Curly Heads and Long Legs

hilda cowham illustration

I’ve always loved and been inspired by children’s book illustrators and one of my favorites is Hilda Cowham. Her girls are floppy mops of curls, with the 1920s drop waist dresses & giant bows and are always hanging out with ducks or elves or something equally adorable. I often come back to these drawings and channel them into dolls. The Pixie from my book and this Blackberry Fairy I made for Phoebe come to mind. And now this girl.

handmade doll wee wonderfuls original

I’m having lots of fun playing with her hair. I made her from the Kit, Chloe and Louise pattern shrunk down to 80% and then I gave her hair from the Make-along pattern and I left it suuuuper long so that I could coil it up into big bouffants and curls. I’ve been looking for some sort of U shaped pin that I could use when I’m styling hair. I think I’m going to order some Clover basting pins and see if they do the trick. They look a little long but we’ll see.

handmade doll wee wonderfuls original

Took me 3 attempts to get this drop-waist dress working right but I’m happy now and it should be easy to make more. I’d like to try it again in voile or cotton lawn to make it more fluttery.

wee wonderfuls handmade original doll

The Make-along knit cardigan fits her perfectly!

scrapbook instead of facebook

It’s been hard getting back into the swing of work after the holidays this year. I had my birthday week of lunches out and then the kids had another 2 days off of school this week. But mostly, it’s that I can’t get out of my head. I’m reading too much news, I’m worrying too much. Well, I know I’m worrying the right amount but it’s still unproductive. So I’m going to try something new today, I’m not going to check my news or my facebook until this afternoon. I have this free period in the morning between getting the middle schooler out the door and waking up the 4th grader, this is when I read news and catch up on the world and I think it just sucks me into that worrying mindset for the rest of the day. So today instead I’m going to start my day out scrapbooking. I’m so far behind on my Project Life albums, like 2 years behind. I’ve been overwhelmed at how to start back up and realized yesterday, hey this might solve both problems. Hopefully starting the day out with creativity and focusing on my family by journaling and printing photos will give me a better start to a creative, focused day. I have a lot of work to do! This gal is ready for her cozy outfit.

handmade cloth doll

New doll design idea number one, a folky pillow doll with towering hair. \ (•◡•) /

new wee wonderfuls doll design

I love this gal! This is my first shot at her and I have some tinkering to do and then some fun ideas for variations that are so super cute… in my head. Hopefully they’ll be work in real life. I love this flat pillow type doll. She’s stuffed super firm so she’s not about bending limbs. I love this type of doll for a more art doll/display type deal or also a huggable pillow doll for toddlers. And without the loose flowing yarn hair she’s great for toddlers. I’m thinking the next iteration I’m going to make of her will have felt or fur hair, even more huggable for little kids. This coiled, wrap around yarn hair really isn’t that difficult and I think is a super fun look. But sewing down the yarn is sort of time consuming so I wanted to make a very simple non-fussy outfit to go with her. I tried to make the dress very stiff and flat so that it keeps a sort of cartoonish, exaggerated shape. I’m going to try it again in an even more stiff fabric. It reminds me of the outfits I made for the spoon dolls in the book. new wee wonderfuls doll design

wee wonderfuls soft toys patterns

Yesterday I posted on Instagram about how I want to add a bunch of patterns to my shop this year, for all types of soft toys (this is in addition to the Make-Along doll series). I had been waiting for my book to go out of print so that the rights to the patterns would revert back to me and I could offer them in the shop for myself. I’m realizing that is not going to happen any time soon so instead I’m going to dive in and self-publish a follow-up to my book, of sorts, with new patterns for toys to sew & love. This way I can sell them individually or in bundles. I was even thinking about being super old school and going back to selling printed patterns as well as PDFs. Is that crazy?? I guess we’ll see. As I said yesterday I have lots of new and old ideas. I’d love to work on new versions of some of the design ideas from the book, like a new topsy turvey doll, a new ribbon haired raggedy ann type doll, more folk inspired designs.

One thing I just realized this morning was that unlike when I was writing the book 8 years ago, I won’t have to keep everything a secret! I can share all my works in progress, my ideas as they develop, my mishaps and successes. That was really a heartbreak for me all those years ago. I was so connected with my maker community and just loved the interactions and friendships and shared experiences involved with crafting together, and then it just went dark. I had to be secretive, absent and solitary, essentially going against every reason I’d started crafting and blogging in the first place. I don’t know why I’m remembering all that now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I guess I’m just excited to be excited about designing new toys again!

Happy New Year!

Make-along animals

Looking back through my 2016 photos to set the mood for my next pattern subscription, Make-along Animals! I have 2 more patterns for the first Make-along subscription to finish and then it’s on to animals in outfits, which has always been a favorite of mine. The bodies will be the same size so the clothes will fit both!

last minute gift idea

wee wonderfuls make-along doll sewing pattern subscription
We’re on pattern number 10 of 12 of the Make-Along subscription, which is a nice stack of patterns. If you have a printer you can print the PDFs out on card stock to make a lovely gift for the crafty person on your list. And then as a fun bonus to the gift they’ll get two more patterns emailed to them.👏 If you’re buying as a gift just leave a note on the order and I’ll put the recipient’s name on my email list for the remaining patterns.

New dolls up in the shop

For those looking for a handmade doll for under the tree this year, I have 3 currently up in my shop. If you’re interested but would like to add a Christmas dress or something extra, just let me know!

Lauren is a Make-Along doll so if you were looking for a doll/pattern combo gift she would be perfect for the young sewist in your life.

Annika is already pretty Christmasy with her red/pink/green color scheme. She is made from the Elsa pattern and comes with a little outfit all ready for dress-up play, coat, jumper and boots

Alma is a dear and is so huggable & sweet in her handknit sweater.