Dolls are perennial favourite playthings, the oldest toys, and new forms of self-expression. Their size and shape is limited only by the makers imagination.
Your doll should be significant in some way to you. I get ideas from you know, life, stuff I see, stuff people say, internet-drama sometimes, lol.. I like to doodle, and the little weird pictures I draw become the 'patterns' for the dolls.
As far as Materials go, I also don't always buy any special kind of material.. I sometimes like plush, fleece and felt for the dolls you see a lot of here (those fabrics don't unravel and they're quicker to work with, perhaps easier for beginners), but I may just as easily rip apart an old coat, finery from better days, a dress no ones wearing, or salvage some barkcloth from a 40's tablecloth. You can recycle your old clothing into new friends.
I make all manner of dolls but mostly the ones I sell on-line are made out of felt, a commercial felt - its a blend of I think rayon and wool - you can make yer own at home -- ever accidentally (d'Oh!) toss a cashmere sweater into the dryer? Congratulations, you've made felt!). The 'Pocket Monsters' are cut out of the felt, decorated with embroidery, beads, buttons and/or applique
I stitch them together (on the right-side, decoratively), stuffing them as I go... then they're finished..
if its meant to be a wall piece I add a hanger, if its meant to be a pin, I sewn on a pin-back.
For one of the simple plush creatures, I start with a pencil (or crayon, or ballpoint) sketch on paper - I doodle in odd moments through out the day, ideas, faces, funny little men, I'll cut out the picture, pin it to a piece of fabric (if you don't ordinarily sew I suggest starting with a fabric that's easy to work with and doesn't unravel, like felt or fleece, and cut out two pieces, a back and a front from the same or different fabrics, do remember to keep the 'right sides' facing
Next I cut the features out of felt, I move the pieces around until I like the way it looks, then I pin them to the fabric, and sewn them down (make sure the two sides aren't pinned together and you're sewing them to the side you want them on..)
When you have the front (and the back, if it has a back) 'decorated' in a manner that pleases you, turn them together (so that the 'right' sides face each other) and pin to hold in place.
Sew carefully around the edges, taking small even stitches. You have to leave a 'gap' somewhere for stuffing -- an inside leg is always a good place, maybe under the arm -- try to find an accessable, yet not terrifically noticeable spot on your doll
-- Turn the doll rightside out.
Then stuff your doll firmly (there are different kinds of stuffing for different kinds of dolls, what you're looking at is a "Riley Lion" (it's on of my popular children's toys), I use a firmer stuffing for him, like polyfill. A soft 'cushy' stuffing will give different results. You can use a your fingers, a pencil or chopstick to push the stuffing into place - make sure you 'fill' out the arms, ears, etc. first then the torso - it will be Hard to fix later.
Anyways, when you're done filling the doll, carefully turn the edges of the gap you left for the stuffing Under and sew them together.
You're done! Aren't you smart? What a nice doll! Go, create a tiny plush army, conquer Europe.
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