Saturday, January 26, 2013

Rosa's First Doll

It's far too early for Rosa to have a doll -- she's only just started holding on to her rattle in a vain attempt to shove it into her mouth! But, taking advantage of my mother's recent visit, Rosa's first doll took shape.

I've known for a while that I wanted my daughters' first dolls to be Waldorf dolls. A simple search on Google or Etsy will show the variety of sizes, colors, and styles of Waldorf dolls. But all of them have at least one thing in common -- they are sweet, innocent-looking dolls that are perfect for developing imaginations. Unfortunately, another trait they share is that they are quite expensive to purchase!

However, with a few materials and a needle, we were able to have a go at making our own at very little expense. And thus, I am very pleased to introduce you to Edith:

Edith is a bunting doll, which means that her "dress" is really her body, too. For the head, we followed Beth's marvelous instructions on Flickr: Making a Waldorf Doll.

I drafted Edith's dress after seeing this Waldorf bunting doll. I knew I wanted to make some changes, though -- I didn't want the arms sticking straight out, and I also didn't like the shape of the cap. But I think the style is perfect as a first doll, before a little girl is old enough to dress a doll or take care of its hair.

My mom provided the gorgeous teal wool for the dress. She'd found a sweater in a thrift store in New Zealand, but hadn't realized that the former owner had "repaired" a hole with bright turquoise thread. So now it's taken on a new form, and I must say that I love the color and the feel of the wool! We even used the ribbon hangers inside the sweater as the ties for the cap and braids, since they matched perfectly. The lace around the waist and the edge of the cap was a salvaged piece I had in my stash; I've always thought it was lovely, and was waiting for the right project to come along.

Edith's hair is a gorgeous merino wool that we found in a local high-end yarn shop, and turned out to be the most expensive part (though I have PLENTY of yarn left for future dolls or other projects!).

Edith isn't a "true" Waldorf doll, since she does have some synthetic materials (the stockinette for the head is from a pair of new-but-thrifted girls' tights, the batting is 1/2 bamboo rayon and 1/2 polyester, and the cotton knit for the face is a cotton/poly blend). However, it was not my goal to spend a fortune on materials, and the doll still has a lovely natural look and feel.

There were a number of things that made this the perfect beginning doll-making project. With no real "body," there was very little actual doll-making involved. And having the cap sewn straight on to the head meant that there was no wig-making involved, either (except for the few strands that peek out at the top). It gave me a taste for doll-making without boatloads of stress. It's definitely something I'll do again in the future!

As much as I love the doll itself, I'm even more pleased that it's something Rosa's mama and grandmother could make together for her. And while Rosa will have to pick out names for her dolls when she's older, I named this one "Edith," because that was my maternal grandmother's name. Though we'll be calling her "Edie," just like my grandmother was called by her friends!


  1. That is an adorable doll! Such a sweet face :D Good job!

  2. Adorable! You did a lovely job.

  3. She´s gorgeous!!! I want one! :D I'm sure little Rose will treasure her someday.

  4. Shannon,
    This is such a feast for the eyes! You are one talented Mama!

  5. I love this pretty little doll and it is perfect for a new baby. The young woman that lives next door to me is having her first baby . . . no idea if it is a boy or girl. This would be a perfect gift, along with some handmade bibs. I feel so inspired :)
    Your newest follower, Connie :)
    P.S. at the moment I am having a give-away, pop on over and enter :)

  6. Shannon,
    What an absolutely beautiful doll! You are so gifted and what a precious memory this will be!


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