Emily - My first Cloth doll

I recently introduced you to Galatea, the doll I’ve had the longest, so now I want to show you Emily who is the first cloth doll I ever made.  
I have been sewing since I was about eight years old. My mum used to make her own clothes and mine too, so she would give me fabric scraps to play with, which I would fashion into very Flintstones kind of clothes for my dolls. I was always making little people out of old tights, wool and pipe cleaners, sometimes to play with and sometimes just for the joy of making them.  I had a book called ‘Things to make and do’ which taught you to make a variety of creatures including an elephant and a dog, which were really simple soft toys.  Shop bought toys couldn’t keep pace with my imagination – there were so many stories in my head that I needed to create my own characters! 

By the time I was twelve, I had been doing needle work in school and my sewing skills had progressed sufficiently to make Emily.  My mother had made me a Waldorf doll out of stockinette and I realised that I wanted to make my own.  I worked out a pattern and made her out of calico and I think I remember that she’s stuffed with cotton wool.  The clothes are made of any scraps that I could get hold of.  The little green shorts are from an old T-shirt and she has underwear made of my old school dress.

Once made, I installed her as best friend to “Edward the Bear” and the two of them have been part of the troupe that have been with me ever since.  There have been no stints in parent’s lofts, I’ve taken them from home to home in their trunk.  She’s survived over the years without the need for repairs although I’ve lost her coat somewhere along the way.

 For anyone who fancies having a go at making their own cloth doll, I have put together some kits.  Each one has the material for the doll and a dress printed out on fabric ready to be cut out, along with enough kapok for stuffing.  There’s a choice of skin tones and printed or woollen hair.  It all comes with an instruction booklet to show you what to do, and would make a good project for enthusiastic beginners learning to make dolls.  These are now available in the shop.