Hello there. I’m Sally 🙂
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in making something like a doll and doll’s clothes but omigosh, this was SO MUCH FUN. Honestly I think I’m just about to explode with the exquisite fun-ness of it all! I’m still on a bit of a high. All those cute teeny little bits and pieces. Quick as a snap, with barely any fussy finishing details. My inner child has been squealing fit to burst, here.
So, my Mum took me to to Calico and Ivy for my belated birthday present; and we chose this book The Making of a Rag Doll, by Jess Brown, and a little stack of fat quarters. I know, right? I’m so lucky: FABULOUS birthday present! This was on Thursday and I finished this lot last night, so obviously I just could not wait to immediately get stuck into making my doll.
LOOK HOW CUTE OMG I CAN’T STAND IT
So I’ve named her Sally, and she has a complete summer and winter wardrobe. I’ve made for her everything from the book, bar the patchwork quilt. I might make the patchwork quilt too, well… everyone needs a little bed on which to rest our weary red head, non?!!! but in the meantime I want to do something else with the leftover pieces of fat quarters and I’ll wait until I’ve finished that before assessing my scraps for the quilt.
WARNING: NSFW, the following picture depicts nudity, do not proceed if a naked body causes offence to your eyes… bwahahahaha! I’ve always wanted to say that in a blog post! gawd so juvenile. *eyeroll at self*
I made my doll as per the book, but did my own face and hair design. I liked the face in the book but Craig reckoned it was a bit creepy … apologies to Jess Brown! Anyway I tried to make a face as sweet as possible, a fairly unsophisticated and simple design. I left her hair until last because I thought it would be the hardest bit and I was a little unsure about how to do it. The book has you just sew a piece of felt along the top, but I knew I wanted really thick woolly hair. As it turned out, doing the hair was lots of fun too, and I enjoyed every minute! I sewed strands of wool, two at a time, all over her scalp, so there is actually complete coverage of her scalp. I know from when I played with dolls as a child, my favourite dolls had complete hair coverage so that I could leave out or put up into pigtails or a pony tail, or do plaits… whatever I wanted. Even though I’m probably past the age of wanting to do my doll’s hair – or maybe NOT?! Anyway I still wanted proper hair. I absolutely love her wild shaggy mane of hair and decided to leave it untrimmed and just as is.
this first picture is the closest match to her actual hair colour
a summer wardrobe, comprising knickerbockers, a sundress, a pompom necklace, and a newspaper hat,
and; a winter wardrobe, comprising a long sleeved dress, an overcoat and a beanie. She also has an apron, for housework, and a little tote bag. A tote bag! eeeee the cuteness!
This whole project was heaps of fun. I know I keep repeating that, but honestly, the whole time I was playing about with this I just kept thinking “Omigod, so. Much. Fun!” you know, one of those projects where you cannot bear to put it down but you just want to keep doing a little bit more. Then a little bit more. Some, if not most of her clothes took a mere handful of minutes each; SO zippy and super super easy. And fun. Did I mention it was fun?
yup, she’s standing in a soup ladle. She has trouble standing up by herself
My materials; Sally herself is unbleached calico, stuffed with Australian-made Hobby-fill from Spotlight, pom pom for her necklace also from Spotlight. Hair is Morris Empire Superwash merino 4ply, in colour 441, Rust Twist, from my sock wool stash. Fabric for clothing; a bundle of fat quarters from Calico and Ivy, the ribbon for the tote bag handle was cut from the ribbon holding the fat quarters together. Also some scrap ribbons, yarn, embroidery thread, button, and other small bits and bobs from my stash.
My only slight regret is that the ends of the embroidery yarns show up a little bit behind her face… I tried to hide them in the stuffing as I went but evidently my calico is wide-weave and a little see-through, and as I stuffed her head, compressing the stuffing has forced the thread ends forward a bit. Well, we live and learn, I’ll know to be more careful about this next time.
don’t want to wear your beanie, Sally? Just stuff it in your TOTE BAG!
The Making of a Rag Doll, Jess Brown
Hardcover book, 136 pages, high quality paper, beautifully photographed and all over a very attractive presentation. Would be equally nice as a coffee table book actually!
The book contains patterns and full instructions for making the 41cm doll, plus clothing and accessories; knickerbockers, a sundress, overcoat, long-sleeved dress, beanie, apron, tote bag, quilt and a newspaper hat.
The patterns are full size, printed on both sides of two sheets of sturdy thick brown paper, kept in a slotted page in the back of the book, and are clear and easy to trace.
Contents; introduction is a nice summary of the author’s journey in doll making, then the next 20 pages or so are devoted to explanation of basic sewing terms and notes on sourcing supplies of fabric, haberdashery and sewing tools. All the explanations are extremely detailed, starting from the absolute basics and aimed at the complete beginner to sewing. As in this could be an excellent first sewing gift for a child. Instructions are exhaustively thorough, well laid out, and most are also accompanied by simple illustrations. All measurements are helpfully given in both imperial and metric.
Summary; excellent for a beginner to sewing, but really anyone could enjoy this book too, I certainly did! I was initially attracted to it because of the cuteness of the doll and her clothes and found it all to be a super easy as well as an incredibly fun project. Highly recommended!