Monday, February 21, 2011


If you have been following my blog for a while, or are familiar with my website at all then it will be no surprise to you that i LOVE making dolls.

i began with basic rag dolls about 10 years ago. i've never used a pattern for any of my dolls...i just make them. My rag dolls are made from simple cotton muslin, and i have always added lots of extra details to give each doll a bit of personality. i love making fairies and mermaids as well. My daughter has a nice collection of my rag dolls, including one of my first mermaids and a mother/daughter fairy set.. :)

Then, a few years back i began making a few crocheted dolls. The mermaids are my favorite of these.

When my daughter was 2, i really wanted to make her a Waldorf style doll. This was my first attempt. i didn't really know what i was doing but she still came out okay. i fashioned her body after a Cabbage patch kid. So she has stitched fingers and toes.

i made a second one for a friend, and this one came out slightly better. i had a really tough time with her hair, although i had followed a tutorial online for making he crocheted cap and then adding the hair individually. It was incredibly time consuming and i did not love the results. i didn't attempt another for several years.

The last couple years, i have really been wanting to get back into doll making but have been too intimidated to start. The materials just to start are very expensive and i wasn't totally sure where to get them from.

This year, i decided to put aside the fears, invest in the materials and just do it. i decided it would be best to make a few 'practice' dolls before i orders the materials and just start cutting away. So i found an unbleached cotton t-shirt at the thrift store that i thought would work perfectly.

So this was my first attempt, and i already see a bunch of things i did wrong. The face is very lumpy, the neck is very wrinkled, the eyes are not even ...the arms are a bit too long. The outfit she is wearing was made by my sister in law, and the outfit is so cute it hides all the doll's wonkiness. lol. i intend to give her some hair, but i didn't have the right yarn for it. i'll post pictures again when she is completed with hair and her own outfit. Even with all the problems, i'm still pretty happy with how she turned out.

This is my second attempt, again made from recycling a cotton t-shirt. The dress is from another doll, i still have to make her outfit. She's not perfect, but i'm very happy with how she turned out, and again i learned a few trick i didn't know before. i found a solution for the problems i had with the hair, and am very happy with how it turned out!!! This girl's hair is gorgeous, the picture doesn't do justice. The brown is wool, and then i added a fun yarn to give it a little extra. My daughter claimed this doll immediately.

So i still have a few things to work out. i need to spend a day just practicing embroidery. My eyes are never round or symmetrical. Although my neck wrinkles are better on this one, they are still not perfect. i'm beginning to feel that doll making passion again though...

Yesterday, Kenan donated an really nice thick unbleached hemp t-shirt to my doll making cause. The fabric is so nice to work with!! i've been using my beautiful wool roving to stuff these, which makes me a bit sad. It's amazing how much wool is needed to stuff these dolls. Mine are not even as firm as i would like them.
Anyhow, just wanting to show some progress. Three dolls in three days, and i have learned so much!This girl has a bit of a weak chin, but overall the shape of her face came out quite nicely. Neck wrinkles are minimal, and i have a few ideas about reducing them even more.

So one thing i am really loving about these dolls is that they are almost completely hand stitched. i do use the machine to stitch around the legs on the main body, and i machine sew the arms. However the head, the details and putting all the pieces together is done entirely by hand. So i can carry these around and work on them anywhere, sitting outside, watching movies with the kids...i'm not stuck behind a machine and i feel much more connected to the process of making each doll. This photo is of her sitting on my lap at my computer desk, while i was working online and sewing dolls.

So this is the latest head i have finished. i'll be working on the body today, but i am beyond thrilled with my progress. This one came together almost perfectly. Attaching the head to the body is always a bit tricky, but i've learned enough with the others that i am totally confident that it will go together well. i'm hoping to get to the store to purchase some wool yarns for the hair this week, and then i get to start sewing up some clothing. i have also started looking around online to find a good source for the materials and wool. It'll be a bit of an investment, but i am really eager to begin this new endeavor.
i also can't wait to share the finished dolls with you all, as i know they are going to be very cute.


  1. So cute! How much for one of them? I like the one that you posted a photo of last.

    mysticbutterfly37 at

  2. Awesome, mama! It's nice that you showed your history in tells us all to keep on truckin' when we feel the urge to create something! Thanks!

  3. They're amazing, wonderful, perfect creations!
    I love them.
    I really want to make one for my own daughter...
    You've inspired me.