A Return to Doll Making

November 19, 2014

I made my first dolls when I was about eight and fell in l.o.v.e with doll making.  They were knitted dolls, a boy and a girl in little winter outfits.  I discovered them recently when my parents delivered the last of my boxes which had been lurking in their garage.

But you know how it goes - sometimes it takes a while to rediscover your passion for something.  A few years ago when our little girl was just a baby I embarked on a doll making journey which gave me so much pleasure - a vintage style cloth doll with embroidered features.  I was in the earlier years of recovering from a severe hand injury and every stitch was a concerted effort.  It was a slow and sometimes painful process, but oh my, when that little doll's personality began to shine through, I proved to myself once again that hand stitching truly is such a wonderful therapy - I could create something beautiful from my heart and with my hands given perseverance and patience.  I was hooked.  You can read about her here.

Since then I have made a bunch of dolls.  A few in a similar style, and also some traditional Waldorf-Steiner dolls which I love for their beautiful simplicity and tactile nature. 

I have played with doll hair - making crochet wigs, stitched hair and even wefted hair (that was a steep learning curve!)  Doll making is something that our little girl loves to be a part of too.  I often find her fossicking in my button jar or choosing wool for hair.  She tells me about the dresses she would like for them and more recently is coming up with wonderful names and stories.  It has been so much fun experimenting and I have learnt so much along the way.

Although I do fully intend to take things easy for the next wee while, dolls for me are a completely different story.  The allure of being able to pick up a wee doll and work for a few minutes here and there is very appealing.  Gently hand stitching facial features in-between little tasks throughout the day, stuffing limbs while watching a little tele in the evening - now that I can do!

After my original blog series on the doll I made, I received a bunch of emails requesting advice and information.  It seems the instructions on vintage doll patterns are notoriously scant, assuming considerable sewing knowledge and experience.  Often less than half a page of the doll body, face, hair and clothes instructions combined!  So over the years I have been making notes of what I have learned along the way.

This has led to the creation of "Fleur", my very first cloth doll tutorial.  She has literally been years in the works, and I am very proud, somewhat nervous, but mostly very excited to share her with you soon...

I'll be looking for pattern testers - so stay tuned!



  1. oh my hand will be waving for that one for sure! With 2 nieces I would definitely have a space for those. The one with the curly hair reminds me so much of my mama's hair - I would love to do one like that for her! xx They are so beautiful and I love how out of so much pain has been born so much beauty xxx

  2. Ooooo ... pick me! Your dolls are beautiful. x

  3. They are definitely a work of art - well done you for making the dream happen xx

  4. Your dolls are absolutely beautiful Lisa ... each one's own little personality comes through as she is created. Just gorgeous & reminds me of dolls from my childhood.

  5. L*O*V*E your dolls so full of character!

  6. I love that last one, the coronet style is one I've always loved (but have never had enough hair to do on myself).

  7. They are absolutely beautiful, take it easy x

  8. How did I miss seeing this post?! These dolls are all lovely and you have the patience of a saint to be able to make so many.

  9. Just came across your blog while searching for doll instructions. Would love to be one of your testers. These are the most gorgeous hand made dolls I've seen! At least be sure to let us know when you have patterns out. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful talent!


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