Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter Swap: Pocket Dolls

I had so much fun doing last year's handmade stocking stuffer exchange, that I jumped at the chance to do another one this year. And I was having so much fun making these sweet little pocket dolls I'd just learned how to make, that I thought, why not double the fun, and make 20 items to swap this year?

The instructions were to make 10 (or if you're feeling carelessly ambitious, 20) Christmas or winter themed items. I decided to split them and do ten Christmasy dolls and ten wintery dolls. Of course, it occurred to me after dyeing and buying a zillion different shades of red, green, blue, and gray felt that pretty much anything wearing a hat and scarf could already be considered wintery.

It also occurred to me, after cutting out 20 different body shape and color combinations, that they wouldn't all be going to the same person, and therefore, didn't all need to be completely different. But I think I'd have been terribly bored after making the second one without a little variety!

The dolls are made from wool/rayon blend felt. I found that a thinner felt works best for these guys, because they are so tiny. I used wool roving to stuff them, and wooden beads for the heads. The instructions I used also show how to make a felted wool head, which is darling, but I'm afraid that making 20 felt heads would have meant these dolls wouldn't be finished until next Christmas!

Are you loving the smudge on the left side of that picture? I had a greasy fingered little helper, but didn't notice until after I'd packed these for shipping.

Each doll has one embellishment. Some have an appliqué, others have an embroidered star or candy cane. I made a few tiny knitted scarves, and I loved the way they turned out, but there are only three because Lissie borrowed, and lost, my spool knitter before I could make more. The rest have little wool poms on their hats.

I found the instructions from Anna Branford's blog on Pinterest. In her post, she links to another blog which has a tutorial for making a similar doll with a fabric head. I'd love to try those sometime too.

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