Waldorf Dolls

I gave up several plans for homemade gifts this year, but I still wanted to make something special for the girls.  I'm decided to make them each a 16" Waldorf doll - assuming I get it done in time.  I'm not into fairies and lots of Celtic stuff, but I really appreciate the Waldorf philosophy of keeping things simple to encourage children to use their imagination more.  I fell in love with these dolls after seeing a couple that my friend Julie made.  They are so much more beautiful in person than on the computer.  I could see myself loving one of these dolls, so I'm hoping the girls will, too. 

I bought the kits from Weir Crafts, and I'm pretty pleased with it.  I saw this great photo set on Flickr with step by step pictures here that helped me see the whole process.  There are a lot of steps, but overall it doesn't seem to difficult.

Weir offers pre-made heads, bodies, or wigs with their kits, and makes it super easy to put together the colors you want.  I opted for the pre-made wigs since I was worried about running out of time.  I just started these heads today, so we'll see how I do with time.  But I'm feeling confident.  I'll keep you updated on my progress.

Any tips for making these lovely dolls?  Anybody know if Cabbage Patch Kid clothes fit them?


Ashley said...

I've made about 20 of these for gifts and sold a couple on etsy. For tricks-when you make the face, use three straight pins to make sure that you get the eyes and mouth where they look best. If you get them just a little off, they look ridiculous. Also, the eyes look better if you draw a circle about the size of a pencil eraser around the pin, stitch around it, then fill it in. I have no idea what that stitch is called, but because it's on jersey it stretches and makes oval eyes that look nicer. You can make a nose by cutting out a circle of jersey a little smaller than a quarter, then doing a stitch around the outside, filling it in some with stuffing, pulling closed, and stitching on. They look much better with a hint of a nose instead of flat, in my opinion. They also look friendlier if you make the line for the mouth, but make a small line on each edge to look a little like they're smiling. Not so serious that way. I know you make dolls all the time, so these probably aren't new ideas to you, but you asked for hints! For the neck-based on the heads in the picture, I'm guessing that the head and body are all one piece. If it is, give the neck some definition by cutting a two and a half by half inch strip of jersey, folding in each edge, and wrapping it around the neck and stitching closed. It'll hold the neck up better and give the head some definition. When sewing the body, make sure to check that you have a sharp needle made for jersey. I've made the mistake of not doing that before...yikes!
I order handspun yarn and mix with stash yarn so that each doll has between 6 and 10 kinds of yarn for hair. It wears better and looks better. You can even add in some fun colors to match the outfit on it and they're easy to take out later.
DO NOT ADD LAVENDER. You will regret it later when you can't wash it. Essential oils in the wool are nice sometimes since wool does, in fact, kind of smell like sheep. Make sure that the forehead isn't too large-they look silly if they don't have a realistic hairline.

Those are all the tips I can come up with now! Hope it helps! Any other specific questions, email me at aksprinkle@gmail.com-you or anyone else who reads this! I'd be glad to answer them! I so enjoy your blog.

TYRaines said...

This is so weird... I just got some patterns yesterday for making Waldorf Dolls, but I decided to go with a kit for the first doll. I'm not sure if Cabbage Patch clothes will work, but the patterns I'm using have clothing also.

Freya said...

I would be surprised if cabbage patch clothes fit the dolls...these ones will probably be skinnier.

Making a doll for my son was one of my first ever sewing projects! It took me about 30 hours, and he doesn't even play with it! Kind of funny.

There are lots of ways to do the hair, but I recommend that you crochet a cap and then knot the hair onto it. I looked at a lot of ways to do it, but it turned out so nicely...it's the best part of my doll!

Good luck, have fun!

julie said...

Ooh, I have big plans to make Waldorf dolls, too, but I'm giving myself a whole year to do it!