I made a doll! I’ve made toys before but this one kindly agreed to be my “mini me” for blog purposes, since it is indeed nice to put a face to the writing.
Making toys has a bit of magic to it. The challenge lies not just in the small scale. It’s not so easy to get a body right. At the end, you should shake the little hand to welcome the toy into the world, and you want to get the hand right even in the simplest of designs.
In terms of scale I might have made things a bit harder for myself than they needed to be. I printed out the templates from A Beautiful Mess, and they seemed a bit too big for what I envisioned. So I drew my own, in roughly similar shapes (adding in 6mm/ 1/4″ seam allowances). That gave me the size of the doll I wanted but stuffing the body, head, and limbs was not easy.
That was nothing, however, compared to the challenge of sewing doll clothes! Doll clothes are hard. You really need to be clever about closures. You also shouldn’t think of them as human clothes in miniature (that was my mistake).
Anyway, I made my first pair of pants. I realize, looking at these photos, that I need to take some modeling classes from Mini Me here.
I’m very proud of those tiny pants. I could have done a slightly better job with the “cosmic jacket” but she’s not complaining.
- doll design: inspired by this tutorial as well as Carolyn’s stunning Sally doll, with a bit of improvisation on the details
- hair: Carolyn’s brilliant idea for a full mane (link above)
- face embroidery: go slow, make every thread count; to tie off, draw threads through the head and secure them on the back of the head
- clothes: improvised, with some snags along the way
- sewing tips: 6mm/ 1/4″ seam allowances, double line of stitching to mitigate the risk of seams bursting after stuffing, clip the tiny curves where necessary
- stuffing: I used polyfill; I recommend stuffing the tummy and head firmly and the limbs more sparingly to give them flexibility
Now she’s off to relax with a book or twenty.