Spunky’s first birthday is coming up in two weeks. Firstly, I can hardly believe that a year has passed since I was standing at the front door talking to a customer telling her I was having contractions, to spending 28 hours in labour and two hours of pushing only to deliver my second child via a second Caesarian section. I now have a “chatty”, mobile, quietly intelligent little boy and a creative, inquisitive, outgoing daughter. Admittedly, the fanfare surrounding Spunky’s first birthday will be subdued compared to the family party that was orchestrated for BananaMuffin’s first birthday, but the level of care and detail going in to his gift is beyond anything I have attempted in the past: I’m making him a 16″ Waldorf doll.
My good friend Jenny-Junebug gave me the boost I needed to get going by sharing her doll pattern and the expertise she gained by making Chi-Chi his first Waldorf doll (in only a couple of evenings – she works fast!) She originally purchased a kit from Joy’s Waldorf Dolls, but both of us have since purchased an incredible array of supplies from Dancing Rain Dolls, including pre-made doll heads, skin fabric, mohair and natural fibre yarns for the hair, and cotton velvets (admittedly, the cotton velvet is for another project I have lined up, but who can resist it – it’s SO hard to find!)
Starting with a craft night at Jenny-Junebug’s house, I cut out the pattern pieces from hand-dyed organic cotton jersey and sewed them together, finishing the edges with a zig zag stitch for security. The legs, arms and body were stuffed with Nova Scotia wool from Lismore Sheep Farm in River John. Basting the legs closed, and then basting them to the body made it much easier to then sew the puffy legs to the doll’s abdomen. I highly recommend basting, it made the sewing job much easier, though I still had to do it three times to get it completely right.
Yesterday, while both kids napped, I attached the stuffed arms to the back of the head, stuffed the body with yet more Nova Scotia wool. I now have to sew the head and arms on to the body, which will most likely prove to be the most difficult part of this project, but this is the doll in progress:
His head is sitting a little askew until I sew it on, but here he is lounging next to my fireplace, waiting for his hair, eyes, and clothing.
My parents picked up a few leather scraps for me at The Harness Shop in my hometown of Sackville, New Brunswick. These are scraps left over from hand-made horse harnesses, and will be made in to little doll shoes, provided my sewing machine can handle the thickness of the leather!
Jenny will help me with the hair, which I’m really excited to do, as I lack crochet skills to do it, but I am so pleased to have been able to put the time, care, and love into making such a beautiful doll for my little boy. It makes me happy that he’s filled with organic cotton, local wool, and his mama’s love. I already have a list of dolls I want to create for BananaMuffin, my niece, and a whole host of other children I care about!