Button Eyes

Want a shortcut to finishing your doll’s face? If you’re not making your toy for a small child (buttons = choking hazard!) you can save time by using buttons for the eyes. It’s tricky to get the look right but I find if you use a two-hole button you can sew through with contrasting thread to make a cute glint in the eye. Sewing onto a wider or offset circle of white felt can also help it read more as eye and less spooky raggedy ann doll that wants to haunt you.

deer_doll_with_button_eye

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wee wonderfuls doll making bundles

I’m excited to be mixing it up in the shop in the coming weeks. I have a new Elsa pattern to release, new kits with the Elsa pattern in the works, ideas for bundles of already-made dolls + fabric for you to make doll clothes with and a sample sale of dolls that have been keeping me company this past year. Since I’ll be squeezing this all in between holiday merriment with the family I’m going to be just winging it and decided to dust off the mailing list for notifications. If you’d like updates when new items hit the shop please sign up here.

Clara from the Nutcracker

handmade doll Clara from the Nutcracker

Oh Clara. I love these ballerina dolls so much. They are so pleasing to hold. I always think of how Clara craddles the nutcracker in the ballet. That’s exactly how I want to hold these dolls, like a baby. They have a wonderful weight with the curls and heavy soft lace of the dress, somehow heavy and light at the same time.

handmade doll Clara from the Nutcracker

 

 

 

 

Betsy, Tacy and Tib go to a party

Betsy Tacy Tib dolls

This set of Betsy, Tacy & Tib dolls are dressed up for a party and I just love how they turned out. I spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to find historically accurate fabric for doll dresses. There are so many challenges to find the right fit. As far as fabric stores I can drive to my only choices are Joanns and a quilt shop. But really most current offerings do not fit the bill in content or design and if they do, they’re of course the wrong scale because they’re not for tiny doll clothes. So I have the most luck at the thrift store. For these dresses I got lucky in the mens department. Tacy’s blue dress is silk and the textured plaid fabric seems like something you’d see on a dress in 1905. Same with Tib’s pink dress, it is from a men’s silk shirt and has a great textured stripe design that also feels turn of the century to me. Betsy’s dress is sheer and textured and really felt to me like it could pass for a dimity dress. Dimity is “a hard-wearing, sheer cotton fabric woven with raised stripes or checks”. This fabric was a handmade skirt I found at the thrift store. I’ve also had some luck in the scarf section when looking for sheer fabrics, like the one I found for my Elizabeth Bennet doll.
Betsy Tacy Tib dolls

Betsy Tacy Tib dolls

Betsy Tacy Tib dolls

Anne of Green Gables doll

Anne of Green Gables cloth doll

I love making dolls from my favorite books. I’ve made a few Anne dolls over the years but this one made up in my new art doll design is my favorite. I just think she’s so cute and spunky looking!

Anne of Green Gables cloth doll

I made her outfit to be the first nicer, still plain, dress that Marilla made her instead of her straight from the orphanage togs. She has a crisp new pinafore and nice sensible dark blue dress with pintucks and not too much puff in her sleeves.

Anne Green Gables doll

I couldn’t find exactly the right hat so I tried to make my own. I purchased hat straw and pinned and sewed and spun and nope, no luck. So I took a straw hat I had and tea dyed it to get it closer to the color I wanted and reshaped it while it was soaking and I really like how it turned out. The brim is a little too wide but it looks very cute on her so it’s a win.

Anne of Green Gables cloth doll

childrens book collection

vintage childrens booksThis summer was all about stuff/possessions/things for us. We are moving my mom out of her house, moving the previous owner of our house, Dick’s stuff finally out of the back corners of our basement, moving in stuff from my parents’ house to ours, moving my kids’ outgrown things out of their rooms, moving old work from my craft room. What is important, whats matters, what do we want to leave behind, what is just baggage, not useful, not meaningful. I definitely have decision fatigue from it all. One thing that was in question was our childrens book collection. We have a random built in shelf in our family room that naturally became the home for picture books when we moved in here 11 years ago. Tim and I realized we shared a love for a used book fair and vintage childrens book illustration and then we had kids so it was a perfect storm of booklove that led to many hauls, like this one.

After spending an exhausting week this summer tearing out the last of the built-in fun in the basement we were on a roll and Tim suggested tearing out the kids book shelf as well. I stood up for it though and I think after a slew of tough decisions I’m going to give myself a treat and officially take up book collecting again. I’d love to be on the hunt again. Do actual research for what I’m looking for, try to complete sets, find missing works, etc. My estate sale is going to rock. What would be more fun than a giant childrens book sale.

First I’m going to organize and take stock. I’ve been good about weeding all these years. Being tough love and taking out impulse buys, books we bought because it was only book at the sale that was remotely vintage but is really not that great or the book I recognized from my childhood but I’m not really all that interested now it turns out. All those moved along to new homes and kept the collection under control and contained in this one bookshelf. This weekend I’m going to tackle that book shelf with some sweet library organization energy and see what we’re working with. Doesn’t that sound like a fun project? I’m excited to start!