Laura Catherine Brown's Playlist for Her Novel "Made by Mary" In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book. Laura Catherine Brown's novel Made by Mary is impressive and unforgettable.
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Terese Svoboda wrote of the book: The repercussions of Woodstock have never been so wisely and vividly examined, nor the spectacle of maternal love sonogramed so well between generations. Music marks turning points or meaningful events, like my husband singing "Love Is Strange" at our wedding, which I thought magnificently beautiful and romantic. Decades later, the memory brings a clutch to my chest.
The recognition arrives in retrospect: This is the power of our personal soundtrack: Cat Stevens sang in the background, deceptively easy to croon along to. He inhabits old and young in primal conflict. It would have been one of the weekends he had custody of me and my sisters, one of the intense brief span of hours we spent with him, battling each other to be the source of his exclamation and wonder, craving his love, unable to compete with Cat Stevens.
Each character personally connects to one or more songs. Some songs belong to various couples in the novel, and others are communal: The world was undergoing seismic cultural shifts. The anti-war movement, the environmental movement, civil rights, feminism, an upending of the hierarchy, the patriarchy, and capitalism itself, or so it seemed to Mary at the time, and this formed her worldview. Playing her bootleg recordings transferred to CD of Grateful Dead concerts she attended, Mary merges all her former and present selves.
Now, at age fifty, alone and dancing naked in her jewelry studio, she inhabits again her youthful, immortal self, creating her own reality, where giving birth confers a cosmic connection to earth mother Gaia and the universe.
She mistakes her narcissistic fulfillment for monumental epic love, and loves all the wrong people indiscriminately.
Ann sees this about her mother, and it makes her feel helpless and invisible. The characters of Mary and Ann appeared to me before any of the other characters in the book. Mary was always the clearest in my mind.
I knew she was a hippie, a seeker, and a self-absorbed mother. For her yarn hair, I cut many, many pieces of thinner yarn, all the same length. She wanted long braids.
I also stopped sewing on the hair about 1. For these Mary Jane type shoes, I sewed some felt pieces onto the ends of each leg, just like the red shoes above. But then, I also added a little black strip across the top of the shoe fronts, to look like a strap.
Then I sewed it down hiding the under edge of the ric-rac right to the body section of fabric.
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Then, I hand sewed some buttons on, right through all the layers. Construction of the dolls: First, place your Head Front and your Body Front piece together, with right sides together, matching up the the straight edges of both.
Just center the straight edge of the head on top of the straight edge of the bodice, leaving a slight overlap at each end……and it will work out. Do the same with the Head Back and Body Back pieces. Then, once you open them up, your pieces should look like this: Next, place 2 of your arm pieces together be sure that they match up correctly with the diagonal and any other fabric additions and then sew along all of the edges, except the straight end.
Repeat with the other arm and the two legs.
Be sure and leave the short straight ends open on the legs too. This will help when turning it right side out.
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Now, practice some patience and turn the arms and legs right side out. I use the rubber eraser end of a pencil to shove the closed end down inside of itself and then wiggle it through until I can get it turned completely right side out.
You may have to work at it slowly and pull on little bits of fabric at a time to force the pencil through……but it will turn eventually. Then, stuff each arm and leg with batting not too full and tight……but not too loose and floppy either. I used the eraser end of a pencil again, to help shoe the batting inside each one. And be sure that your arm diagonal is facing the correct way reference picture below.
Do the same thing with the legs, making sure that if you have shoes that are different on the front, be sure that the fronts are facing down as you center each leg and sew them onto the bottom edge of the Doll Front. Next, place your Doll Front piece together with your Doll Back piece, with right sides together. Fold the arms towards the center of the body and out of the way….
Pin in the front and back pieces together, matching up the head, neck seam, and body. Then sew along the entire outer edge, stopping before reaching each leg. Cut right up to the seam but not through it. Then, turn the doll right side out and stuff full of batting.
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But not so full that all the seams are pulling and almost splitting. Need help with hand-stitching? The main doll shape is complete. Then, I constructed the shorts in the same way that I sewed together these simple leggings. For the waistband, I serged the top edge of the fabric zig-zagging would work too and then turned the shorts inside out. Then, I sewed it in place, right along the bottom serged edge of fabric, leaving a 1 inch opening at the back of the shorts.
Then, I turned the shorts right side out, ironed them flat, and hand-sewed a button to the front……just for looks. I made a really simple skirt out of it so that I could slide it onto the doll and then it would blend in and look like it was a dress.
They are gathered sleeves but what I did was, I cut a strip of fabric that was twice the measurement of the arm.
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Then, I hemmed the bottom long edge and then stretched a piece of elastic that was slightly longer than the measurement around the arm and sewed it down to the bottom edge, using a zig-zag stitch……so that once I let go, it cinched in the fabric.
Need help with gathering? Then, I sewed the two ends of this strip together with right sides togetherto make a tube of fabric. I turned the tube right side out and slid it over the arm before the arm was attached to the bodymatching up the raw edge of the arm with raw edges of this sleeve. Then, because the raw edges of the arm is on a slant, I allowed the raw edge of the sleeve to hang off the top edge of the arm but kept the bottom elastic edge straight on the arm.