The Diary of Two Girls: Anne Frank, The Girl and The Doll

A few years ago, I received an email from Eva Bloom, a ten-year-old girl, telling me she loved my dolls and was hoping to get one for Christmas. I was melted by the email and wanted very much for her to get one for Xmas too.  However, when I scanned the purchases of the three months leading up to the holiday, I was fairly certain her parents were not on there.

Three years later, I received an email from the now 13-year-old Eva, asking if I could make a custom doll, an Anne Frank doll, and how much would it cost. Eva wanted to start saving. 

Eva did not need to save. I wanted nothing more than to make an Anne Frank doll. My oldest daughter had also been obsessed with Anne Frank's story and other similar stories. She had devoured so many young adult books on the Holocaust, that we went to the Holocaust Museum bookstore in Washington DC to find more books. 

Eva explained her fascination with Anne, "I found interest in Anne Frank while I was reading her book.  With a diary like hers, I could really see what it was like during the Holocaust for a girl in hiding.  It stuck with me because I felt she was similar to me, when reading her book I felt transported into her everyday life.  I read the book one year ago and the play two months ago.  I also read two unabridged versions and watched the movie.  I would strongly recommend her diary."

Diary of a young girl and a custom doll

Diary of a young girl and a custom doll

Anne's clothes fit perfectly within the 1940s clothing set I was designing last November. Read more about the collection here and here.  

And what could be more sentimental than designing an Anne Frank doll? She was a beautiful girl with an amazing spirit.

Anne Frank, the doll

Anne Frank, the doll

As I was designing and making Anne, nearly two thousands miles away in a small town in North Dakota, Eva, was working on her sewing skills and Anne Frank's wardrobe. Eva used the patterns and tutorials from my website to create Anne's wardrobe.

"I learned how to stitch when I was three years old, but I think I was seven before I started sewing things together. My mom, grandmas from both sides of the family, and our good friend Sara Malles were the ones who taught me.

"However, Lisa Is the one who got me to sew more than ever before.  Her patterns really got me going.  I have been sewing for Anne Frank about 4 months now.  I have so many dresses I'm not sure what to do with them all!" In my next post I will have some of Eva's tips for sewing doll clothes and lots of pictures of her amazing clothes.

Anne Frank arrived in time for Christmas. And Eva's father captured the moment(s) beautifully.

Next post, Anne's beautiful clothes and doll clothes sewing tips from Eva.

The gift and the card

The gift and the card

Opening the doll
Anne Frank doll

Hoarding or Collecting

Our obsessions generate a lot of stuff. For me it is skeins of yarn, stacks of fabric, spools of thread, rolls of trim, jars of buttons, patterns, books, etc… Fellow crafters might call this a stash.  When I’m honest with myself, I’m not so certain. Is it a stash, is it hoarding or maybe, could it possibly be elevated to a collection?

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And exactly how do you draw the lines between any of these terms?

A stash seems simple. Having a supply on hand in case you run out. Enough yarn to make a quick gift or pair of socks on a sick day without going on a search for a “good” yarn. A stash is easy to justify and if small enough may not require a justification. I realize it is a current knitting trend to push the limits of what can be considered a stash.

Both hoarding and collecting mean acquiring more than you will likely use. Maybe hoarders imagine they will use what they obtain and collectors actually try not to. In that case, I’m somewhere in the middle.

Maybe hoarders cannot organize their loot and collectors relish the organizing and displaying. In that case, I am the latter. I love arranging my buttons, trims and fabrics almost as much as I do eventually using them.

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For the most part, I am inspired by my stuff. I love piecing together the components of a project—the trim, the buttons, the lining, the threads. Each selection propels me into a deeper trance with the project. 

But I only feel inspired when I have the time to sew or knit. When I don’t and I see all of my fabric and yarn, I just feel deprived of time--the one thing that cannot be hoarded, collected or stashed.

My Button Obsession

I have a small obsession...buttons. Small buttons. The more the better. I started collecting small buttons before eBay and Etsy were around to offer "lots" of small buttons. And as eBay and Etsy came into existence, my obsession was just further enabled. 

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What exactly is it about buttons? I like just the right amount of realistic detail on my dolls' clothes. Too much is "twee", too little is "blah". The right buttons on a doll cardigan or shoes makes it feel finished. Or if it doesn't, there is still the possibility of playing with the  color of thread used to sew the button on. Perle cotton of course.  

But buttons can turn a plain grey cardigan into classic vintage, or classic modern, or girly, or rustic. If you don't like the look, you only need to change that last step, the buttons.




Part of my button collection.

Part of my button collection.