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October 30, 2012

joining nicole today: keep calm craft on.

in one of my favorite books,  the children’s year, i started looking for little projects suitable as advent gifts.  oh yes… the holiday season is already on my mind.  i was also interested in doll making tutorials.  as it turns out, buried in the pages, is the concept of a sandman doll.  this would be a friendly and cuddly doll, always there to help send your child to the land of dreams.  lyla isn’t quite at the age where a little doll tucked into to bed is a nice thing.  but, adelaide is and has been for some time.

for christmas (oh christmas), i have grand plans of hand making dolls for the girls, one for each in the traditional waldorf style.  i have been studying and researching and practicing for some time.  and i am ready to take the plunge for this christmas.  but, i anticipate that those dolls will be tucked into little doll beds, just as if they were real children.  and so, i still wanted something warm and friendly for nighttime.

as it turns out, i don’t yet actually own the book this pattern is in.  i borrowed it from the library.  and then, being my overly forgetful self, realized the book was long overdue, rushed to return it and forgot about the projects i had earmarked.  i had to guess on this one.

the book offers a pattern in the back.  there is a pattern suggestion for the body, the hands and face, including facial features, and stars and moon.  i redrew the pattern from memory on a piece of parchment paper and used that as my pattern base.  i do remember clearly that the suggestions of facial features didn’t quite appeal to me.  so, i opted for something more traditional and simpler.  i also decided to make the dolls out of velour instead of flannel.  it seemed softer and hardier to me.

over all, i really like them.  i even thought, in a moment of late delirium, maybe i should make one for myself for those late nights when d is at work. and then quickly thought, don’t ever tell anyone that!!  oops!!

i bought all the supplies from weir dolls.  they are based out of michigan, so shipping was quick for me.  and that’s a good thing because an idle mama is a very grumpy mama.

the body pieces are cut out of velour, and the face, hands, stars and moon are cut out of wool felt.

when embroidering, i used all six strands of thread.

the wool felt was stitched by hand to the front of the body before the body was sewn together.  i choose to do a simple running stitch instead of a blanket stitch.  sometimes i think that the blanket stitch can be too fancy and too distracting, although it certainly covers up a messy edge.  i tried to be immaculate with my cutting out of the pieces to compensate.  but, i’m not perfect. who is?  and honestly, the imperfections lend to its handmade feel.  and i love that.  i love my kids knowing that i made something for them – just for them. 

i know this will sound silly, but the only thing i didn’t do before i made these was to think about them in 3D first.  not having a pattern, i didn’t think about how a 2D drawing would turn in to a 3D object, as strange as that might be.  and so, there are some things i would change.  i add more width overall and shorten the necks a bit.  and i would think more about the placement of stars in relation to the body.

otherwise, i think the girls will love them for advent.  and when they get them, i’ll be sure to snap a photo or two. ;)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 9:56 am

    Awww, those are so very sweet! I will have to look for that book. :-) Christmas is on my mind, too.

  2. October 30, 2012 11:51 am

    I think they are darling! And Christmas is on our minds like crazy, I think that may be why Halloween seems to have fizzled out this year for us.

    About making one for yourself :) … I say do it! When Caleab and I were long-distance, he gave me a Wolfman stuffed animal that was his and I slept with it every single night to help me through until the next time I would see him, which some times was nearly a month!

  3. October 30, 2012 4:39 pm

    How precious!!

  4. Cheryl permalink
    October 30, 2012 10:19 pm

    That is one of my favorite books as well. When I made the sandman dolls I added a little sachet of lavender inside to help little ones relax and easily fall asleep!

    • hughes and home permalink*
      October 30, 2012 11:13 pm

      i love this idea! i wish i had known about it earlier. i would definitely have put a little bit of lavender inside. :) well, there’s always next time. thanks for the tip!

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