Some days my love of sewing is a bit overwhelming–all those tangled threads, dropped pins and unfinished projects seem to be going nowhere. That’s when I call some friends and set up a date for doll making.
Doll making reminds me of how my sewing began (Barbie clothes) and why it continues at such a fever pace. Think of the adult coloring book craze transferred to fabric. Sewing is essentially PLAY.
So here’s to a houseful of girls (ages 10 and up), two sturdy sewing machines, a well used pattern and a bin of old doll clothes. What a great way to start a new year of creating with fabric.
13-year-old Klara made this doll in an afternoon. Klara’s lady is wearing a very chic ensemble from 1930s doll wardrobe I stumbled on in an antique store. Fortunately, there were hats in wardrobe. We didn’t have time to make embroidery floss hair in our first meeting.
Doll maker Miriam also shopped the 1930s wardrobe. We used fabric pens to make the doll faces, but embroidery is another option if you have the time. (Note: Pal Megan took her doll home to hand-stitch the face. That’s too much sewing for one day, and why she missed the photo shoot.)
Our pattern came from a tried and true (out for print) book from my collection. You can find other books and patterns, but I wouldn’t recommend working on a smaller scale. Smaller patterns would be too hard to turn to the right side–which is time-consuming at best.
Another thing I like about this book–instructions have you sew around the doll shape before cutting it out. I find that much easier than the other way around
Be sure to have chopsticks, dowels and other tools for turning small arms and legs. And we used floral wire in the necks so heads didn’t flop . A white pipe cleaner would work here too.
Here’s my doll, Jessica, made from the same pattern over several days, several years ago. Note the embroidered face and stitched yarn hair.
And speaking of creative play–Klara made this dog pincushion for me in the style of Picasso. Eat your heart out Pablo.
What about you? What sparks your creativity when you need a reboot?