You may have scrolled on Pinterest or Instagram and saw the most gorgeous soft, cloth dolls but did you know handmade dolls are so popular?
Some have such beautifully embroidered faces, that you just can not miss it!
Most are wearing soft, drapey skirts with accessories you never had for your Barbie!
And...you may be thinking about a doll you had as a little girl and just how proud you were to hold her or to dress her...
Have I got you thinking?
The next best thing will be to inspire you to try making a doll...
Today is the first in a series of posts about handmade dolls..it is actually just a teaser to introduce you to this lovely craft and to showcase some of the best doll makers, shops and Facebook groups you can join for more inspiration. Each of the steps below, will be visited and discussed in depth.
I have a bit of an ulterior motif too...I have a sewn doll without a face or clothes, and a lot of patterns already cut out...so, I need some motivation to complete these...and I figured, why don't we all tackle it together?
FIRST STEP in DOLL MAKING:
- Do you know who will be the lucky person to receive your first handmade doll?
- How old is he/she?
- How much time do you have to make it (before the event)?
- Do you have enough stash?
- Is it for a special birthday or celebration?
- Do you have a sewing machine/embroidery machine or are you going to sew it by hand?
SECOND STEP in DOLL MAKING:
Once you have figured out the above, it is time to be reminded of the following:
DOLLS FOR CHILDREN
- You don't want to make a doll with any hazardous material or use anything that could potentially be harmful, i.e. buttons and paint;
- Small children put everything in their mouths, would you suck on a piece of felt?
- Any parts of your doll should be stitched multiple times to ensure that it is not going to come loose with the first pull!
- Keep the design plain and simple and limit the accessories if the child is below the age of 3 (it sometimes depend on the child, just don't be upset if you visit and your dolly is without her original attire!)
- I personally do not like to make dolls with heads that are stitched onto the body. I like to have the body and head as one pattern.
- Know that you are giving it to a child, that he/she is going to play with it and that it will be soiled, spoiled and enjoyed.
BIGGER GIRLS AND ADULTS
You can obviously make anything to your heart's content if the recipient is older and are likely to care more for a handmade item!
I read an inspiring story of a doll maker who decided to make a doll for her grandmother for her 80th birthday and
My own mother (of 80) received a doll one Christmas and she was ecstatic about it!
THIRD STEP IN DOLL MAKING:
- Decide on a 'look' for your doll, including the clothes and accessories;
- Choose a pattern (you can always combine different patterns if you don't get what you want;
- Use the fabric you have or hit the shops girls! ( remember your list..)
- Some patterns include patterns for the clothes, if not...time to improvise...
4TH STEP IN DOLL MAKING:
The creative process can be very intimidating and scary, actually. You doubt yourself a million times, it's ok - and it is normal..I do it, you do it, the next reader will be doing it....If you don't know what to do next, shoot me an email and I will try to help BUT...
JUST START AND MAKE THE DOLL!!!
Sew, stitch or embroider your doll and the clothes, make the accessories and have fun...
FIFTH STEP IN DOLL MAKING:
Present your gift in such a manner, that it will invoke excitement and awe, joy and sheer pleasure!
Yes, I am referring to the packaging and it will be the last topic in our series.
TYPES OF DOLLS TO MAKE
If you search doll making, you will encounter a lot of different types of dolls to make. Here are a few options we will be covering:
Fabric/Cloth Dolls with:
- Hand Painted faces
- Machine Embroidered faces
- Hand Embroidered faces
- ITH Dolls also known as In-the-hoop embroidered dolls
- Machine stitched dolls
- Hand sewn dolls
- Dolls made from painted fabric
- Dolls with machine embroidered outlines
- Knitted dolls
- Crochet dolls
- Any combination of the above
- Plushie/Stuffed toys or soft toys, either animals, dolls or regular things
INSPIRATION FROM DOLL MAKERS & SHOPS
Some of the links in this post are from affiliate programs that I am a member of. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated, with no additional cost to you.
Bellina Dolls - dolls with stretch fabric faces
Cook You Some Noodles - dolls with painted faces and felt hair
Deerdarlingdolls - Adorable dolls with the most exquisite clothes!
Doll Makers Blog - Featuring doll makers
Edge of the Forest - Soft dolls/Plushies, dolls, pillows etc
Henry Pip and Dee - Fabric dolls with a variety of finishes
Jade Love Designs Co - soft dolls and animals with hand embroidered faces
Jennifer Nilsson Art & Design - Hand-painted cloth dolls
Little Miss Tippy Toes - Beautifully crafted dolls
Not on the high Street - A variety of rag dolls
Nova's Dollies Etc - A small selection of cloth dolls and animals
Spun Candy Dolls - The most exquisite dolls with delicately painted faces, the most interesting hairstyles and fine clothing.
The Dolls Unique - Dolls with a twist, very unique
Upper Dhali - Almost real-life looking dolls with waves of coloured hair...so, so beautiful!
FACEBOOK GROUPS TO CHECK OUT & JOIN
BIJOUKITTY B/S/T/Chat -For Bijou Kitty plushies lovers!
Dolls And Daydreams Patterns Group - Doll Sewing Patterns & In The Hoop Machine Embroidery Designs
Handmade Doll Lovers Facebook Group - "Sharing the beautiful work of some of the amazing doll makers around the world"
Doll by Nata Patterns
DID YOU FIND SOMETHING TO ENTICE YOU INTO DOLL MAKING?
Next up, we will be looking at patterns - free and paid as well as tips to shop for the right stash!