I’ve been wanting to make my granddaughter a Waldorf doll, as something she can keep her whole life and perhaps learn to make clothes for. If you have never heard of these dolls, they are generally made of all natural fibres including their body, hair, stuffing and clothes. The doll’s appearance is intentionally simple in order to allow the child playing with it to develop imagination and creative play. The facial features are minimal and the bodies and limbs are soft and bendable.
With all that in mind I set about researching patterns. The first one I bought was quite complex and required a 100% cotton sock for the head and body. I scoured the world for a pure cotton sock and finally had to buy one with some elastin in it. I could not make the heel function properly – it may have been a sizing issue.
Here I am working with the sock, the measurements are important so I used some fancy callipers that Archie gave me.
I gave up after some time but then found a pattern from Wild Willow Dolls which was half the price of the first pattern and so much better. It used a circular bandage rather than a sock and it worked really well. I had already gathered all the other materials I needed so I was able to make the doll quite quickly. I deconstructed what I had already done and redid the head ball, which is made from wool roving wound really tightly and then dry needle felted. And yes, this needed to be measured too.
Once the head is just the right degree of hard/soft, then the bandage went over the top and I redid the horizontal and vertical threads which formed the face.
The Wild Willow doll pattern provided a really nice pattern for the body and limbs, so I cut them out of the skin fabric which I had bought. I have been told that people use old tea shirts dyed a skin colour, but I bought the De Witt Angel pure cotton fabric. I used Haemostat scissors (clamping scissors) to help with the stuffing.
I really enjoyed creating all the features on this doll. The little bump for the nose and the simple eyes and mouth. She has a delightful bottom, a belly button and even knees. I admit that I went completely overboard with the hair, which is supposed to be short for a toddler to play with, but having fine hair myself, I always give any dolls I make aspirational hair!
I knitted her a pair of little red shoes, well before I made her any clothes!
I made her a dress from some fabric that came from Bridgette’s grandmother. and Miss G put one of her new baby sister’s nappies on her. Her dress appears to be on backwards because G’s daddy dressed her.
I also made her some bedding in the form of a snuggler to go in a little wicker basket I bought in an op shop
Miss G really liked her and was particularly keen on the red shoes. I gave her the doll, now named Annie, when her little sister was born and it did seem to help when she was missing her Mum whilst she was in hospital.
Of course, having successfully mastered the doll, I now have to make another for my new granddaughter!
Speaking of whom, I made her a bear from the same fabric as Annie’s dress. I used Kwik Sew 4392, which proved to be a lovely sew. I’m going to make the cat next, although I am partial to the dog too..
As you can see, Nellie got into the act when I was taking photos. I got the “Made by Granny” label from Little Rosy Cheeks, bought at the Knitting and Stitching show when I was in London.
Finally, a few people have asked about my son’s camping trip, for which I made a few things. Here are a couple of photos. He was in the Pilbara and the third and fourth photo are a sunrise and a sunset on top of Mount Meharry which is WA’s tallest mountain, which is a rather puny 1248m above sea level, and a 4WD track allows visitors to drive all the way to the summit which has stunning views.
I quite like this video of driving along a creek bed.