Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rag Dolls Make a Come Back

My First Rag Doll 
How many of us remember playing with a cardboard box? Or attaching cards to your bike spokes with a clothes pin? Imagination is Key to the development of a child. Rag Dolls don't promote a certain way of dressing or how your body is supposed to look or what job your supposed to have in life. Unlike store bought dolls you and your child give it personality that's what makes them so special. That and the fact YOU made them. Hand sewn or machine sewn makes no difference  , the love you put into it makes all the difference. Depending on the size of your doll will decide how much sewing skill you will need. The smaller dolls are a little more difficult for someone who doesn't know much about sewing , the larger dolls don't need as much skill unless you are into massive details. Your first may not turn out as expected and you may feel frustrated but I can promise you your child will not care about your perfection , they simply want you to hurry and finish so they can play with it. And isn't that what it's all about anyway? Nurturing the imagination of the children with little to no influence from society? Just letting them express themselves in a natural and fun way , by simple play.
Mini Doll
The pattern for this doll is a smaller doll , you can enlarge it if you like but they turn out so cute as smaller versions. I do have some other doll patterns all of which I got from the internet. There are plenty of Free basic doll patterns out there , many don't come with instructions. Which means you need to know how to sew in order to make these dolls. I am not knocking the pattern makers but it can be difficult to put something together that you have never made without some form of instruction. So on that note I am going to include some tips that were not given to me when I started making these little beauties a few months ago. One great tip is to use old clothes you no longer wear for you doll clothes , this works wonderfully with the little dolls. Remember to Recycle as much as possible and when you can , this will Save you so much money.

Current Doll / Hair in progress / Face Painted

 Here are 4 links to get you started. The first is the mini doll I used in our first Facebook group contest  , the second is the doll I am working on now. And the others are some I am thinking of making in time. The Tutorial Listed below is Awesome and The one I used to learn how to do the hair.

Doll Chamber / Mini Doll
Doll Chamber / Lg. Doll
Tutorial For How To Make Lg. Dolls / Doll Chamber
Free Doll Making Patterns
Cloth Doll Connection

* Tip #1 : Plain solid colors work best ( Muslin or Cotton ) for the body of your doll. Be sure as you sew to keep the right sides together and clip corners and curves inside the doll without cutting thru your stitches.
* Tip #2:  Leave the opening to stuff the doll big enough. A Simple Whip Stitch will close the doll nicely.
* Tip #3 : Test your fabric if you plan on painting the faces with markers or acrylic paint. Some fabrics tend to run. This should be done on a stuffed piece of fabric , the stuffing Does make a difference as to if the fabric will run or not. ( Kids love to express themselves thru art. Acrylic paints can be purchased in pen form and make it easier for the little ones to decorate their dolls)
* Tip #4 : If you are going to embroider the face do so before sewing your doll together.
*Tip #5 : Sewing in the hair can be done a few different ways. I prefer sewing it directly onto the doll. ( See Tutorial Link Above. )
* Tip #6 : Clothing sometimes doesn't come with the doll patterns. If you know how to sew some basic clothing is all that is required or get creative and go crazy. It's up to you , you could design your own as I did with my 1st doll shown above or if you don't know how to sew very well you can always use clothing from old dolls or purchase a pattern. Most doll designers sell clothing patterns for their doll designs.
*Tip #7 : Have FUN and don't stress. Most of the doll maker's you see on the net have been doing this for years. This is like anything else it will take practice , trust me I know.
*Tip #8 : Fill your doll with Love it will put a smile on someone's face but will fill their hearts knowing you filled it with love : )

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