Helen moved to Australia from New Zealand at the beginning of this year and she brought with her some lovely ideas from the craft group at the Steiner school her daughters attended there. This little doll is not new, rather it is in a classic 'Steiner' style ~ simple, natural fibres and no facial features; what makes it a little different is its lavender 'heart'. We added a small sprinkle of dried lavender flowers wrapped in fleece when we stuffed the bodies to soothe the wee ones off to sleep.
Helen also explained that when she was taught to make these little dolls they made them with the inside outside. The reason was because it had been worn by another turing it inside out gave it a new side.
Helen didn't mind at all when I asked if it was ok to share today's session in the blog sphere; so I took pictures as we went. They are a bit dodgy tho because I only had my phone camera on me.
The picture above shows the shape you need, the (very rough) dimensions of this piece were 13" by 5" and curve your corners.
Next make a head. To do that get some fleece and starting small, wind up a tight ball shape until it is the size you need; keep in mind that babies have big heads ~ the proportions are 1/3 head 2/3 body. These dolls are more like 1/4 head 3/4 body...but they are in sleeping bags!
Now stitch up your side seams ~ right sides together. You could do this on a machine or by hand using either running stitch or back stitch. Fold it in half lengthwise and starting on one folded edge side, stitch down and around the curve ~ REMEMBER you want to leave a hole in the centre bottom big enough to get your head through so don't keep going all the way round! Start back at the other folded edge and come back down and round the curve leaving a gap.
Once you have done that you will have a couple of linen threads hanging loose. Thread them into a needle and pull them through into the inside of the doll to hide them.
Stuff the doll so that it is cuddly and has plenty of give, not firm, and put in your little 'heart' before you blind stitch up the bottom edge.
Now how you do the next bit depends on if you want a centre bow or not. For a very small baby you might prefer not to have any dangly bits of thread they can get their fingers hooked in, so whatever you prefer.
for no bow ~ thread your needed with strong thread, you might like to double it, come up from below your pin and do a couple of small backstitches to secure it then push your needle all the way through and out at your other pin point ~ pull taught ~ turn your needle around and go back through and out the first side ~ pull taught ~ backstitch and knot to secure then push your needle back though the middle and out, snip the thread close to the doll body.