Work In Progress..

25 Jan

As you know, I’ve made a few stuffed animals (stuffie, plushie, softie, whatever you call it) in the past year…I wanted to try my hand at a plushie/doll hybrid.  I was cruising the Funky Friends Factory website, looking for a bunny pattern for a friend’s baby when I happened across this cutie:

Original Inspiration

Original Inspiration

I really liked this doll and since we are going home next weekend to belatedly celebrate my niece’s first birthday, I decided I wanted to try my hand at customizing the above doll for her (without purchasing the pattern…so that means creating my own).

I didn’t like the dead fish X-eyes (well, actually I do like them – they are very rocker-ish – but I wanted to go for a softer look), so I looked at the Wee Wonderfuls Flickr collection to get some inspiration for the eyes/face for my little doll (which I have named Sophie, because it’s a sweet, adorable name, and I totally intend to make a sweet, adorable doll for my sweet, adorable niece).  I found a little guy with round, kind eyes, and thought I’d try to do something similar with my little Sophie doll (except his eyes are felt sew-ons and I’m going to attempt some embroidery instead).

Inspiration for Sophie's facial features

Inspiration for Sophie's facial features

So I drew up what I had in mind in an old spiral bound notebook that I actually have had for years and never use (because my sketch pad and all my art supplies are packed up in storage).

First Draft

First Draft

Then I sat down with my ruler, a pencil, some card stock, and lots of inspiration and came up with this “pattern”


Pattern Close up

Pattern Close up

Of course, I had to color some of it in and add the facial features to see how I would like it…and because I still like to color.  You can see all of my erased marks…these things take a little trial and error to reach perfection.

Before I even got started drawing out the pattern, Chuck and I took a drive today to look at some townhouses in Centreville (still not purchasing or moving into our own home until the father-in-law is up and running with a new heart, but we like to dream and “window shop”).  While in C’ville, we stopped off at G-Street Fabrics (to my absolute dismay, they recently closed the gigantic G-Street Fabric store at Potomac Mills).  Chuck indulged me while I spent over an hour looking at dozens of bolts of fabric and a room of notions before I settled on the perfect materials for my niece’s little doll.  (Chuck downloaded all of the Narnia books onto his iPhone and managed to finish Voyage of the Dawn Treader and started The Silver Chair while patiently and generously letting me browse.)

Here’s what I found:



While watching a very strange Nicole Kidman movie (Birth) I cut out all the pieces tonight and laid them out so I could see the fruits of my labor and get even more excited about the sewing ahead…


Now, the most special part of this doll is very tiny and subtle, but the little heart is made from a scrap of fabric left over from a dress my mom made for a doll many years ago.  The doll was named Tracy and my sister carried it everywhere for years…and Tracy always wore her dress made out of this sweet white fabric with litte blue flowers. A year or so ago my mom gave me a whole box of fabric scraps and my sister and I looked through it and remembered all the many dresses and outfits our mom sewed and smocked for us when we were little girls.  I took that box of scraps with plans to eventually make a quilt for each of us using those sentimental leftovers.  I thought it would be a sweet touch to add a little piece of my sister’s favorite childhood doll to her daughter’s first handmade doll.


I’m going to embroider around the heart with blue floss that matches the flowers perfectly.  At first, when I was looking for materials for Sophie, I was trying to get something that would match the Tracy fabric…but then I decided I wanted the heart to stand out and be different from the rest of the doll’s fabric, so I went with the pink and yellow ensemble and I’ll encorporate the blue in several places using embroidery floss.

I’ll update again later when I’ve got her sewn, stuffed, and embroidered.  I’m getting excited about the embroidery because I’ve never done it…I’m also very nervous that I will ruin the doll, but every great masterpiece has it’s moments of peril, so I’m going to go for the gold and be brave.  Hopefully I’ll find time this week to finish her!


3 Responses to “Work In Progress..”

  1. Moma January 25, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    That’s my girl! My little legacy – how proud I am 🙂

  2. Laura January 25, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Okay… so I have to admit when I looked at the first picture… I thought it was a doll butt. You know… the dress is actually a skirt and the white is her bad case of plumber bum… I can’t explain how the X-eyes and the hair fit into that initial perception… but whatever. Your doll pattern is MUCH cuter and looks NOTHING like a butt. Speaking of sewing… Jenny and I are taking a sewing class at the VTYMCA that starts Wednesday.

  3. Sarah January 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    Sigh… I wish I had TIME to sew (not to mention a machine, since my mom re-hijacked hers away…).

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