I had a commission request this past Christmas for a Saoirse doll from Song of the Sea. I very rarely do commissions as I have a full-time job and try to have a life sometimes, but it was Christmas and I like these original requests. I didn’t see any patterns online for a doll like this so I adapted a couple patterns I had used before to make her. There are some details from the mermaid I made and Little Lil from Amigurumi Magazine 2017.
A little backstory, if you haven’t seen the film, is that this is an Irish folk story about a little girl who turns out to be the last of the Selkies. A Selkie is a woman who can turn into a seal. It’s kind of like a mermaid. The little girl and her brother are being raised by their father and have no idea that their mother was a Selkie because their mother has died (I think) and their father locks up her fur in a chest. When the daughter finds the fur in the chest and puts it on, she turns into a Selkie and swims with the seals. This really scares the father because he thinks he’s going to lose his daughter like he lost his wife, but the story is a lesson in compromise because now that Saoirse has turned into the seal once, she gets sick if she cannot turn into a seal again. It’s a really sweet story and I’m surprised more haven’t seen it!
I based my design of the doll on this move screen cap:
When Saoirse puts on her Selkie coat, her feet are kept inside and the hood fits tight around her face. So, when I made the doll, I did not give her legs or feet, just a flat bottomed body and a small tail. One request was that the yarn be soft like fur. I found a baby blanket yarn that seemed to be just right, although it was a bit hard to keep my place crocheting so small with it. The yarn was also very thin so I had to add many more rows to the pattern to get it the right size.
The hood can also come off if desired, so it is attached in the back but then comes up around the chin like in the movie.
I did my best to match the features on the face of the doll with Saoirse from the movie. She has a small thin lipped mouth and raised eyebrows. I used safety eyes that have a clear outer ring to mimic her wide-eyed expression. I also gave her short, chin-length, black hair. I think I did pretty good even though my skills have advanced a little more since then. I don’t think I would change much of anything except for the hands. The difference in the size of the yarn is really apparent here and the arms need to either be thicker or the hands smaller, but it’s really still fine as it is. I might also fill the bottom with some kind of pellet to give it more standing weight. I recently made a tree and I put a nickel in the bottom to give it some weight which does help.
I’m told the recipient of the doll loved it and I really hope that I did her justice. When I take on a commission, I do it because I want to bring happiness to someone. So, there is a lot of pressure I put on myself to get it right. Do you think I did a good job? Let me know in the comments.