“Do not seek perfection….

…in a changing world. Instead, perfect your love.” – Buddha

I have wanted to make Lucy a rag doll for a long time but never had faith in my ability. However, time is ticking and I needed to get my a** in gear if I was to avoid this potential regret. My mum made me this beautiful Victorian rag doll when I was young. I wanted Lucy to experience the same joy as I had in owning such a treasure. I decided to use Mum’s creation as my own template.

Lucy loves Alice in Wonderland (because of her own lovely blonde hair). So with the attitude of ‘what’s the worse that can happen’ I set out to create an Alice doll for Christmas.

Now, I have only made a couple of things before. My best effort to date is my iPad case (for which I had the same ‘let’s just see what happens’ attitude). I didn’t want the pressure of wasting money if work on the doll went wrong so I used sheets and pillow cases to practice with. Hey, if they worked out then that was a bonus. I also found a Snow White costume in a charity shop for 50p which I took apart and used the various fabrics – such as the red bow for Alice’s lips and the triumph being the golden satin skirt as Alice’s hair!

I also wanted to emulate the “I love you” message on Alice that was embroidered on the chest of my doll.

The final result is rough and ready. Alice’s dress and apron are even more so but still, she is made with love. I have known throughout the process that no matter what, Lucy will love her and she won’t judge me on the quality.

It was more important for me to do it without finesse than not do it because it would not be perfect.  A lesson I shall take with me into 2018.  Just do it and see what happens.


“Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Isn’t this just the perfect example of how to live? I bow to Rach’s ability to free herself from the tyranny of perfection, thereby increasing hugely her prospects of success.

It is so helpful to challenge ourselves about what ‘success’ looks like for any given project. In Rach’s case, it was more important to produce a gift of love, than to produce something worth of a sewing prize. And the end result? I think we can all agree that the Alice doll is utterly charming and gorgeous.

We can take this attitude into all parts of our lives. Why not try it the next time you start to question yourself about something you really want to accomplish? Ask yourself:

  1. what are the most important outcomes for me here?
  2. what small, manageable steps can I take towards achieving those outcomes?

and, most significantly:   What’s The Worst That Can Happen?


“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



  1. It is lovely for me to know you still treasure the doll I made for you, Rachel. But you were right to go ahead to make a doll for Lucy, come what may. Because the end result is beautiful and original and completely personal to Lucy, which makes the doll even more charming. As you know, I believe that fear of failure is one of life’s main inhibitors, so, go girl! You can do anything you set your mind to. Xx
    And well done, Liz, as an expert sewer you are a great encouragement to your sister. Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. When I see other clergy doing some much to share God’s love, I can suffer from the ‘not good enough’ syndrome. My spiritual director told me that God called me to be a priest – not a perfect priest, so although I will also do the best I can, that frees me from the vanity of perfection. I love the doll, has Lucy seen it yet?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a lovely doll, and your great attitude. Even I started to take days off from being perfect…. hehe. Seriously you are right, just do it and see what happens. I admire your gift in making such a beautiful doll.

    Liked by 1 person

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