft rag doll began to take shape.
Mom asks Liza what color hair the dolly should have and Liza Jane says RED because she had wanted to have red hair. So the hair was added with ribbons, to tie up the yarn. Then a happy pink mouth was stitched on. And finally 2 pearl buttons for eyes.
The clothes were just like Liza Jane's and Liza Jane named her new doll Elizabeth Anna Marguerita Josephine but then dad said, "Give her a nickname like Betsy for Elizabeth or maybe Buttons for her eyes." And that's how the rag doll got her name.
So one day mom asks Liza Jane if she'll go on a trip out west. They left their home again after they had saved and bought a wagon, 2 oxen, supplies and a few clothes. Liza Jane was worried that there wasn't enough room for Betsy Buttons but mom stepped in and said, "The doll is coming. I made it to make Liza Jane happy."
She soon met many friends among the other children in the wagon train. They talked as they walked along the dusty trails, along campfires. Often they sang, "Come, come, ye Saints". Liza Jane's dad sang it so well.
On laundry day the little girls helped but they also played with Betsy Buttons. Liza Jane always shared her doll because many of the children had no toys on the trip and the leader said they must all share. Even with the Indians.
The wagon train never traveled on Sunday. One Sunday as they were going to begin a prayer meeting when an Indian came into camp. He wanted gifts of food and trinkets in return for letting the people travel safely through their country. The men wanted to do what the Indians asked. They gave food, bright pieces of gingham...and the Indians continued to point out what they wanted. One of the Indians spied the doll and pointed.
Liza Jane said, "No! you cannot have my doll!" With an angry grunt the Indian reached out to take it from her...and Liza Jane bit him on the hand and he howled with pain. The other Indians came over to see what was happening. At that very moment the chief signaled "move out".
The train was quickly drawn into a circle with the animals in the middle
and a herd of buffaloes galloped by.
That evening, the campfire was the merriest that Liza Jane had ever remembered
and the people feasted on the buffalo meat
and prayed and thanked God for blessings and protection.
their prayers were answered and the wagon train reached the end of the journey in safety.
Liza Jane and her parents came to live in the Salt Lake valley.
What became of Betsy Buttons?
Well she is still being loved and taken care of by a sweet little girl. And it is Liza Jane's granddaughter...the author of the book.
A number of years ago, Rebecca Stay taught this story to the girls during Girls’ Camp. Each girl was also able to make a doll of her own with the various body parts becoming part of another story, a story or lesson with a message. So I have decided to make the first of the sewing smack down another Betsy Buttons.
Sadly, I got right into it and had the dress sewn before I remembered it had to be a tutorial.
Here you can see the pieces and parts and the dress. It's just a ragdoll so there is no real form.
Once you sew the pieces together, turn and stuff and then attach the limbs to the body/head part.
Here sits the doll without features.
The hair is just yarn cut in lengths, stitched by machine down the middle and then hand stitched the head. Pull the hair to the sides and then tie with a ribbon bow on each side...or leave longer and braid if you wish.