cloth dolls, crafts, Princess dolls, removing stains from cloth dolls, sewing, stuffed dolls, tiny dolls
I made these for my granddaughter for her birthday last week – Two Little Princess Dolls, barely 5 1/2″ tall. It was a challenge to make them heavy. I believe doll legs and arms should flop down when you hold them so I filled the bottom part of the legs with sand to give them weight. I also half-filled the arms with sand too. The rest of the body is filled with fiberfill.
Actually, I only made the dresses and tiaras last week and put new hair on them. I created the pattern for these dolls back in 1985, inspired by the work of Joan Russell from the early 60’s. I made about 20 of these little dolls. Most were given away and I don’t even remember who I gave them to. I embroidered my name and date, J A Monroe 1985, on the back of each doll and every one was different, with a different combination of eye and hair color.
Alas, when we moved to North Carolina from Miami in the 90’s, we went through a flood and the five remaining dolls were submerged under flood water for several days. They got badly stained. The original hair was a silky “dry clean only” cord that couldn’t handle water. Here you can see some of the bad staining.
Fortunately, I was able to bleach out the stains using full strength bleach on a cotton swab. You can see how perfectly the bleach is removing the black stain. I removed the ruined hair from two dolls and sewed on hair of embroidery floss. The blond hair doll used to have black hair. What a change!
The tiaras were made by first wrapping and gluing wooly nylon thread around a wire frame. Then beads were wired to the frame.
The clothing was so fun to design! It was a challenge to find fabric with the right amount of drape. For such a tiny doll, the fabric had to be thin and soft. The pink dress was made from a vintage silk scarf. The blue, sequined lace was from A Gilded Life. The blue dress has one snap and the pink dress has a hook in back so the dresses can be removed.
Click the photos so see a larger image for detail. Both dolls have heads fully covered with embroidered floss; I figure if little brother ever gets hold of them and pulls off the long hair, they’ll still have embroidered hair, albeit short. The brown haired doll’s hair is left long and can be slightly styled. To make the curls, I wrapped a tendril of floss with glue around a waxed toothpick and let it dry. It slid right off the waxy toothpick. The blond doll’s hair is stitched into a bun.