Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Visiting my eldest brother's family a couple of years ago, I told Princess Alice that I was going to make her a doll, and asked her what she should look like - and so we have Sarah, with curly brown hair, and dressed in pink. Now, I don't go for Barbie pink, which is what we're talking about here, but Alice just loves pink. And Barbie! Upshot? An assortment of clothes, including pink pyjamas!

This is also from Alicia Merrett's Book of Doll Making - quite possibly the only book on designing and making dolls that you will ever need. Such range, and so well written and illustrated that it makes learning as satisfying as seeing the end result.

However, I don't care for the expression on 'Beth's' face. And I like embroidered faces, for reasons both aesthetic (lively texture and colour) and pragmatic (A wrong stitch is easily unstitched, but once you've taken up your permanent pen, and inadvertently made your doll wall-eyed, cross-eyed or terrified, there's no way back to that promising blank face!)

So I followed the instructions for Joe, a toddler doll. Look at the sparkle in those eyes! Don't you love him!

So, this is Sarah. The head and body are made separately, and stuffed firmly. The arms and legs are cleverly designed to bend at knee and elbow. I confess to a mishap: I stitched the knees the wrong way, so that her legs bent sideways. Now Sarah is a traditional ragdoll, so there was no way I was going to get away with it; but I'd stitched them too strongly to unpick without ruining them. (I thought about it!) So Sarah has traditional legs, and I've got a pair of spares for something less..... traditional...

In dress, pinafore and felt shoes.

In a playsuit from a crazy patchwork experiment gone wrong. I knew it would come in handy eventually!

She'll be wearing pink pyjamas.... Even I have to admit, she does look pretty in pink!

The hat's from a different pattern again. This book will keep me going for years.

And I still cannot quite believe that I made something as beautiful as this.


elle said...

Thanks 4 this MamaDuck

Robyn said...

Sybil and Sarah are beautiful dolls. The facial features are amazing and I love the green hair on Sybil.

trailingspouse said...

Goodness me, I haven't checked your blog for a few days and now I'm not sure if impressed more by your craft skills or the volume of your posts! :)

This doll is definitely my favourite; she's gorgeous. While living in both Baku & Cairo I used to knit dolls of one kind or another and donate them to charity sales. The Jean Greenhowe ones were always my favourites. I got out of the habit since coming to Dubai, but not you've stirred me up. Must get Master TS to bring my needles at Christmas.

MamaDuck said...

Hi ladies!

Elle: Jean Greenhowe! See MRS Trailing's comment :)

Robyn: Thank you. I like your wallets and knitting, so I'll be visiting again.

Mistress Trailing: Respect! I never do things by halves, so the apartment's usually a bombsite when I get a few days off! Right now, it's half term, I'm a free woman, and I wanted to get back into the things that get put on hold during term time - and think about family and Crimble. Mission accomplished. Back to work on Sunday, so I don't think I'll have much to say for the next few weeks!

I really miss knitting, but there's not a lot of point here, is there? I've promised Habibibaba a scarf for his birthday (London winter....) but I have to get to Magrudy's for some decent wool.