Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Lavender Babies Pattern Part 3 - The Body


 Hi again! I hope you've made it through the first two parts without too much trouble, now on to the body!

We're going to start by cutting out the pattern circle in a pretty print woven fabric.  Then you fold the fabric not quite in half (this is because you want the feet to the front of the doll so she has a nice bottom to sit on) and then in half. See the photo below.





Now cut two very small slits about 3/4 inch or a thumb's length from the center fold. this will give you two perfectly spaced holes for your feet to go through.


Apply fray check all around the outside of the circle and around your two feet holes and let that dry. I do this on top of an old towel. If you're impatient, like yours truly, you can hit it with an iron to speed things up, but be sure to clean any goo off of your iron afterwards.


It's time to get the feet on! Sew a running stitch around the outside of one of the holes. Insert the foot (make sure it's all the way in!) and pull those stitches tight and then go back and forth several times around the foot sewing it securely in place. Repeat with your baby's other foot. 





Now let's get that head attached. You will need TWO needles with matching thread ready for this part. First make a running stitch around the outside of your circle ending with your thread on the right side of your fabric. Pull this up slightly to form a cup. Now you want to attach the head to the bottom, this helps the baby keep a nice rounded shape, if you skip this part she'll be fine but will get a bit wonky shaped over time. Go through the lower part under the head with your second needle and then take a very small stitch in the center bottom of the fabric cup. go back up to the head and through again so you have about a 1.5 inch double thread from the head to the cup. Tie off your thread. I know this sounds confusing so I made several photos..   





Time for the filler. I use a mix of dried lavender flowers and flax seeds but you can use plastic pellets, rice, whatever. I like to use all natural materials when I can and flax seeds are a nice weight. It takes about a 1/8 cup of the filler. You don't want too much or your baby will look too round so just fill and test as you go until you have a shape you like. 


Pull the stitches tight and then go back and forth through the head sewing it very securely on. I like to go right into putting on the arms so I usually have a long enough thread to ensure that but it's fine if you don't. 



Position your arms on either side between some of the fabric folds and pin into place. Play around with this and see where they look best to you. 



You will sew the arms in place from top to bottom going back and forth through all the layers and catching the folds on both sides. 



Whew...that was a long post! If any of that doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll see if I can make a video to help explain things. But hopefully it does and now you have a little lavender baby that only needs some hair, a collar, and a hat! And of course the last post will be all about that. See you soon!



Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Lavender Babies Pattern Part Two -Arms and Feet

 Hi again! Let's get cracking on part 2! Here is a link to a PDF file of the pattern that you can download and print...she said hopefully, never having done this before. If you have any issues, just let me know. (Also I apologize in advance for the state of my hands, end of winter and they're a bit of a dry raggedy mess.)


I know you are SO ready to start but please read through all the instructions before cutting, it saves time and frustration! I'll wait.....Okay, you did that, right? Now on to making the arms! Take one of the arm pieces that you've cut out and fold down a bit of the top ( about a third), fold in the sides to the middle, and then fold in half like this...




Pin the top part together just to hold it and sew up the side and across the top.





once the arm is sewn, you want to define the wrist and hand. Insert the needle and come out right below the top fold line. Wrap thread around the wrist a couple of times, knot, and bury the thread end. You have an arm! Now make another.



Time for the feet which are just tiny balls so they're pretty easy. Cut out your two feet from the cotton knit and trace the sew circle on the inside. I know my example isn't perfectly even but I was using a scrap and it doesn't matter as long as the circle has plenty of room around it. 


Sew a running stitch around the circle. Remember to keep your knot on the side with the marked circle, as this is the inside of the foot, and end with your needle on the outside. 



Pull the stitches slightly to make a cup shape and stuff with a tiny ball of wool. Pull tight and wrap the thread around a couple of times, knot and then bury the end again.  You want this to be firm but not too large. Make another being careful to match your first one in size. 



So we have a head, 2 arms, and 2 feet. We just need a body! The next post will focus on making and filling the body and attaching the ams and legs. See you soon!

