Not too long ago I began making some mini or doll-sized quilts and although I do have several cloth dolls in my collection, none are really vintage looking and none were made by me. So I decided to try to make my own and what follows is how Prudence evolved.
I recently joined a Yahoo group called ‘Small Quilt Talk’ hosted by Kathleen Tracy and of late, there has been a lot of talk about dolls and doll making. I love to read the friendly and casual banter about gals who have made dolls, those who have ordered doll kits but for one reason or another they have remained as such and those who aspire to make a doll. I didn’t realize that I fell into the last category until yesterday.
“Why can’t I make one?” I asked myself.
I love a challenge. So out came the sketch book and the preliminary drawings were made. I fussed around a bit and finally came up with a pattern that turned out to be quite workable. I didn’t want the pattern to be too large so I designed it to fit on a 9” x 12” piece of paper.
The first step was to make two photocopies of the pattern because in order to fit it on a 9” x 12” piece of paper, I had to overlap some of the elements.
I then cut out the pattern pieces...
pinned them to some muslin fabric from my stash…
and then cut them out.
Before sewing the pieces together, I used my light box to trace the face onto the right side of the fabric. Then I sewed the pieces together, turned them right side out and stuffed them with polyester fiber fill.
Next came my favorite part…bringing Prudence to life. First, I painted her facial features. I am an artist by profession and although I’ve never painted a face on fabric before, I found out that it was not much different than painting on canvas.
I wanted Prudence to look kind of primitive and demure…
because after all, she lived in the mid 1800’s.
Once the face was created, I attached her legs and arms.
I then painted her hair and boots…and of course gave her a ♥.
I started to make her clothing and to dress her when I remembered to add her name and to sign and date it on her back.
I have never made any kind of clothing before, so I was really out of my comfort zone now. What I did was have a close look at how some of my other doll’s clothing was made and proceeded from there.
She was a lot of fun to make, especially since this was my first attempt at something like this. I never did play with dolls much as a child so I guess I’m trying to make up for lost time. *wink*
If you would like to download the PDF file of pattern that I designed and used, just click here.
Would you be interested in a step-by-step tutorial on creating her face? I’d be happy to comply. Honestly, it’s not as difficult as you may think.
Love your dolly! You are very talented!
I love Prudence , she is an adorable doll, I love making dolls and will certainly be making her in the near future and yes I would love a step by step tutorial on the face painting .Thanks so much for sharing the pattern .
I was burned on doll making when, about three summers ago, a friend and I decided to make out grandbabes a homemade Raggedy Ann and Andy. She had a pattern for three different sizes - how hard could it be? HARD, well, I made it harder than it needed to be because I embroidered the faces. Of course, I fussed over every detail and now they sit in a box somewhere in her room. She'll appreciate them one day, I hope!
The face on your doll is spot on for the period you went for. Demure and....well, Prudent! Great work, I must say. Thanks for the PDF,,,,maybe I could get my mom to paint the face because I don't have the talent for that.
Prudence is adorable! Way back when, I made cloth dolls, some old-fashioned and some of those big babies. I am in a Civil War group using Kathleen Tracy's book, so thanks for the link to her.
OMG, OMG, Kaaren, I love Prudence - it's my pleasure to make her acquaintance. She's lovely.
I'd love to make one like her but I can't paint - she'd have no face. :-(
Oh Kaaren, she is beautiful! I haven't sewed a doll in a very long time but this one may tempt me. She is just a sweetheart.
Prudence looks great. Congratulations.
Well, Prudence is beautiful. An Old Fashioned girl with a tattoo on her posterior! You gotta love her. Your work is wonderful, and I would LOVE a tutorial on how to make such a pretty face. Thanks, Michele
I love the doll! And I would love to have a tutorial on how to paint the face.
How did you make her clothes? Did you have a pattern or did you make them up as you go?
Lotta in Sweden
She is absolutely delightful. And how kind of you to share the pattern.
You keep opening doors to lovely things to make. I simply must retire soon so that I can keep up.
Kaaren, Prudence is delightful! I will be making her (and a friend) for my 2 granddaughters.
Kaaren -- she certainly comes across as prim and proper, but I know she is a hussy. No woman would be caught dead in trousers! Really cute doll. And your face is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Your talent never ceases to amaze me. Prudence is fantastic.
I love Prudence! I made dolls as a child, but the faces were always as problem for me. I would love a tutorial on how you did that beautiful face!
WOW! Is there anything that you can't do? Love her!!
Love your doll! I've made a couple of Annies but I'd love to make some more one of these days.
She's lovely! Thank you Kaaren, this will be a fun project with a delightful "friend" as the result.
The face tutorial would be much appreciated.
Oh yes please ! I would love a face tutorial !
Could we also have her clothing ? I just love this doll.
