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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Felt doll pattern review

Before Christmas my younger daughter and I were in Hobbycraft, looking for a Christmas gift for her friend.  We came across some felt doll kits, and decided to buy one for her friend.  During February we ventured back (always dangerous - I could buy loads of things in there if money and time to make things allowed) and discovered that the felt dolls were in the sale - for £2.99 each!  Bargain.  My daughter chose one and brought it home.  She made a very good start, with me helping along the way with assembling the doll and showing her how to do back stitch and blanket stitch, then she was ill for a few days (high temp) and then we had a couple of busy weekends, so it was only Saturday afternoon, when I'd finished cleaning the house, that she decided it was time to complete the doll.  She had done the majority of the doll sewing by then, and I showed her how to stuff it, which resulted in some pulled stitches, so she sewed the clothes while I finished stuffing the doll.

Sweet felt doll kit and the completed doll
 The felt pieces come with stitching holes ready punched.  The thread is quite thick, more like thin chord than sewing cotton, but for a beginner sewer this is a good option as it makes the thread easy to see.  The plastic needle supplied just about stood up to the job (though could not be used for putting cotton through the eye beads).  Stuffing the doll needs to be done with care otherwise burst seams can be the result, and at one point I had to use a proper metal needle to restitch a seam to make different holes because the original holes burst around the stuffing opening.  The backside of the doll is filled with small beads to add a bit of weight for sitting, however on Sunday I had to use cotton thread to stitch an additional row inside the original stitches as the beads were able to escape between the stitches.  My daughter had stitched fairly evenly and firmly, so it wasn't because the stitches were too loose.

The little dress ties at the back with a neck tie and a waist tie, so the skirt doesn't quite meet at the back, however for a simple dress it is quite effective and very simple to stitch, and while she was sewing the skirt to the bib for the dress she exclaimed that she was having a lot of fun and said now she knew I how made dolls clothes!  So this kit was manageable for an average 8 year old, with some help from an experienced sewer and although it has some minor deficiencies in design, I recommend it as a good introduction to sewing a complete article for a child who has tried using a needle before and completed a seam.

She was very proud to take the doll to a local event the same night to show to friends, to church the next day and to Mothering Sunday lunch at a local pub.  She has a kit of a soft toy pony to sew which she received for her birthday and a knitting kit, so I'm looking forward to weekends and Easter holidays when I can spend time helping and teaching her.

My daughter's felt doll which she stitched herself


Ann said...

Well done, your DD did a great job of making her doll, she definitely has a talent for it!

AuntLou said...

Charming! Well done. :)

Anonymous said...

We have the same kit but I can't work out how to do the bottom. How on earth do you get the beads into this part - there does not seem to be a pocket. BTW - your doll looks great!

DollMum said...

Yes, the bottom had me foxed for a while, in the end she stitched the curved bottom piece onto the outside of the brown back piece and we left a gap to pop the beads in before sewing up the hole. However in the days afterwards, some beads escaped so I used ordinary thread (rather than the thick thread supplied and the widely spaced holes) to stitch up the gaps a bit more securely. In my view this is the one major weakness of the kit, the beads would have been better off in a little sausage of fine material sewn inside the bottom.