A Simple, Sweet Doll for a Child to Make

I was looking through some boxes when I came upon a doll my daughter Rose made when she was eight years old. She'd been tucked safely away during our last move and then forgotten. Despite all the years that have passed, she is still in excellent condition, with only one loose button to show for all her adventures.

This doll was easy for my eight year old to make. We drew simple body pieces onto calico, cut them out, and Rose hand-stitched carefully around the edges. The pieces were then sewn together and stuffed with soft fleece (or possibly the other way around - my memory doesn't stretch so far!) and then eyes and a mouth were embroidered. The hair was made by laying loops of wool onto a piece of paper, sewing across the middle of them, carefully pulling away the paper, then sewing the hair to the doll's head. All of this (apart from the pattern pieces) was done independently and contentedly by Rose.

This is of course what I think of as a country doll - homespun, simple. It does not compare with Barbies or plastic baby dolls. Rose had these too but never liked them. There's nothing quite so special for a child as a doll or toy she herself has made.

(We obtained the beautiful dress from an elderly lady who sewed such things and sold them on the town street. Each dress was only a dollar and we bought as many as we could, both to support her and because they were so lovely. Some of you may remember that I used to sew Rose similar dresses when she was small. How time does fly!)

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  1. Oh what a treasure. I happen to know an 8 year old girl who would love to try her hand at such a project! The hair makes me a bit nervous though.

    1. Don't be nervous, for it really is simple. I wish I could provide an image tutorial. Decide how long you want the hair to be (if you make it longer, you can always cut it) and either loop it until you have a good amount then lay it flat on paper, or cut individual strands and lay them down. Looping gives the effect of curls. (For the Waldorf doll I made Rose a few years earlier than this, I used knobbed brown wool and made it the same way but in many sections, to create luxurious hair with a thick, ringlety effect.)

      Machine sewing through the middle gives more support, but hand-sewing works too. Just be gentle when you tear the paper away.

      As you can see, this doll has two rose buttons upon her hair. That helped to keep in in place and tidy.

      I would love to know how your attempt turns out :-)

  2. ELizabeth WaggonerMarch 13, 2015 at 2:18 AM

    Awwww - She's lovely - and brings some wonderful memories!