Inspiration: A discussion had come up on the Geochums website (a forum that I belong to with a bit of a local geocaching flavor) about making dolls like the site's mascots, Lonnie & Lattie. I figured, why not? At the time (back in something like 2005 or 2006) I made two really large versions (Lattie in orange and Lonnie in green). Then I made some smaller ones. Then I thought, well, Lonnie & Lattie had 4 kids - East, West, South & North, and I made those in other colors (yellow, purple, red & blue). I eventually just started making them in any scrap material I had around that looked kind of neat and in different sizes. Just not the really large ones (took too much stuffing). So I have a medium, a small, and a tiny. I even once made an itty bitty one but it was too hard to stuff so I'm not doing that again.
How I Make Them: I made different size templates by taking image files from the website and printing them at different sizes using Word (kind of lazy, but it worked). For the sizes I like, I eventually copy them onto cardboard so they last a little longer (image). I trace the templates onto the wrong side of the material (which is folded in half with right sides facing). I cut them out leaving at least a 1/2 in margin (larger in places that would be a tight cut) (image). I sew along the traced line leaving the side of one of the legs open to turn the doll out and stuff it. Then I trim closer to my stitched edge and cut little triangles out around the head to help with the turning (image). Then I turn it out. I use a plastic yarn darner to help push the edges as far out as they'll go (image). Then I stuff the doll and sew it closed it with nice hidden slip stitch.
- Obviously any material can be used. I started with solid colors and then moved on to patterns and scraps. The ones with the flowers in the lead photo are from a table cloth that accidentially got cut in a way that couldn't be fixed.
- Different sizes - large, medium, small, teeny. As long as you can successfully turn it and stuff it, it'll work.
- Ornaments - sometimes I add a ribbon between the right sides before sewing that can be used to hang the doll as an ornament.
- Embellishments - I've never added a face to these, but I have a friend who drew a face on with a Sharpie for her daughter who couldn't stand it without one. A face and even clothing items could be embroidered on before or sewn on later with buttons and other accent pieces (hmmm, I may have to do this sometime).