March 27, 2011

A Model Child.

Something that didn't occur to me right away when I started making baby clothes for Etsy was the need for a model. I didn't happen to have any babies lying around, and neither did any of my friends or family. (We're a barren lot.) And anyway, it's not like if I could get a baby to model for me, the baby would be glad to try on numerous outfits and put in a 10-hour day. What to do?

I came up with the idea of a clothesline--sort of old-fashioned and vaguely charming--and took a lot of photos of my newborn duds hanging across sunny windows, in places where nobody would ever hang a clothesline. Well, the light was good. Light is everything in photography, as I have come to discover.

I didn't hate the clothesline photos, but I felt they lacked something: a fake baby. So I Googled fake babies and lifelike baby dolls and preemie/infant/newborn, etc. Wow. Some frightening results. I wonder why it's so difficult to render a newborn's features accurately? The dolls I had to choose from had such objectionable facial expressions, some heretofore unseen among actual babies: Am I supposed to believe that newborn infants laugh like they are in Vegas working on their two-drink minimum? Then there are the babies that look mean. Like they just finished mopping at their hated janitorial job at the prison, and now you're going to get a face full if you don't give them a carton of cigarettes.

No matter. With a simple, two-piece pattern I found here for FREE: free baby! (thank you!) and a remarkably sweet doll's face that I stumbled across on Google Images (fine, sue me) and applied with a heat transfer, I was able to throw together a not-terrible-or-creepy fake baby, for nothing. I wish the doll I found was available in real-baby size--it's only 5" tall--but this quickie pattern is remarkably convincing and about the right size for an average newborn. I'm going to make another one in a preemie size now that I see how nicely this one turned out. (Pay no attention to the poorly stuffed hands.)


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