Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dolls for Fiji

So some of my personal projects have been put on hold because we are making a TON of dolls to send to Fiji this summer.  Even though they are going in August, the church is trying to ship as much as they can ahead of time so we were working hard to get them done by this week.   I think we may continue to work on them up until they go, but it will be at a more lesuriely pace as whatever we finish will have to be packed into people's suitcases. 

Here is a bunch that I finished today during my girl's nap time. 

Below is a shot of all the finished ones as of this morning - With a close up shot of all the dolls and their cute personalities. 

Aren't they just so cute?  Wouldn't you want to just cuddle them if you were a little kid?

So do you want to know how to make your own cute handmade doll?

The dolls are based off of a pattern from Martha Stewart
Check out her version here: Handmade Dolls
Overall, her pattern and directions work fine but here are a few things we did differently. 

For the bodies:
You'll want to print out her template. Cut it out, but be sure to put the arms on the fold. We used fleece for the fabric... I think any fabric that won't fray will do.  You can then machine stitch the body together leaving openings for the arms, head, and feet.  When sewing the crotch area, you might want to reinforce that area so that it doesn't come apart.  Before turning inside out check to make sure you don't have any holes.  I found that the fleece was stretchy and often moved so I would need to resew parts.  Of course, if you pinned it, it might stay just fine. 

For the hands, feet and head:
We used ribbing for the material for the head, hands and feet - it was nice and stretchy.
Cut out 4 rectangles of 2 X 3 inches and for the head do 3 X 7 inches.  Fold the head in half hamburger style and sew a curved head.  The picture from Martha Stewart shows folding it hot dog style... Do not do this, your head will come out long and narrow instead of round.  You also want to sew around the folded piece so it resembles a head with a hole for the neck, turn inside out and stuff. Do a gathering stitch to the neck hole to close it.  Do the hands and feet as she shows.
Also before attaching the feet and hands you'll want to do a running stitch that is gathered kind of like in the picture below. Do the same gathering around the neck. 

Very carefully hold the hands to the doll as you sew them together, hiding the openings. The original directions tell you to whipstitch it together... but my whipstitch looked horrible and I didn't like that I could see the stitching so I used a ladder stitch so that it was invisible.  Mine came out a little more stocky then some of the other people's - I'm not quite sure why.. maybe too much stuffing. 

As for the hair, we used all sorts of different methods.. I don't think we've settled on one we liked best yet.. so go for whatever method and material suits your fancy. 

And now you have a cute new soft and cuddly doll.  :)

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