Memento Soft Doll Sewing ProjectS
It was both lots of fun and an honor to create these 3 soft dolls for the grandchildren of a friend of mine who recently passed on to live with our Lord. I used clothing of hers specially selected by her husband for this purpose. The pattern is one I used before: available at ETSY, the Poppy Dolly. Click HERE to purchase the pattern like I did.
Since my ‘To Do’ list included making a doll for my #2 Granddaughter, Hadasah, I decided to mass-produce her doll as well as the other thee while I was at it. Here is her doll – which she’ll be getting for her big 2nd birthday coming up in July.
Previous Post Using the Same Pattern
I first used this pattern for # 1 Granddaughter and blogged on it back in 2017: You can read all those details at THIS LINK.
Honestly, I wish I had taken the time to go back and re-read my blog post myself! If I had, I’d be happier with the faces of the 3 gift Memento dolls. Here’s a close-up of a face. You can see that with just a single layer fabric used for the face, that you can see the ends of the embroidery floss hanging around on the backside, but I couldn’t safely cut any closer. I had to just tell myself that (as usual) the creator sees things that few others will ever notice!
At least I hadn’t made the face for Hadasah’s doll at the same time (as I didn’t have appropriate eye buttons in my button tin), so her face has double layer fabric. In this close-up pic, you can also see her ‘whispy’ hairdo! That was fun to do instead of the tight ‘hat’ as in the original pattern Poppy Dolly. Anyway…I wouldn’t want both of the granddaughter’s dolls to look exactly alike.
Back to the set of 3 ‘Memento Dolls’….
All of the 3 doll set have blue button eyes – as my friend’s hubby said they all have blue eyes. I think they all have a ‘Parisian’ look as well – which is perfect, as their family currently is in Paris, France as missionaries. Making the hats on the boys was special fun. Below…you can see some close-up pics. The first one is from a striped T-shirt. I must admit that one of the boy dolls also has striped legs from the same T-Shirt. Those ‘legs’ were meant to be on the girl doll, but got mixed up in the ‘creating’!
Also on the picture above, you can see the patch on the back of his leather vest – which is from a pocket of one of her pairs of jeans I was given. The leather vest was from a leather coat that the Granddad asked I especially try to use – so you’ll see it used on all 3 dolls.
Obviously, this guy has a hat and shoes of the detailing on the leather coat of hers, and also leather pants. In this picture you can see how I just took a tuck at the center back of his shirt – as the neck turned out too large. Below is a picture from the front… Sewing dolls and doll clothes is definitely NOT for a beginner sewer in my humble opinion!
The lace detailing from the leather coat was found both at the center front and sleeves of my friend’s T-shirt. While I say ‘leather’ – it truly is not, but rather a fake leather-looking polyurethane. It stitched without any problem whatsoever.
Girl Doll Clothing
Here, you see the fun I had using another of my late friend’s many print knit tops. Making use of the stripes in the top was fun. This dress is just 2 rectangles of fabric, caught up at the shoulders together and stitched, then another striped piece creates the collar by gathering it around her neck.
Her shoes are also of the ‘leather’ coat detail and she has a 6 gore skirt from that coat as well. I used a WAVE ROTARY CUTTING BLADE for an easy lower hem edge, and fit it tight enough at the waist to stay on yet be easy to take on and off. Note her ‘leather’ shoes too.
Hadasah’s Soft Doll
When stitching the arms and legs, I used a Microtex 70/10 Schmetz Needle and a shorter than normal stitch length of 2.0. Way back in my shop days, I had an employee who was an excellent doll-maker. I learned from her that the best technique she always taught was to use small torn off pieces of loose fiberfill to stuff – NOT big clumps. This is SO true. AND it takes FOREVER – like a 2 hour TV movie to do a doll! Truly – it does. Take it slow and enjoy the process with small pieces or you’ll have a doll with cellulite! She always used hemostats to turn and stuff. I find that an un-sharpened eraser end of a new yellow pencil works great OR a chopstick both work great for ramming in the stuffing.
Note also in the photo above that the flower is tacked down to the ‘hair’ (felt), and how very securely the button eyes and flower center are stitched on.
My sweet granddaughter has shorter, ‘whispy’ hair, so I tried my best to duplicate that on her doll. I did so with double layer pieces of felt that I added to the original doll. Some of them were ‘cut on along with’ the original hair/head pattern, and others were added separately. All hand stitching on this doll is done with double strand strong polyester sewing thread.
The shoulder ruffles are part of the doll pattern and are stitched in with the arms and body. The same goes for the ‘collar’. I chose to make her body of the ‘main fabric’ of the ‘Hadasah’ fabric stash. I have made each of my 3 precious granddaughters a quilt – saved the fabrics – then use those fabrics to make this doll and also a soft ‘Busy Book’ (another blog post to come). However, every girl needs some extra clothes and a place to sleep, so to be ‘equal’ to older sister, this dolly got her pair of pants and 2 skirts and a sleeping bag.
I felt her first skirt was too short, so of course, she got a Maxi Skirt too!
Every girl these days needs some pants, so here are her bell-bottom pants. Whoops, I got carried away with the narrow at the knee part – meaning even I could hardly get them on over her feet, so that led to the accent ‘grow the leg width’ strip down the sides.
And…since big sister got a Sleeping Bag, I threw one together using a purple bandana along with more of the ‘Hadasah’ stash of fabrics. Consult the original post for the how-to’s. I will add that I wish I’d done the rounded corners on this one too, as that is far easier than mitering corners. On these gifts that I hope will be played with alot, I try to do all durable machine stitching whenever possible. Thus, I stitched the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the bag, then wrapped to the front side, and zig-zag stitched with a narrow width zigzag.
Now…to play with her stuffing in lots of love and prayers until I give her to Hadasah for her 2nd birthday coming up in July. What fun it is to be a Nana!!!