Friday, December 31, 2010

Ivory, khaki, tea dyed or sand? (Dolls)

Last summer, my three-year-old started having “bad dreams” and wanting to get in bed with us in the middle of the night.  He’s never been into “loveys,” but I tried to encourage him to hug his elephant if he woke up at night.  I thought it might help to comfort him.  Then one day, we got on the subject of baby dolls, and I asked him if he wanted a baby doll to hug when he went to sleep, and he said yes.  So, I started looking around for baby dolls.  I just wanted a simple doll made of fabric, but none of what was being sold really appealed to me.  This was around the time I’d gotten my sewing machine, and I remembered seeing patterns for dolls on etsy.  So, I decided I could try making my son a doll.  I was hoping to make it in time for Christmas, but that didn’t quite happen.  (I always seem to have more goals than there is time in the day.)

One of my issues with buying a doll was that I wanted to get him an Asian doll if possible, and there were not many options in terms of cute Asian dolls.  But when I set out to get materials to make a doll, I realized how hard it is to make an Asian doll.  First off, I had a hard time figuring out what color fabric to use for the skin.  I ended up getting four different colors of broadcloth:
 (ivory, khaki, tea dyed and sand)

I stared at them for a long time and kept asking my husband, “What fabric matches the kids’ skin the most?”  Ultimately, I decided on the khaki color.  Even though it looks really dark next to the other colors, and it didn’t really match my kids’ skin exactly, I thought it best represented Asian coloring.  I realized I had to look at it more in “big picture” terms than trying to find the fabric that matched exactly.  (I do realize that it’s kind of crazy that I thought this in-depth about fabric color.)

I had gotten my doll pattern from Bit of Whimsy, and I had actually emailed Sarah to ask her what color fabric she used for her Asian dolls, and she had told me khaki.  But I still wanted to make sure that khaki was exactly right.  I guess I had to figure it out for myself.

Doll-making turned out to be kind of fun.  It wasn’t too hard.  Except for the part where you had to turn those skinny arms and legs right side out.  I decided since I was getting all the materials to make the doll, I might as well make one for the baby girl, too.  I think they turned out cute!  I never realized when I started sewing how fun it would be to watch the things you’re making take shape.

I probably could use more practice embroidering the faces, though.  I traced the eyes off of the pattern, and I think one eye is bigger than the other on the pattern.  I did the girl doll first, and you can tell that the right eye is bigger than the left.  With the boy doll, I made them more even sized.  Next time, I’d probably also use a little darker thread for the nose and mouth.

I also got the bright idea to use one of my son’s old shirts for the boy doll’s shirt.  Well, a sweet idea, but since the shirt was made of knit fabric, it was a little harder to work with.  When I tried to sew the doll closed, all the different layers of fabrics kept slipping on me.  I became friends with the seam ripper on this project.  So, I finally hand basted it first and then sewed it on the machine.  That made it a lot more manageable.

I get kind of nostalgic seeing this shirt.  It was one of my favorites when he was small enough to wear it.  He was not yet two in this picture.  Still has that babyish look.  *sniff*

Not sure how much the kids appreciated the dolls, though.  This is how I found the boy doll at the end of the day.

And when my husband took the doll into my son at bedtime, he emphatically said, “No, no, no.”

As it turned out, I think I enjoy the dolls more than they do.  I’d love to try to make a Waldorf doll one day, but maybe when the kids would be more into them...


Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by! I love reading your comments, so feel free to say hello! :)