I would love a tutorial on painting the face. Those of us who aren't artistic could sure use it!
Karen - you are so generous sharing that pattern! For someone out of their comfort zone, you did a wonderful job. I just love Prudence!!
Get out of here. You have never made a doll before, well you fooled us. She is superb...
I just love her facial features and hair. Great job all around.
Doll making is alot of fun and addicting I must say. I have made many in my day from ceramic to cloth dolls. Enjoy!!
She is awesome,, makes my doll look first grade. You did a great job on her, she looks so authenic..
What bout the clothes.. Real cute on her and wouldn't you love to see all our colors.. lol
This doll is so cute. I have saved the pattern now and when I get some more time I will try to make one.
For not having done something before, you certainly found your way through the process and created a good old-fashioned looking doll. It will go well with your miniature quilts that you have made. Are you going to try making another one or two?
I loved dolls as a child but my daughter never did. Hard to understand.
thanks Kaaren! I love to play with dolls and i recently gave away one of the ones I made so I am due for a replacement!
looks good........and a great pattern you could change easy I am sure for a few other "looks".........
Your Prudence is precious. You are one talented lady. Thank you for sharing. I would be interested in the face painting tutorial.
Kaaren, Wow. That is awesome! you did a great job. I would love to see a face tutorial.
Welcome to the new addition to your family. She looks great with your lovely little Irish Chain.
She's soooo pretty! And your painting skills are amazing, you make it look so easy.
You know how I have been fretting about painting faces and I know your step by step face painting tutorial will surely help.
I have also downloaded your doll pdf file, I may just make another ;)
Kaaren, Prudence is a doll, LOL. She is so cute and I was the opposite of you, played with dolls all the time till my cousing told me we were to old to play with them. (I think I was in Jr. High) Would love to see how you painted the face and clothes.
OMG! She is wonderful! I especially love the clothes! And your faces are awesome!
Wow Kaaren, that was an impressive first go! She's adorable and looks right at home with a little quilt. I would definitely love to see a tut on face painting, I'm sure you have some great tips and tricks.
What a wonderful doll and tutorial! I have some problems in downloading the pattern, though...
in all honesty i can't say i'm surprised. there is simply no end to your talent kaaren. she is beautiful and her face looks almost life like. can't wait to see your next wonderful creation!
Such a sweet face. She is lovely.
Darling!!! Thank you so, so much for sharing your pattern! I've made so many dolls, but finally have my own little dd and can hardly wait to make another...a very darling old-fashioned one with the sweetest face!
I just saw his on the JM group update. Oh Kaaren, she is wonderful!!! thanks for the tutorial too. It seems so difficult but when you break it down, it seems humanly possible. HAHAHA. Not that I would "go there"...I think that's more "expert level" than I am qualified to tackle. LOL!I love Prudence, and that name is just so perfect for her!
Prudence is fabulous!! I would love to see a step-by-step on the painting of the face -- can't imagine doing that!
I'm head over heels in love with your new Prudence! OMG is she just not the best addition to small quilts?! I'd never be able to tackle a face as lovely. I'm thinking adoption and how she would look lovely here in the hollow.
I just love Prudence! Amazing - you just made your own pattern - and she turned out wonderfully! I've been wanting to make some dolls for a long time - but they seem so complicated (especially the painting). I'd really love to see the tutorial on how you did her face! Great job, Kaaren!!! She's wonderful!
After almost finishing your post Kaaren, I thought, well, I could make that doll EXCEPT for the face. And then you read my mind and said you would help us! Wow, that would be so cool. Her face is beautiful and you are so talented.
Way toooooo cute!!!!!
Doesn't Prudence need a little sister?
She is adorable!!!
What an incredible doll you created! Great job!
She is just too adorable for words!!
Prudence is a great doll. Thank you for sharing her and her pattern and I think you have a few quilts finished to keep her warm, don´t you?
She's so incredibly sweet.
The dolls I made for a Doll Exchange had blank faces - I have no artistic talent but lots of paints!
Would love some instructions on how to paint and what is the best brand to use
Thanks for the PDF
Very well done, she came out beautifully.
I have tons of older books and magazines with dolls, I used to do a lot of them.
You did a fantabulous job on your doll and she is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your work and your freebies as well. You are very gracious. Tutorial for the face would be fantabuous also.
Bless you. Jack...
I love Prudence, and would love a tute on her facial goodness - ta very much!
I love Prudence! Thank you for the free pattern and I would love to see a tutorial on how to do her face.
Ack! I can't believe how far behind I am in blogging. But what nice entries to catch up on! :) Your Prudence is SO fantastic! I love the name, too--it's my iPhone's name. ;)
Charming! I put a link to this post on my blog at http://needlework.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-primitive-doll/2010/06/15/. I hope it brings you a few extra visitors.
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