Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dolls I've made

I just found these today when I was going through some stuff that has been packed away for the last 7 or 8 years (so that tells you how long it's been since I've done any doll-making). Looking at these, I think I'm going to have to get back into my crafting. I didn't realize how much I missed making my dolls until I found these pictures.

I made this doll for the daughter of one of the women I worked with back in 1999 or 2000, I think. Judy wanted a doll that looked like her daughter, so I made this one for her (I also made the dress the doll is wearing).

Emily was one of my first attempts at cloth doll making. I made her dress and undies out of old curtains I bought at a thrift store (and I created the pattern for her clothing myself).

Christiana was a doll I made from the same pattern I used to make my RastaMan doll, but using a different fabric (I also made her clothes, and used one of the unicorn pics I had downloaded off the internet to make the iron-on transfer for her t-shirt).

I made this doll for another daughter of one of the women I worked with about 8 or 9 years ago. She wanted a doll who looked like her daughter. I made this doll's clothing too (actually, if you see a doll I've made and she's dressed, I made her clothing).

Angela was a doll made for bedtime snuggling, I just haven't found the little girl who wants her yet.

Amelia was my second attempt at making an anatomically-correct soft-sculptured doll. I think I cut her legs out just a little off-grain on the fabric, so she's rather pigeon-toed (but she's still a cutie, and took me about 80 hours to create).

Amanda is my pride and joy, she's the first anatomically-correct child doll I made (I think I had about 100 hours tied up in creating her). I dressed her in a brown dress with a brown patchwork print pinafore. I gave her to a friend's daughter (biggest fucking mistake I ever made) and when they moved from MN back to Illinois, we found Amanda floating in the filth and garbage they left in their basement. I had to throw her away, I couldn't get her clean, she was so stained and moldy. I cried over that, I felt so trashed that someone I liked thought so little of the time and effort I put into making a gift for her (that she asked for, and knew how hard I had worked on it).
I wish I had pictures of the stuffed rocking horse I made, and of the African warrior princess (she was another of the anatomically correct dolls I made, dressed her in a headband and skirt, with an armband of wire and beads, a beaded anklet, a wire and beads necklace, and a spear with feathers on it). I entered her at the fair in the small town where I used to live, and won first prize with her. I entered the rocking horse at the same time (he was fluorescent lime green velour with a yellow mane and tail and dark green velour rockers, called him the Horse of a Different Colour from the Wizard of Oz). I won first prize with him too.
I had a lot of fun making all those dolls, and I have more pics of other dolls I made that I'll be posting. I had thought I could get a business started, making and selling dolls, but no one wanted to pay what I thought they were worth. I ended up donating a bunch of them to the Salvation Army at Christmas time one year because I just didn't have the room to store them. The lady at Salvation Army was glad to get them, she said that it was really difficult to find dolls of color for kids, dolls that could be played with and weren't meant for display only. And I had a blast trying to figure out how to get the eyes and mouths and noses to show up on the dolls of color that I made (I wasn't always successful, some of them looked good in person but just didn't photograph well, that was disappointing, to say the least).


  1. If you get the desire to start creating dolls again, might I suggest you try opening an Etsy store?

    I forget the EXACT details, but if you open an Etsy shop and nobody buys your stuff, you're only out PENNIES. Literally. I think it might be like 20 cents or something for each item that doesn't sell (as opposed to eBay's extravagant charges).

    It's worth a try, and most of the people who DO shop on Etsy know that everything's handmade, and therefore are willing to pay the extra for people's time and effort.

    The dolls are adorable, by the way! :)

  2. I love these dolls. You reaaly should get back into your crafting, even if it's just for yourself.

    I'm a crafter myself but my sewing skills suck big time. I stick to crochet and tatting.

  3. Those are great. You should definitely start making them again. Crafting is the best form of relaxation. What kind of fabric do you use for the bodies?

  4. nuckingfutz - I'm thinking about opening an etsy store, it seems the least expensive way to go.

    bamagal - I'm seriously considering it, I'm getting antsy to sew again (just made a gun case for one of DH's guns, lined with scraps of a vellux blanket we had laying around, denim only cost me 75 cents).

    eema-le - it depends on the pattern and the doll. Some of them I used plain woven cotton, some were ponte knit, some were moleskin. The soft sculptured ones, I used the ponte knit, it's the easiest to sculpt and mold using pompoms of different sizes for wrists/ankles/knees/cheeks/etc. Faces are harder to do on the smaller dolls, so I prefer the toddler dolls that stand about 24" tall, but I have patterns that range in size from 8" to 3 feet tall. I have a mermaid and a Pan doll that I started years ago, and haven't quite figured out how to finish (Pan needs hooves for his feet and hair and beard yet, mermaid needs her whole upper body and head).

  5. If you get a burning desire to make a Black fairy doll I would buy it from you in a heartbeat.

    I love them. And weirdly I don't usually like dolls but yours make me squee instantly.

  6. Angela is my favorite. I love her jammies. She looks like a great cuddling doll.

  7. I love your dolls - you should totally get crafty again! Its a lot of fun. What makes it even more fun is this whole web 2.0 thing - Ravelry is an online fiber arts community, and Crochetville is just what you'd think. Its really great to be able to connect with similar people. You should look for one for dolls.

  8. I love the Angela doll just the way she is! My daughter, who is eight, actually stands that way, though not as pronounced. So does my husband, for that matter. I have always thought that more dolls should be allowed to have "imperfections" instead of total perfection to more accurately reflect reality. For that reason, I have never allowed anyone to give my daughters Barbie dolls because I am inherantly against the "impossibly perfect" image they project. I've held that belief since I was a young mother at 19 (and normal weight) as I do now, at 42 and fat. Why give kids playthings that project an ideal that is impossible to achieve? Confidence comes from success, not never ending failures.
    I hope you do the dolls again. I would certainly purchase one even if it's for myself, since my eight year old seems to have outgrown dolls already. Thanks for posting pictures of your dolls. It makes me want to craft again!


Comment moderation is enabled. If you're a troll and trying to slander someone or just being generally an asshat, your comment probably won't see the light of day. If you want to have a reasonable, civil discussion, welcome, and feel free to comment.
To the troll at IP: , adsl-70-242-65-196.dsl.stlsmo.swbell.net, your comments will not be published, nor will they be read. They will be automatically deleted. Get a life, sad sack.