One of my daughter’s best friends is moving away soon. My daughter is only three and a half and this is her first best friend. And quite honestly she is handling it way better than her Dad and I are doing.
It has been such a joy to watch the two of them bond and build their friendship during the short time they have had together. Just like any best friends, sometimes they don’t always get along but they quickly make up and they always have one another’s back.
I have been wracking my brain with trying to figure out ideas for a little going away gift for our daughter’s friend. Once I decided I wanted to make her something, I started narrowing down the ideas. These two girls play dolls all the time together and a handmade doll seemed like something my daughter’s friend could hug and play with and be reminded of their friendship.
Over these last few months, I’ve been sharing a number of stuffed animal ideas (dogs / cats) to embroider on the Janome Skyline S9 but I decided to take a more traditional approach to making a doll. I purchased this one from Wee Wonderfuls and loved that I could personalize it.
One of my favourite accessories for the Janome Skyline S9 is the HP foot and plate. I absolutely love how precise it is for topstitching, and it is great for curves.
And there were a good amount of curves to navigate as this doll started to come together.
This is the first time I’ve ever made doll clothes and something tells me it won’t be the last. (My daughter has at least eight “baby” dolls… fun fact, four of them are named Emma.) I really enjoyed this type of “apparel making.” Not only are these quick to sew up but you certainly don’t have to worry about fit as much as when making for human models!
The top has elastic gathers for the neck and arms – making it easy for little hands to do a little outfit change. My recently learned tip for threading elastic through narrow channels is to use a bobby pin! It worked perfectly for these 1/4 inch seam allowances.
Also a first for me, I’ve never made doll hair before! I particularly appreciated that this pattern offered three different hair style options. In consultation with my daughter, we choice this style because she felt it looked most like her hair.
To create the framework for the hair, a template is created on paper and the hair is laid out to the specifications of the framework. The hair is set in place with a straight stitch at various points depending on where the hair will be placed on the dolls head. After that step is done, the paper backing/template is removed – much like you would when paper piecing. The pattern called for tape to be place on each side of the hair to keep it in place while sewing. I decided to place it firmly down in the middle of the stitch line and remove it after with the paper backing. This ensured that none of the hair shifted while sewing it down.
The hair is hand sewn into place and finishing touches such as facial features can be embroidered on (or painted).
I was so pleased with how this doll came together. My daughter loves her hair and can’t wait to give it to her best friend. I can’t wait to see this little exchange of gifts.
Have you made any dolls using your Janome sewing machine? What is a special gift you like to make?