I’ve been working on Tilly, a doll pattern to accompany Tabitha Rabbit and have finished the sample doll and some clothes. The dolls in this range will have bodies the same size and shape so that they can share their wardrobe, and I plan to make some of the outfits available as separate patterns, which should also work for other 14 inch dolls.
I dreamed up these doll patterns after seeing the many beautiful handmade dolls on social media which are, quite rightly, expensive to buy because they take a long time to make, and which often sell to waiting collectors immediately on being listed. I saw a big gap between these covetable dolls and the available doll sewing patterns which tend to be quite basic and designed for beginners. I wanted to create a doll with a lovely face that wasn’t too difficult to embroider, so if you have some sewing ability you can hone your skills and create your own heirloom doll.
I spent a long time working on the design for her head. The placement and shape of the eyes and other features makes such a difference to the character of a doll’s face and, even once the pattern is completed, each maker’s doll will look slightly different, just like real people! I used a combination of felt shapes with embroidery stitches for the eyes and mouth and decided on a felt hairstyle as felt is my usual material, although yarn hair can be gorgeous and I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with that at some point.
After many different versions, with much unpicking, adjusting of templates and starting again, I had a finished doll and could start on the fun part, making her clothes. Now to work on the instructions, step by step photos and templates needed to create the pattern.
And coming next…Tilly’s friend Puffin!