Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rag doll

The thing I totally love about this design is that the weighting provided by the chin and the way the arms prop the body means this doll can sit up all by herself.

Whenever I find myself saying something like, "how hard can it be?" I always end up with a project that has me swearing like a sailor.

I decided to make a rag doll out of fabric scraps, with the idea that if it was successful I'd give it to a friend's daughter who is turning 2. You'll notice I gave myself lots of room to bow out of the project, because I do have a sewing policy about sewing for friends that goes something like this: never do it.

But the possibility of making something for free appealed to my inner tight wad and being between projects it seemed the timing was right too.

Now the mother of Miss 2 is one of those parents who has a lovely home and wears beautiful clothes, so I also accepted the possibility that if the doll looked a little too "loving hands at home," then the mother would probably lose it before her daughter.

I found a doll pattern I thought looked pretty cool and easy enough for a novice doll maker. It came with printable pattern pieces but no instructions. That's when I said to myself, "hey, I sew BWOF, how hard can it be?"

Doll making is a very precise form of sewing. You are working with tiny seams and tiny seam allowances. It takes a really meticulous steady hand and a lot of practice. Clearly I had underrated the skill involved.

Twice I pulled the doll from the bin. The third time, when I said, "no, really, I've had enough of this" and was just about to finally bin her she looked at me all forlorn in her brodiere anglaise knickers and then I knew it was too late.

If you are going to ditch a doll, you have to do it before you sew on baby blue eyes.

costings: nothing

acknowledgements: many thanks to Michele for making this pattern available.


  1. I've seldom ever seen a ragdoll with so much personality. She is simply wonderful. She needs a good, sturdy name like Heather or Morag or Maude or Beryl or Barbara (in my opinion). Are those buttons from The Button Box? You know, THE button box?

  2. She really does have a lot of personality - but in a good way. I love the expression on her face. She's smirking!

  3. There is something very Kermity about bald dolly. I'm sure Miss 2 will love the dolly - she probably only gets to play with boxes from her parent's designer electronics.

  4. cute,cute super cute doll. You might not remember the dolls mum made me and Miri when we were kids that we played and played with. Those dolls were the reason why we saved up and bought our own sewing machine. It was so we could make them new clothes. She is lovely. That two year old doesn't know how lucky she is.

  5. Yes, dolls are a lot of precision sewing! I will prob. only make another doll/ stuffy when arms and legs are designed to be cut in the same pattern piece as the body. Or no arms and legs at all. She would have gotten me with her big blue eyes and knickers, too.

  6. She is really lovely. I immediately thought of the dolls Mum made us. Prior to that there was one doll to share amongst 9 (clare) and the homemade ones were fairly robust(the neck join was its archilles heel) and the wool hair was great for hairdressing, you could get a perfect part. I'm sure there will be a lot of fun had with that doll.

  7. Oh wow, differnt..
    I can't believe you have given a link too. Really great. Share.
    She didn't come with instructions, I take it for granted that everyone knows. Believe it or not, I make bears, I'm not a great ragdoll person. BUT fantastic to see that you have made something original from the pattern. The chin is something to watch for that you have the pattern piece the right way up.
    Great to see your doll Mary Anna
    x x x Michele

  8. Annarose and I have just declared the doll a dead ringer for Noelene.
    It's the chin.

  9. I think she is perfection and I want to squeeze her!

    I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you sew and swear like a sailor.

  10. The end result is really cute!! You should have taken a picture when she was in the "binnie"!!

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