Monday, September 20, 2010

Handmade Dolls

A couple of years ago I made this doll for Christmas for my oldest daughter.

She was approaching the age of being less excited by homemade gifts and toys and I was trying really hard to find things that would be unique and right up her alley. I was surprised at how well this doll was received. I was told numerous times it was her favorite Christmas gift that year. It is still proudly displayed on her bed everyday!

Since then I've had several requests from both kids and parents for these dolls.
I've made four more for gifts and have an order for one to make by Christmas time this year.
They are obviously not your standard dolly. I've made three "Goth" versions and one "Punk" version of this doll. I like doing these styles because they are very whimsical and don't have to be perfect. Each crooked stitch and mismatched arm or leg adds to the uniqueness of the doll.

They are a blast to make and don't usually take more than a few solid hours from start to finish.
A dear family friend was turning 10 years old and she asked a whole year in advance for one of these for her next birthday.
Her "next birthday" was Saturday. So I got to finally make her this little cutie.

This is how I did it:

First I start out with a template. My husband drew this one out for me for the very first doll I ever made. Since it worked so well I've kept it and used it ever since.

I have a stash of organic cotton I usually use but I have made one out of muslin and that worked well too.
After ironing my fabric I fold it in half allowing just enough room for me to trace the template on it.
I pin the template directly onto the ironing board to keep the fabric and template from moving while I'm tracing.

After I'm done tracing I remove the template but replace the pins back into the fabric and through the ironing board. (This is easier and quicker than pinning the usual way.)

Now I cut out my template.

Then I pin together both pieces of fabric (right sides together).
Then I sew around the edges (about 1/4 inch seam) leaving at least a two inch opening on the top of the head for stuffing.

Turn the sewn doll inside out and stuff with batting or polyfill.
Then whip or blind stitch the opening closed. It doesn't have to be perfect because the hair (yarn) will cover it.

I both sew and hot glue the hair to the doll. This is the most time consuming part but also my favorite part. I've used all sorts of variations such as black w/red stripes, black with blue chunks, blond and pink ponytails, baby bangs, pig tails and with this particular doll I found some yarn that was strikingly similar to the hair of the person I made it for.

Then I sew on eyes and a mouth.

Finally, its time to make some clothes. I find that the tutus go over really well. Oh, and some little dolly jewelry and slippers too.

These are just so dang fun to make and great for those girls that think they are both to big and too cool for dolls!
Thanks for having a birthday Em, I was needing some creative time!

1 comment:

  1. These are too adorable. I still have the doll you knitted for me back in junior high! But I would have loved one of these too!