I've been working on the Philadelphia Sheppard Baby doll pattern a bit at a time. I bought a beat up Sheppard Philadelphia doll a while back to use for study. It is a large doll. I decided to downsize my pattern to 75% of the original antique doll.
When I designed my Izannah Walker doll pattern I did not own an original doll to use as a guide. I had taken scads of pictures of original dolls and used them as a guide. By approaching it that way, I had to distill the hallmarks of Izannah's design features. Now that I own an antique Izannah Walker doll I would approach it a bit differently.
And yet. Sometimes one work made by a maker is unique and has features not representative of the category. With the Philly Baby I am studying, the head is HUGE. The measurement from the bottom of the torso to the shoulder plate line is the same as the measurement from the shoulderplate line to the top of the head. I'm not sure I want the pattern to have a head that is that over sized. So it is decision making time. Do I want my pattern to be an exact copy of the doll I own? I don't think so.
I was showing my husband my progress and said, "I need to work on the toes." A tiny shift of a seam line can make all the difference in the shape. Engineering at work. Turning flat cloth into a holder for volume. Anyway, my husband the smartie pants said, "I think you need to work on more than toes."