She had been conceived on a night when one lady — alert and unsleepy due to a late-night cuppa of instant coffee — dug into her collection of fabric and felts. This Lady (let’s call her Needle) had a dream about a beautiful doll creature that had huge pockets on her dress, where she could deposit her babies. This way, they would be together forever.
Needle had sketched this mama doll once, in a purple notebook in which she kept the occasional diary as well as lists of expenses. She drew this lady using a ballpoint pen, and decided that one day she would bring her to life.
That night, when the clock in her room had ticked 2am, she knew that it was time.
With a huge pair of fabric shears, Needle cut a turquoise blue linen cloth into two rectangles. She felt no need for patterns drawn on tracing paper, for she knew what she was meant to do. Then she took a scrap of calico for the face, a yellow table napkin to fashion a headscarf, and then a tea towel with orange flowers to make the pockets.
She set these aside, and then went to bed, exhausted but happy.
The next morning, she sprang out of bed without going through the usual rituals of washing her face or having a cup of coffee. Instead, she began putting the doll together. She sewed the eyes and her smile by hand, and then stitched on two pink felt cheeks.
In an hour, the pieces of cloth she had set aside in the wee hours began to take on a new, more cohesive form: a stitch here, a series of running stitches there, and so on and so forth later, fabric took on form. As Needle pressed the foot pedal of her portable sewing machine, the whirring sounded like an old familiar melody — a lullaby her mother used to sing to her. Finally, she filled two little bags with lavender, sealed them with brisk whip stitching, and then sewed on faces made of skin-colored felt.