At last I have finished, and given, the doll project I have been working on. She is a waldorf style dolls-house doll. I’ve made a few waldorf style dolls, but this is the first time I have completed one with a pipe cleaner structure inside. Also its the first time I have added a bead for the nose. I’m pleased with the slight bendiness and the cute nose, so I will do it again.
I find the face is the hardest part to do on dolls. Its not the embroidery that is difficult. I find getting just the right position of the facial features on an expressionless doll, hard. I think it is getting better with practise, but if any experienced doll maker has any top tips, I’m all ears. I find it is easier to achieve a good head shape on the smaller dolls.
I dressed her in a green dress and a pair of cream bloomers. I blanket stitched around the dress and, around the neck, I included beads in the stitches. I like the effect of it being neck edging and also a necklace. It was quite therapeutic doing this part and I could have carried on around all the edges.
I made her a few accessories. This was fun, as my sister spotted some familiar fabrics among the collection.
And if you weren’t sure, then this gives it all away.
Yes, she is the Princess and the Pea. Not original, but my interpretation of the story. My niece tucked the doll up in bed, which seemed just perfect.
AJ says that the doll’s expression is puzzled. I think it is more connected to having slept all night on twelve mattresses and a felted pea. My girls decorated the bed with pictures of the castle, princess, pea and Gwinny the dog. Its OK, your memory is not playing tricks. Gwinny is our dog and not in the original story. She would look quite at home in a castle. We also included a The Princess and the Pea manual. BL received a copy at Christmas and loves this variation on the so familiar story. So do I.
Before I forget, I have to give credit to Kinder Dolls: A Waldorf Doll-making Handbook (Crafts, festivals & family activities) by Maricristin Sealey. It seems to have gone out of print, which I think is a real shame. I love this book. It gives instructions for different size dolls, with templates, starting with basic ones for babies and moving on to more advanced creations. There is a chapter dedicated to different ways of doing hair and another on making clothes. If you are looking for a book to get you started and you have at least some basic sewing experience, then this is a good choice. I found the method for shaping the heads really helpful.
If you need any other reason to hunt this book down in a second hand bookshop or at the library, then the book is illustrated by the author’s daughter. I’m guessing that she must have been the happy recipient of many of the dolls created using the methods laid out in the book. I like happy circles.
I’m quite sad to see the little princess go. She would slip perfectly into a pocket. I have fond memories of dolls and toys made by my Grandma, many of which have survived my childhood. My children fell in love with her too, so they made me promise to make each of them a doll similar to the princess. Sounds good to me!