Tips for Making a Waldorf-Style Doll

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my daughter's starting school made me realize that the time for making her a doll might be quickly passing.  Since soft doll making is something I'd always wanted to try, I made it a goal for myself to make something truly special for my girls in the near future...maybe Christmas?  Not sure.

I've made dolls for my kids before, but never anything that is "sculpted."  I've always been inspired by waldorf dolls, and I wanted to make something along that line....but I felt like I needed to practice some.  So this is my practice doll.  It's not made with all natural ingredients, but it's made with easily available materials.  Everything I found locally, and the only thing I paid for was the fabric (and a doll needle).

I've learned a lot during this process, and I'm happy to tell you what I learned and what I'll likely do differently when I make the girls next dolls.

Interested?  Keep reading for more details about how I made this doll...

Here's the fabric that I got, which I just dyed with fabric dye. It's a thick knit, and I really loved the feel of it. 

I decided that I wanted to use polyfil instead of wool stuffing.  This was a hard one for me, because I can see how the properties of wool could really change the feel of the doll.  I was really worried that the doll, especially the head, would be way too light.  In then end though I'm actually pretty happy with it.  There will be a few things that I will do differently, but more on that later.  Eventually I'd like to try wool sometime, but for now I'm hesitant mainly because my daughter has Asthma and allergies(as do I) and I was worried that having her snuggle a doll like this might inhibit her breathing at night (an idea that already gives me nightmares.)  I'm probably being too cautious.... but I just felt more comfortable with polyfil.

For the head, I watched a few different videos on you tube.  I was actually pleasantly surprised how strong of a head I could make by wrapping quilt batting around stuffing and then putting it in a piece of cotton tights.  

I did buy a doll making needle to embroider the face....Totally worth it.  I found mine with all of the needles at Joann's.

I "crocheted"a hair hat for my doll using some thread I already had around the house.  It was nice to know that my very limited crochet skills were enough to do this...Next time though I think that I will purchase some special doll making hair, such as DollyMo brushable.  I really think that hair makes the doll!

I drafted my own pattern...which will also change for the next round.  I forgot how much knits stretch!  My next dolls will be a bit smaller I think!

I think that I will also double stitch my side seams next time.  We've already had one "tug of war" incident with the girls...  I think next time I will also wrap the loose polyfil with batting  for the arms, legs, and body.  Right not it feels a lot like a cabbage patch doll, but I'd like it if it had a bit more weight.  I'm even going to consider adding some weight to the bottom and maybe the feet.  

All in all though, I'm pretty happy with how she turned out.  My kids are too.  I was pleasantly surprised that some of the things were much easier than I thought they would be.  I'm glad though that I did this practice round...I've definitely learned some things which I hope to change next time around...well, if I get to this "next time around."  Time is such a precious commodity around here!

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