If you are selling or giving away cloth dolls that you have made, remember to sign and date your dolls. When I sign my dolls, I use an air soluble pen first and then go over the purple ink from the first pen with a permanent ink pen. I sign my dolls in an obscure spot on the back of the doll. I had planned to show you my signature on the Kitty doll that I made recently and discussed in my blog. I posed her for the photo and decided that the pose was too humiliating for poor Kitty. So I put her panties back on and told her that she was soon going to be a Christmas Doll. I hope that she forgave me.
I am always experimenting with something or other. My family gets a little nervous when my experiments involve food, but my efforts occasionally turn out well. My most recent experiment was a attempt to quilt a cover for an eighteen inch (46 cm) doll. I used the instructions for the simple doll cover in my book Learn to Sew for Your Doll. Learn to Sew is the third book down on my book page. Instead of using light cotton fabric as the instructions suggest, I made the top from cotton flannel with an interesting design. I used fleece fabric for the lining. I quilted around some of the designs on the cover’s top. As you can see from the photo, my quilting techniques need a lot of work.
My use of fleece for the lining, rather than sandwiching batting between the cover’s top and lining, gave the quilt a soft drape. I am planning to continue work on the idea of a fleece lining to see if I can come up with something that I like.
If you are interested in quilting for dolls and would like to see the free patterns that I have for small doll quilts, click here to go to my pattern page. Click free miniature quilt blocks under Small doll accessory patterns in the directory at the top of the page, or just scroll to the bottom of the page to see the patterns.
Years ago a friend of mine and her daughter had a wonderful time filling a Christmas stocking with small gifts for the daughter’s American Girl doll. If you know a young lady who would like to make presents for her doll this Christmas, you might want to check out the free patterns on Florabunda’s Page.
The easiest pattern offers three sizes of bean bags: a small doll size, a large doll size, and a child size beanbag.
The second pattern is for three sizes of cats.
The third pattern offers three sizes of Teddy bears.
There is also a pattern for three sizes of elephants. That pattern is a little more complicated, but is also worth a try, especially if you are invited to a white elephant party this holiday season. Be sure to make the gift elephant out of white felt.
Remember that these patterns are child friendly and free. Click here to visit Florabunda’s Page.
We have been having problems with this website for the last week. I am not certain that the problem has been fixed. If you are able to read this today and later you are unable to reach the website, the site has not gone away. If the site is not on the web, it means that we are still having server problems. Also, I cannot get to my email. If you have tried to email me lately, please try again in a few days. I hope that I will be able to post a proper blog again soon. –Sherralyn
I recently discovered a line of fourteen inch (36 cm) dolls called Hearts for Hearts Girls. The dolls represent girls from all over the world and the stories that come with the dolls are both compassionate and proactive. I ordered Lauryce. Her story is about a girl from New Orleans in the USA. I looked to see if any of my doll clothes patterns would fit her. She can wear the dress in my Princess Irene pattern. Here is Lauryce wearing Princess Irene’s dress.
If you are interested in this pattern click here to go to my pattern page. Princess Irene’s pattern is right below the eighteen inch doll patterns.
Today I am going show the two finished dolls that I have been working on for the last few weeks. Kitty is eighteen inches ( 46 cm). Her pattern is found in my new book, Sewing for Large Dolls. Twinkle is six and one half inches (16.5 cm). Her pattern is found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you are interested in finding out more about these books you can read about them on My Books page by clicking here.
I gave both dolls two ponytails instead of braids. I sewed Kitty’s wig following the instructions in my book. After I sewed the yarn to the doll’s head, I made two pony tails instead of braids out of the long loose yarn.
To make each small curl for Twinkle, I wrapped a knobby yarn five times around a medium size knitting needle. I cut the yarn and sewed each curl together with matching thread. I then sewed the curl to the doll’s head. When her head was covered in curls, I made each ponytail by wrapping several loops of yarn around two fingers. I then sewed the ponytails in place. Here are my finished dolls.
Last week we discussed joint safety, while my cloth dolls Kitty and Twinkle waited for their arms and legs. Kitty is eighteen inches ( 46 cm). Her pattern is found in my new book, Sewing for Large Dolls. Twinkle is six and one half inches (16.5 cm). Her pattern is found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you are interested in finding out more about these books you can read about them on My Books page by clicking here.
I used freezer paper to sew the arm and leg templates, and left the freezer paper on the fabric until I had cut them out.
I then removed the paper from the pieces and turned them right side out. I am proud of the instructions in the Kitty pattern for making fingers and toes on her hands and feet. Twinkle also has tiny optional fingers and toes. When I had constructed the toes and fingers and stuffed the arms and legs to the beginning of the stuffing opening, it was time to join the limbs to the body. First I followed my directions for inserting the joint bolt into the arm or leg and then into the doll’s body. After the plain washer has been placed around the joining shaft, it is time to insert the lock washer. In the past, I have found that it takes a lot of strength to add the lock washer to the joint assembly. To make it easier to push the lock washer down the locking shaft of the doll joint I use a trick that I learned from CR’s Crafts catalog. I put a cup of water in a microwaveable bowl and heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. I put the lock washer that I am about to use in the water and heat it for another 30 seconds. I leave the water in the microwave oven to use with the next lock washer and remove my first washer with a slotted spoon. I place the washer on a folded terry cloth towel. When the washer is dry and cool enough to handle, it slides easily down the locking shaft. After all the arms and legs had been joined, I finished stuffing the arms and legs. Then it was time to stuff Kitty’s body.
