Book: We make dolls

by Admin on 26/10/2012

in Books

Book reviewed by Megan Enright: Megan is wife to a tolerant and encouraging husband and mother to four children ranging in age from 18 years down to 5 years. She spends her days keeping company with her 5 year old daughter and her evenings cheering on the sidelines as her older sons deal with homework, sport and other teenage issues. In her quieter moments, she likes to knit, embroider, sew and cook. She’d like to have the time and talent to crochet and quilt….maybe one day.  She can be found at Notebook from home blog.

We Make Dolls!: Top Dollmakers Share Their Secrets & Patterns

Jenny Doh. Lark Crafts (June 2012).

First of all, this is a seriously gorgeous book to read. My 5 year old daughter and I spent quite some time just poring over the pictures of cute, whimsical, pretty, quirky, personality-filled dolls. My daughter wanted me to make them all — of course!

I am not an experienced doll-maker. I have made about three easy dolls that were mainly just a showcase for some pretty fabric I had in my stash. They were fun and quick to make. The dolls in We make dolls are, on the whole, more complicated but the extra features added by each of the doll-makers profiled certainly provide some lovely and interesting dolls.

Ten doll makers are featured and they discuss over a number of pages their influences, the sources of their design ideas and how their ideas become the reality of a doll. I enjoyed the process of getting inside a crafter’s head and gaining insight into how their projects had evolved. After each interview a couple of doll patterns are included, with each one well described with step-by step photos.

As a doll making newby I was glad of the general doll making instructions at the beginning of the book as there are many teddies and other jointed dolls which are quite complex. Also included are some small but beautiful needle felted dolls. General needle felting instructions are in the book but some experience in this area would definitely be an advantage to achieve a lovely finished product.

Along with these more complicated designs there are some dolls with simple assembly that rely on embroidered embellishment to add extra features. Denise Ferragamo has designed two Matryoshka-style dolls for the book that include simple but effective floral stitching. Even as a novice doll artist I felt confident enough to tackle one of these dolls (see my version above). Overall, I found this book quite inspirational. The idea of making one of these dolls was very appealing, even the rather dangerously named, Tattooed Man. We Make Dolls is fun and informative. Now all I have to do is to have a consensus between my daughter and me on which doll to make next!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maya October 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Just gorgeous!


2 Sofia October 28, 2012 at 2:35 am

What a cute doll, it looks a bit too complicated to make though, at least with my bad skills!


3 Lisa October 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

I definitely want this book. I like to make dolls and other stuffies for fun, but am also intrigued by doll-making as a therapeutic process for the work I do. Thanks for sharing.


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