While I love the dolls I have been working on lately, I've been itching to sew a simpler doll, one that isn't so labor-intensive. Last night, while searching through my doll pattern stash, I found an old 1974 McCall's pattern for a small, flat doll. Actually, it is for "Scottish Twins", but I'll make a regular doll. Nothing too fancy. What excites me is that there are only two pattern pieces. Two! I've been busy sketching out facial features, hairstyles, and clothing options, while also clicking around etsy and flickr for inspiration.
I have to say, there are so many adorable handmade dolls out there. Really. Every time I think I have some unique idea (how to do the face, etc.), I stumble upon someone who is doing something very similar. Why is that? This seems to happen to me a lot. Maybe creative minds think alike. Perhaps I'm not all that creative to begin with. Who knows! Either way, I love seeing what others are creating. I spend much of my on-line time these days scrolling through photosets on flickr, admiring what others have sewn, painted, made.
I guess there are only so many ways to make a simple, flat doll. I see several people using the Black Apple pattern, Bit of Whimsy patterns, or variations of them. Many have designed their own doll patterns. Lots of artists are using felt for hair. Wool felt offers possibilities...a simple, expedient hairstyle that can withstand lots of love at the hands of a child. And I see many dolls with felt circle eyes. I have used that technique myself in the past. Like this Spaceboy from a Wee Wonderfuls pattern. I believe this was from 2007.
Or this one from another Wee Wonderfuls pattern.
These days, I prefer to hand-embroider eyes. Even though I lightly sketch before I start sewing, I have no idea how the face will really appear until the doll is complete.
So, I look at these pieces of fabric and still don't know what they will become. Yarn or felt for hair? Eye color? Facial expression? We'll see when she's finished.