With my method of stringing arms and legs, Twinkle’s body was stuffed before her arms and legs, but the stringing buttons were inside the limbs and so I finished stuffing them after I had joined them to her body. Now all my dolls need are hair and clothing.
At the end of last week’s discussion, my cloth dolls Kitty and Twinkle were waiting for their arms and legs. Kitty is eighteen inches ( 46 cm). Her pattern is found in my new book, Sewing for Large Dolls. Twinkle is six and one half inches (16.5 cm). Her pattern is found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you are interested in finding out more about these books you can read about them on My Books page by clicking here.
I blogged about the safety of doll joints once before, but I think that the topic is worth more discussion. I looked up choking hazard size on Google. In the United States a cylinder tube that is 1.25 inches in diameter and between 1 and 2.25 inches deep is used to test toy safety. If an object fits inside the cylinder, it is considered unsafe for children three years old and under.
An assembled 35 mm doll joint will not fit into the cylinder and so it should be safe for a young child. Here is a doll joint that is about to be assembled.
I did not push the lock washer down the shaft, because I would not be able to get it off again. Here is the doll joint before it has been assembled.
The washer and the lock washer are both choking hazards. I have never been able to disassemble a doll joint once I had pushed the lock washer down the locking shaft. I have had to cut the joint apart using wire cutters when I incorrectly placed a leg on a doll. I believe that doll 35 mm joints are safe if they have been correctly assembled in the doll.
I used 35 mm doll joints to connect this Kitty’s arms as well as her legs, even though my pattern called for 30 mm arm joints. The 30 mm joint would be a chocking hazard even when it is assembled. I am going to explain doll joints to the parents of Kitty’s future owner. If they are concerned, Kitty will need to wait a few years to become a play doll.
Twinkle is a choking hazard and should not be given to a young child.
This discussion took longer than I expected. I’ll show you the assembled dolls next week.
I am continuing a discuss that I started on September 8 on making two of my cloth dolls. Kitty is eighteen inches ( 46 cm). Her pattern is found in my new book, Sewing for Large Dolls. Twinkle is six and one half inches (16.5 cm). Her pattern is found in my book, Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you are interested in finding out more about these books you can read about them on My Books page by clicking here.
Kitty’s head is made of five cloth pieces, not counting the ears, which are optional. The much smaller Twinkle has a two piece head.
I am very proud of my method of attaching Kitty’s head to her body. I think that it is easy to do. In the book we have a diagram for matching the head to the neck. For this Kitty doll, I asked Tech Support (husband) to take photos. The head and neck will be sewn right sides together. The top of the head will go inside the body and the chin dart will be matched with the neck at the center front seam.
The chin dart is pinned to the center front seam. The raw edges of the head and neck are pinned together.
Here is a close up of the head pinned to the neck.
After the head and neck are sewn together, the head is pulled out of the body and the backs of the head are sewn together. Then the head/body casing can be turned right side out. Kitty’s head is stuffed before the arms and legs are attached to the body with doll joints. After I stuffed her head, I removed the stuffing to show you how much the stuffing compresses in a firmly stuffed doll.
I then replaced the stuffing and added a little more. Kitty’s body will not be stuffed until her arms and legs have been attached.
Twinkle’s head was sewn on by hand using the ladder stitch. Directions for the ladder stitch can be found in my free download Tools, Tips, and Techniques. If you are interested in this booklet, you can find it on my Patterns Page by clicking here.
Twinkle’s arms and legs are attached to her body by stringing, rather than doll joints. Her body is stuffed before her arms and legs are attached.
Next week we will attach the dolls’ arms and legs.
I am making two cloth dolls, eighteen inch ( 46 cm) Kitty and six and one half inch (16.5 cm) Twinkle. I am using the patterns found in my two new books, Sewing for Large Dolls and Sewing for Mini Dolls. If you are interested in finding out more about these books you can read about them on My Books page by clicking here.
Recently I decided that the freezer paper method is my favorite way to sew using a template. I explain this method in Sewing for Large Dolls. The large doll book suggests sewing the arms, legs, and ears as the step after coloring the face. The arms and legs will be used later in the construction, but the ears are needed when the head is sewn together. I decided to sew Twinkle’s arms and legs while I was sewing Kitty’s arms, legs, and ears. I used two folded pieces of fabric for all my templates. Here is how they looked after I sewed them.
My Bernina sewing machine has a knee lift for its presser foot. I find this feature very helpful when I am following templates, because the process often requires raising the foot to pivot the fabric on the needle. My new Brother machine has placed the hand lift for the presser foot conveniently at the side rather than the back of the machine head. I was pleased to find how easy it was to follow the template lines without a knee lift.
I cut out only the ears before I began work on the dolls’ heads. The arms and legs were cut out later, when I was ready to use them. I find it easier to cut out each piece if I leave the template on the fabric until the piece has been cut out.
Next time we will look at constructing doll heads and attaching the heads to the bodies.