Thursday, January 12, 2012

my first attempt at Waldorf inspired doll making - part 1

I've been wanting to try my hand at Waldorf doll making for several years now. Okay, maybe more than several since it's been more like 6 years. As soon as the big girl was a toddler and I contemplated her first doll I wanted to be able to make a Waldorf doll for her. But I was terrified at the thought. Not only did I doubt my doll making skills, but the big girl was a very active toddler and I really didn't get much of a chance to sew once she started moving.

But when I saw that my favorite supplier, Weir Crafts, was having a sale on cotton interlock "doll skin" fabric and velour I bit the bullet and bought some fabric. When it arrived I wondered why I had resisted.

Next I scoured the interwebs for tutorials. I finally decided on trying a pocket doll. It's a great compromise for folks who are not quite feeling ready for a full Waldorf doll.

I settled on using this tutorial from Sooz.

I made some design choices like using cotton velour for the body and hat instead of wool felt and will go for more of the baby doll look.

The first step for me was drawing out my pattern pieces. Lately I've really liked drafting pattern pieces onto upcycled cardboard. I save boxes just for this purpose. This one previously housed natural chicken patties from Costco. The chicken was sealed in plastic bags so the cardboard is absolutely food free and clean.

pattern pieces drafted onto the upcycled cardboard box pieces

After I finished drafting the pattern pieces I quickly labeled them with cutting directions and cut them out.

pattern pieces cut out and labeled - because while I remember today what I plan to do with them it may be so clear next time I pull them out

Then I cut out the pieces for the doll heads. I drafted a pattern for this because I find it more convenient than using my ruler and measuring out the correct sized rectangle each time. It's not really a piece that needs a pattern.

head pieces cut out of the cotton interlock "doll skin" fabric

The next step was cutting out the body pieces and the hat pieces from the cotton velour.

body and hat pieces cut from cotton velour

The only sewing I did this first day was the doll heads. I didn't take any pictures of this process, but I took the folded pieces of cotton interlock and sewed a straight seam along one edge using my sewing machine. Then I threaded a needle and hand sewed a gathering stitch along the top of the doll head. I gathered it together and tied it tightly. Then I stuffed the doll head with unspun carded wool. I again sewed a gathering stitch at the bottom of the doll head and tied it tightly.

I placed pins to mark where I'll be embroidering eyes and a mouth.

doll heads sewn and stuffed with wool - the pins are there to help me in placing the embroidered eyes and mouth

This was as far as I got today in the doll making process, but there will be a part 2 post soon.

(Oh, and I didn't receive any compensation from Weir Crafts. I've been using them as a fabric supplier for several years now and am an extremely satisfied customer and feel compelled to praise their business every chance I have. They have high quality products at competitive prices and their customer service is outstanding. Give them a try, really, they're that good.)


  1. Do you have pics of the finished dolls?

  2. I do, actually, yes. I guess I forgot to do a follow-up post. I'll see what I can do about getting one up this next week.


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A 40 something mama meandering through life an 8 year old girl (the big girl) who is a ball of lightening and a 5 year old girl (the baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days. Our family is rounded out with with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy) who I hardly ever right about now since he's off starting his own life.

I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!

I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)

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