Part three can be found HERE

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Lavender Babies Pattern - Part 1 Making a Small Waldorf Doll Head


Hello Friends! It's been awhile hasn't it? And this past year has been something else for all of us. My husband and I were pretty much cut off for most of it with only the occasional outside visit with family or friends though we were so lucky to be able to spend time with our grandkids who, after the first couple of months, were part of our bubble for the duration. But it has definitely been an "interesting" time in so many ways. Plague, isolation, natural disasters, insurrection: I can see why "may you live in interesting times" is a curse! Knowing that so many people have lost loved ones in this pandemic absolutely breaks me. I hold those lives in my heart and will always do so and I will never forget that it didn't have to be this way.

But life does goes on, the pendulum swings back, and hopes for better times do seem to be finding some fruition. My husband and I have had both of our vaccinations and so has my 87 year old, still seeing patients, dad - which is a HUGE relief to me as you might imagine. 

So as I try to get back to a somewhat more "normal" life I thought I would try to restart my blog with a little gift. I'm sharing a pattern for my little lavender babies. I don't make these any more to sell and I thought it might be a fun project for those of you who enjoy handwork. These are made entirely by hand, no sewing machine necessary, and are pretty easy (if somewhat time consuming) to make once you have the head done. I'll include lots of pictures and directions so it might take a few posts to get all the info but I promise to make them all in short order. So let's get started! 

First you will need to make a small ( about 3.5inches in diameter) Waldorf style head. There are tons of posts online for making these heads, this just happens to be the way I do it for this type of doll. You will need:

Wool
Cotton string one piece 3" long and one 6"
A 3" piece of 5/8" tubular gauze 
Cotton knit "skin" fabric (old tee shirts can work here!)
needle and thread 
scissors 
Pigma markers, colored pencil, white gel pen (optional) OR
Embroidery floss for the face

The first step is to tightly tie the smaller piece of string around one end of the tube and cut off the excess string. Then turn the tube inside out. 























Next stuff the tube with wool. This is probably the hardest step because you will need to put a lot more wool in there than you think. Keep pushing the wool in and pulling on the open end to pack it into a small ball, about 3.5 inches in diameter, the ball should be very firm. Then you will take the longer string, wrap it around the base of the ball a couple of times, pull it very tight, and tie it off. Sometimes it helps to make the head firmer if you tie a second string above the first. It just depends on how loose the head feels. 

Now it's time to shape the head. Thread your needle and anchor your thread at the bottom of the head. Now wrap the thread a couple of times around the head from top to bottom and pull it tight. Insert the needle from the bottom of the head to the side next to the first wrap. wrap the thread from front to back a couple of times and pull tight again. This time you're going to sew over the two wraps at their crosspoint in an X to lock them down. Take the needle through the head and do the same thing on the other side and end with the needle at the back bottom of the head near the neck.




At this point you need to shimmy the back portion of the thread down to the neck to form the back of the skull. I frequently use the needle to help pull it up and down, just go carefully and take your time. You can choose now to catch that lowered thread and tie off your work OR you can make a nose.  To add a nose, bring the needle and thread to the front of the face, below the eyeline thread and slightly to the left or right of the middle. sew a tiny circle or back and forth, poking up some wool as you go. You want to make a tiny bump. Then take your needle to the back of the head and tie it off. 




Already you have a sweet looking little head, so let's put some skin on it! Cut a rectangular piece of the cotton knit that will fit around your head. The size will depend on your finished head size but roughly 3" x 2" . Fold one side in and pin together and also put a pin in the front to keep it from slipping down the head. 




Thread a needle with matching thread, anchor it at the back of the neck and wrap it around the base of the head. Make sure to pull the fabric tightly in the back and keep it smooth around the top of the wrap. 


Stitch up the back of the head and then around the top of the head, pull the thread tight, and knot. Cut off any excess fabric and, if necessary, take a couple of stitches back and forth across there top to neaten things up.





Almost done!!! We just need to make some eye indentations. So mark on the front where you want your eyes with pins or pencil. Then take your needle from the back of the head to the front and then back again taking a very small stitch in the front and pull it tight so that an indentation is formed. Tie that off and do the other eye.



You did it! Look at that cutie! The only thing left is to give them a face. I use Micron Pigma pens, a white gel pen, and Prisma colored pencils for my faces these days but I used to embroider them and it really does make a very sweet and simple face. It's entirely up to you. 


Part 2 of this series will have the pattern you can download and will focus on making the arms and feet. You can find that HERE .