Making Soft Dolls
Early this year, I started making a doll from fabric because last year I was obsessed with rag dolls. I had been searching for and looking at them until I decided to make some, as this was the way to stop thinking about them. It was quite hard at the beginning. My first doll was made by hand, which took a week to put together. After that I got my first sewing machine. I had no idea how to use it. I remember my mom always used it to fix clothes and make pajamas for me. Back then I didn't have any interest in sewing. Time changes, people change (me as well). As soon as I got a sewing machine, I made a pattern for my doll's body. It took awhile to get the right body ratio. I used unbleached muslin for the body. For the head, I started with a circle. Then I put stuffing in, making sure that it was round. I didn't like it to be flat. After I was pleased with the shape, I sewed the back of the head together (like a ball). Now it was time for a face. I drew the on face with a magic marker which easily disappears after using water.
I embroidered along the marker line using 100% cotton embroidery floss. I scraped a soft pastel on a sand paper and applied pastel dust on the doll cheek with a dry paint brush. Now my doll looked cute. I made the body, arms and legs, put the stuffing in and sewed them together. I read "The Making of a Rag Doll" by Jess Brown, a very informative book. She recommended corn fiber stuffing because its denseness helps fill in space. I used both corn fiber and polyester stuffing. They had different pros and cons. One thing that I didn't like about corn fiber stuffing was that it was very dusty. Working with this material irritated my nose and my throat. When I sewed to close the opening, it was fine. You don't need to worry about the fiber dust. I didn't have theatkind of problem with polyester stuffing. The only issue was it was very fluffy so it took a lot to fill in the space. It was also hard to put it in the body with a chopstick because a chopstick always went through the stuffing. At this point, I have a naked body without hair. I made a dress and sewed it over my doll. The dress wasn't removable. The final step was putting hair on.
It was tricky to make Miss Bumble B. More steps were required. I made antennae with wire and black wool. I wrapped them together with black thread. The hardest part was body embroidery. I could do only one body a day. In At the end of the day, I couldn't feel my hand.
Miss Bumble B's wings were made from nylon stocking and decorated with black felt in a heart shape for hiding the thread (and cuteness).
Here is the group picture of bee family. I made two bees in black hair and black wings, which turned out great. I love them so much. I will have eleven bees on sale.
This is a group picture of Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, my all time favorite. Her dress's color is varied because I ran out of fabric. I will have eleven Alice available; four in blue felt dress, five in turquoise dress, one in blue cotton dress and one in seagull pattern dress.
Myriam is the first from these three characters that I designed. She has a very big bow on her head. I made her hair from yarn and wool. Eleven Myriam will be available soon; four with mohair yarn hair and seven with orange wool hair.
At this point, I am really proud of myself. I spent about two months to make all these dolls. They were made with love and care. I consider them as my art and my baby (my creation). After I sell all of my dolls, I might consider making a full tutorial on these types of dolls. If you are interested, please let me know in a comment on this post. I will move on to a new project. Stay tuned! !!