Monday, March 25, 2013

Quirky toys and dolls.

I have a new crafty obsession...making dolls and stuffed animals. {You might have noticed this if you follow me on Pinterest, because you were hit with a barrage of doll-related pins this weekend. :) Sorry about that. I use Pinterest to keep up with pages I don't want to lose!}

It's not really a new obsession, because I've made them in the past (little blog time machine right here: Audrey, puppy, doll with braids, and other doll). And I haven't made any more yet, but I'm itching to. I don't think this is coming from the fact that I'm going to have a niece or nephew later this year (though I will definitely be sewing soft toys for the baby!). This is selfish sewing because I want a couple of these sitting around my room. :)

Making toys is special. It's hard to explain, but it's different than sewing clothes or things for your house. For me, it's probably because I've always had a thing for stuffed animals. I liked dolls and all (I still have my beloved American Girl dolls- Josefina has some major split ends by now :), but I loved stuffed animals. My bed used to be covered with them. And up until I was about ten or eleven, I honestly believed they had feelings. {Can't believe I'm admitting this.} I would feel so guilty about the ones who wouldn't fit on my bed and who had to go elsewhere. I wanted them to all feel special and loved. :) I think Toy Story is probably to blame for this.

{Photo credits: top six photos, The Black Apple; bottom left, Chez Beeper Bebe; bottom center and right, Mimi Kirchner}
And besides, I am not a fan of modern toys. All the flashing lights and loud noise and hard wonder so many kids have attention problems now! Look at what they're exposed to from the time they're born. {My early childhood development classes gave me firm opinions about certain things, and this is one of them.} When I have kids someday, I want them to play with soft handmade dolls and wooden trucks and blocks, and I don't want them to know how to play games on smart phones or tablets when they're toddlers.
Basically, I appreciate unique, quirky handmade toys. End of lecture. :)
I love the idea of making little dolls and all sorts of adorable accessories. Capes, berets, knitting bags! Too much cuteness.

If you're interested in this sort of thing, too, here are some books to check out. I own Wee Wonderfuls, and two of the books I've made have been from those patterns. It's a lovely book, with lots of toys for girls and boys.

We Make Dolls! came from Amazon last week, and it has more of a quirky style (as you can see from the cover- look at the tattooed man on the cover. He has quite an impressive moustache and I love his striped pants). I didn't love quite as many of these as I had hoped to, but there are still several that I will definitely be making. There are also interesting interviews with dollmakers inside. And the pattern pieces (all except for two of the patterns) are all full-sized in the book! I think enlarging patterns is a pain, so I appreciate that.

I don't own How to Make Stuffed Animals or Storybook Toys, but they're both on my wishlist now and they have good reviews. HtMSA has lots of whimsical woodland animals (and a narwhal!). I especially like the fox. You can read a review here. Storybook Toys features more traditional looking dolls, and they are absolutely gorgeous and professional looking. From the previews I've seen, this book is really detailed, especially when it comes to making the perfect yarn hair and such. You can read a review here. And check out this ridiculously adorable Lisa and Corduroy set the author made!

So...have you ever sewn toys?

Until next time,


  1. How fun! I've never made any toys, but I love the way they look (and I totally agree with you on the subject of modern toys... ugh). I actually bought "Storybook Toys" a few weeks ago and ordered all the stuff to make a doll, but I haven't done it yet. I need to sit down and cut the silly thing out. Once that's done, I shouldn't have any problem finishing it. :D

  2. What a great Blog, the home made toys look like so much fun, and a good excuse to get creative.

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