A new bundle of joy was created at our house. After spending a long time looking for a suitable boy doll for a friend, and coming up unsuccessful, I took matters into my own hands. I wanted to find a soft, huggable-but-still-dressable doll, so I came across a Simplicity pattern (while JoAnn was having their 5 for $5 sale on patterns). I typically make things that 1. only involve straight line sewing, 2. don’t involve any hand sewing, 3. definitely don’t involve embroidery, and 4. don’t have the words “dart seam” in the instructions. I tried anyway. Since I didn’t tell my friend I was going to try to make a doll, I decided it gave me the buffer to entirely scrap the project, if necessary.
The embroidery on the face is, how do you say, imperfect. We’ll just say that it gives the doll character. It’s only the second time I’ve ever embroidered something, and I made it up the first time too. Luckily the pattern draws the face out for you (though I changed the eyes) and gives descriptions of the different embroidery stitches it requests you use.
And the little guy even had an outfit! The bottom half is actually a diaper—I made it orange, like a cool cloth diaper. The shirt used bias tape for the edging so it didn’t require any hemming (or hawing), and for the first time in my life, I actually got the stuff on right. I always choose the wrong side onto which to sew, and any niceness the bias tape might have added is undone by my random stitching through the middle.
And there’s a coordinating hat, too, but I don’t love it so it’s not in all of the pictures. I think the pattern I picked for the shirt and hat band is a little busy, and the silhouette of the hat makes him look a little like he’s wearing scrubs.
I was ill-prepared for the most difficult part of making a doll, though. Step one is to embroider the face, so the poor little guy has to smile hopefully at you the entire rest of the time as you attempt to assemble his body. Poor little one—I didn’t ever figure out how to attach his ears. And it was a little sweetly creepy to have him smiling at me through my entire sewing project.
I feel like this is one of those projects I’m really glad I did (partly because I like the outcome and partly for the experience), but I am in no hurry to repeat. I think it’s back to making skirts and dresses. Oh, but if anyone is good at hand-stitching (particularly the allusive-to-me ‘ladder stitch’), I’d love to see how you do it. I think my problem might just be a lack of patience. A perfectionist I am not.