and here he is, tanner's (almost) finished buddy! i was all ready to finish him up when i realized i was lacking embroidery floss and a long needle to do the facial features. with the big birthday weekend and then a busy beginning of the week at the dayjob i just haven't made it to the craft store :) so an embroidered face and a fishing outfit is next up on the craft list.
i didn't want to purchase any supplies for this doll, knowing that if i rummaged through my massive craft supply i could find everything i need. i cut up strips of a thrifted cashmere sweater and wrapped them into the ball shape for the head and used an old pair of stockings to slip the head into (as opposed to the traditional wool stuffing and cotton stockinette). i had planned to use cut up bits of another cashmere sweater to stuff the doll with, but it ended up becoming too lumpy. so i veered away from the traditional waldorf doll and stuffed it with a synthetic fiberfill instead of purchasing wool stuffing. for the skin i used a double layer of stretch bamboo jersey- this stuff it so buttery smooth! and the hair is done in a perfectly matching shade to tanner's in a hemp/wool blend yarn.
i started off following an old tutorial by magic cabin. a friend passed it along to me, but didn't have the pattern pieces anymore to go along with it. i struggled along with it, and then decided i would probably be a much happier sewer if i purchased a pattern. i did end up using the hair tutorial from magic cabin dolls for the coil style (unfortunately i couldn't find a similar tutorial on the web to share here). the hair took the longest time to make, but the result was perfect for tanner- tanner has the thickest, most beautiful hair, since birth.... that often gets a bit wild after a night's sleep and a bit crazy looking after one of mama's hair cuts. this hair style reminded me of that :)
i purchased a doll pattern from Adirondack Patterns and couldn't have been happier with their pattern and directions. first off, they sent my e-pattern within a few hours of my purchase- awesome! the body of the doll is one piece (as opposed to multiple pattern pieces for the arms and body), making it a quick sew. i have very little patience for hand sewing so this worked out perfect for me. and their instructions on making the "skin" for the doll head resulted in a very fine fit with hardly any wrinkles under the chin. with their pattern and instructions i was able to make the entire doll in just a few hours (not including the hair and facial features). i embellished the doll with a belly button and bum. tanner is a bit obsessed with his belly button and the whole time i was making the doll he kept asking if the part i was working on was the doll's bum. so i had to add those features!
i was so pleased with this pattern that i contacted the gals over at Adirondack Patterns to gush a bit about their excellent tutorial and pattern, as well as to invite them over here to give us a peek into their dolls and patterns...
Adirondack Patterns is a collaboration between twin sisters Laura and Julia who's love of sewing and crafting for their children expanded into the creation of a store.
"Our sole purpose in sharing our tutorials at reasonable prices is to inspire and make it possible for other Mama’s to create handmade clothes, goods and toys for their little ones. Because every wee one deserves to have something handmade with love."
if you would like to learn a bit more about the inspiration and evolution of julia and laura's dolls and patterns head over to their blog (where they also do regular giveaways of their precious dolls!!!).
julia and laura were also so kind as to extend a discount to their shop! through june 15th enter Magnolia10 during checkout to receive 10% off your order! along with their fabulous doll pattern, they also have crochet and sewing patterns for babes, doll clothes and accessory patterns, and a variety of sewing tutorials. thank you gals!