Feeling guilty for letting her ruin her concentration span on so much children's TV.... I jumped in with , "Well, how about we MAKE some paper dolls...?" (with absolutely no plan of action to follow through), knowing that the idea of "make" is a surefire means of engagement for more than five minutes.
We took a photo of the girl in the last layer of clothes, printed it out and cut it out. We had a dolly. I traced it. We had a template for garment design. A plan was developing (phew!).
We started with two designers for the clothes, but one of us was having problems with the tracing techniques that the other suggested. Labour was then divided into the drawing of clothes and the colouring-and-dressing-and-telling-the-drawer-what-to-draw departments.
It worked a treat. The wee girl was "too busy" to have lunch and reluctant to leave by early afternoon for a Daddy's-family gathering.
I spent the quiet of the family-free afternoon with the sewing machine set up in front of the dvd of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, with the plan to do lots of sewing.
I did lots of watching Tess of the D'Urbervilles, instead. (I missed it on telly recently because I was too busy meeting a deadline).
I must remember to get a lighter storyline next time I plan to simultaneously sew and catch up on missed costume-dramas.... or give up on the idea of straight topstitching.