I’ve always liked felt.
Felt is a handy material to make things out of, partly because it doesn’t fray when you cut it out, partly because it comes in so many colors, and it is relatively cheap.
And you can make so many cute things out of it! Granted, I enjoy looking at felt ideas and saving them on Pinterest, but haven’t really made any of them. But one of the benefits of being retired is that if you do get an idea, you can decide on the spur of the moment to make it, and if it takes the next two hours to complete, you don’t really have to feel bad about not getting anything else done around the house.
So when I came across some instructions for how to make these felt “paper dolls” I had to try them right then! I liked the idea of how the clothes would “stick” to the dolls because they would have felt on the back. After reading up on how to do it, I got started right away. I drew my own version of the doll, and the dress. I ended up making two of them.To make the dolls a little more sturdy, I sewed them to another piece of felt as a backing. Then I made them each a “slip” so they could be modest.
It turns out you are supposed cut out the dress, then sew it to a piece of felt, and then cut it out again. This is much easier than making a cutout of felt and trying to sew it to the back of the fabric dress piece. I wasn’t sure how I wanted their faces to look, so for the moment I’ve left them blank. I actually think they’re cute the way they are.
While I was at it, I decided it would be fun if they could have different hairstyles! As long as you don’t shake them, the felt-on-felt stays pretty well.
So you can have a center part or a side part by merely adding a small hair piece.
But what if you want them to wear a skirt and blouse? You can employ my famous doll clothes technique, described in “Second Childhood” – just sew two pieces of fabric together and place the pattern accordingly. You’ll notice the doll on the left has her hair in a side-part, but by flipping the piece over (below) you can have it on the opposite side.I might mention at this point that if I were really going to do it right, I would have changed thread for each outfit to match the fabric colors. I did use brown top thread for the hair but do I look like the kind of person who wants to change thread every five minutes? I didn’t think so.
And if you want the “bohemian” look, you can always make some little berets and tilt them jauntily to one side.Just when I decided it was time for a break, I realized there needed to be some kind of carrying case for them, so I took a felt rectangle and made little pockets. The hair accessories are able to be pushed down further into their pocket and the little flap folded up to help prevent them from falling out. Have you ever tried to sew Velcro onto felt? Well, don’t. You’ll just have to trust me on this, Velcro and felt don’t mix. So when you fold the carrier up, just use a clip like this to close it. Or maybe if you want to take the time, you could use a button or a snap. Either way, I think this doll set will be a hit when presented to its recipients this week.
If you compare the above photo to the one at the beginning of this post, you might notice the string of felt hearts is a bit shorter than it was. That’s because of a certain cat, who shall remain nameless …It looks like the “woodland friends” may have seen what happened, but they aren’t talking…