かわいい!

Handmade doll for Cambria

In our family, we like to focus on personal gifts and/or experiences when it comes to special occasions.  As we have a pretty tight mission budget (contact me if you’re interested in becoming a supporter), I got it in my head to make a doll to gift to Cambria on her birthday.  I was quite pleased with how it came out, given the last time I sewed anything (other than an AWFUL hem on a pair of pants) was when was a kid.  A friend asked me to tell her how I made the doll (who was dubbed “Rosie”), so I’m sharing with all of you.

I purchased the pattern from Gingermelon‘s shop on Etsy.  She has a huge selection of gorgeous patterns to choose from.  It took everything in me not to buy ALL of them.  I even sent the shop owner a message describing my lack of experience, and she helped me to pick out the TagAlong Doll as a beginning doll.  Now that I know I can do it, I reeeeally want to try the Japanese doll as Christmas presents for Cambria’s friends.

I found the felt in BenzieBazaar‘s Etsy shop, and the 7mm eyes in 6060, as both were recommended by Gingermelon.  I was very satisfied with each of these shops and will definitely be using them again.  (All of them were way nicer with shipping to Japan than most companies are.)

I bought thread, yarn, and a felting needle at a local craft shop.  Did you know there’s a difference between sewing thread and embroidery thread?  I basically closed my eyes and wandered the store and hoped that what I came out with would work.

At the very first step, I realized that I forgot pins, so I used needles to hold the pattern onto the felt as I cut.  I also forgot black thread to make the super kawaii eyelashes.  Tip: Find time to shop without the kids, if you’re in Japan and take approximately 3.2x longer to find things, anyway.

First section, done!  Make sure you stuff the head really full.  I knew this and still forgot.

I decided to embroider my initials into the body.  I figure the blatant imperfection adds character.  Right?

When you sew, make sure you stitch in far enough that the felt won’t pull apart when you stuff it.  I had to re-do the body because my felt was fraying.  (Is that the word?  Anyway, don’t do that.)  I finally came up with this.

And then we came to the hair.  There were two options: glueing hair onto the head, or needle-felting it on.  I decided to go big or go home, and nervous as I was, needle-felting hair onto her head was the easiest (and most fun) part.  I wanted to make her look like Cambria, so I parted it on the same side that Cambria parts her hair on, and draped some strands into her face similarly to Cambria.  Tip: 22 month olds can and will pull needle-felted hair out of dolls’ heads.

I finished up her dress the night before Cambria’s birthday.  The pattern was simple, and making the daisy was cute fun.  I forgot a bead to go in the middle of it, but I think it looks fine.

かわいい!

If you have determination and any semblance of hand-eye coordination, you can do this.  I can’t wait to start my next one!

Categories: crafts, kids, tips

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