with four little girls—and yes, even my one boy (although years from now i’m not certain he’ll be happy this is on the internet so we’ll just say mainly the four girls) i’m sure you can imagine that we have no shortage of baby dolls around here for playing with. truly at this very moment i can walk into the family room and trip over no less than a dozen in various stages of undress—clothes and shoes and plastic paraphernalia scattered about.
but. BUT. i’m growing and changing and it’s taken me almost 13 years of motherhood to learn some muy importante lessons. it goes back to the overalls and really even the blankets—same principle, different application. handmade. momma-made. made for comfort, made with love. one hand-sewn wool and natural material baby doll over a dozen plastic disposable ones.
i set out to make a REAL baby doll for elliot. and jeremy and i discussed the fact that she may well hate it. it wouldn’t be the first time a child hated a doll i made them. but i persevered—secure in the knowledge that eventually it would be appreciated and loved.
now before i show you elliot’s baby doll i need to warn you—i’m the kind of mom that calls a spade a spade. or, in this case, if i’m making a girl baby doll, it’s gonna be a girl baby doll ifyaknowwhati’msayin’. i don’t buy into sexless gender neutral babies in general. it’s a fact of life and a part of their body and it should be addressed as such because there’s nothing shameful or embarrassing about it.
all that to say: warning, this baby’s got a cooch. ;) and what’s more—she’s got a belly button and a hiney and a poopy diaper. and you’re gonna see it all if you keep scrolling.
there are some changes this time around. i added padding to the chin and cheeks for a fuller face. and i’m still battling what’s apparently called in the doll-making world “ghost neck”—that wrinkling around the chin area. but this one is better than the peyton doll.
i went through the same issue with the arms again—making i believe six different (ugly and unusable) arms before i realized this issue wasn’t ME or the FABRIC—i wasn’t happy with the shape of the arm pattern i was using. duh. so i redrafted it and i’m much happier.
her head is made from pure wool covered with dolskin—yes, that’s what it’s called. the hardest part of doll making is finding a good color for skin fabric. i finally broke down and ordered this online where you can choose from colors like “blush” and “sun-kissed”, and while the color was perfect, i wasn’t crazy about the fabric itself. quite a bit thinner than i expected, and prone to runs. but Baby is a bit less…err, anemic looking than Peyton dolly. which is a good thing i think.
do you like her binky?
elliot is obsessed with baby binkys, even though she never really used one. now please don’t send me hate mail or warnings because i’m content that what i’ve done is SAFE. Baby has a small yet powerful magnet hidden behind her mouth. the only way to get at it would be with a sharp pair of scissors, and if elliot has those then i think the magnet is the lesser problem.
i took a binky we had lying around (because when your baby uses them you can’t ever find one TO SAVE YOUR LIFE, but apparently when your baby doesn’t use them you can still find them floating around 2 years later) and cut off the nipple part. i glued in another magnet then secured the whole works with clear sealer stuff—the whole thing is encased in a clear hard cover basically, so while you can see the magnet—trust me—that bad boy is NOT coming out.
magnet to magnet, binky stays firmly attached. boom. happy baby.
here comes nekkie Baby:
elliot loves every part of this doll. she’s a very smart kid, and recognizes the similarities: the toes! the belly button! the butt! she was amazed and excited by it, pointing out and naming everything. kids are like that, right? they notice any little difference.
here’s one lousy photo of her changing Baby’s diaper for the first time. she was seriously amazed by the belly button and bottom.
you can’t see her face, but trust me—she loves it.
Baby is stuffed and weighted with special little pellets made for stuffing and weighting, um…stuffed things. it makes her really nice to hold, and the little pebbles give her bottom a bit of a cellulite-y appearance. ha.
i love how the big fat belly is so much like a real newborn baby’s shape—that fat round belly and scrawny little chicken arms and legs.
her hair. oh the hair! i don’t care for the look of yarn hair. i used embroidery floss on the peyton dolly, which was cute but very time consuming. and i wasn’t totally satisfied with the results—i wanted something more natural looking, but really couldn’t find any definitive answers on how to get that in any of the online tutorials i read.
eventually i decided to give natural wool roving a try. i bought a needle punch and small pack of this brownish-reddish roving at joann’s and dove in.
you hold the roving where you want it and then punch punch punch with the tool, the idea being that the fibers of the roving will push through the “skin” layer to the natural wool stuffing i made the head from, where they will bind together to secure it. miranda from one little minute did a needle punch design on a sweater HERE if you’re interested in some other applications. it’s a really cool process—one i’m excited to do again on more projects (possibly a sweater like miranda’s?)
two nights in front of the tv and Baby had a head full of soft reddish hair. if the babes i made in my ute didn’t get my red hair then the ones i make with my hands will.
as for how it holds up? well, we’ll see. it’s pretty secure, but elliot just got her baby yesterday. so secure when i make it vs. secure enough when she drags it around a while??? i’ll update…
i wasn’t happy with just a baby doll though. i needed diapers! and not just clean diapers—poopy diapers! if you follow me on instagram you may have seen my post asking for opinions:
which felt color makes the best baby poop? spoiler alert: mustard yellow. we’re breastfeeding advocates up in hurr.
quick poo making tute, just cause someone’s gotta do it:
1. draw a poo shape on appropriately colored felt.
2. sew two layers of felt together. trim edges and clip corners (we wouldn’t want messy poo, right?) cut a slit in the center of bottom layer.
3. turn poo right side out.
4. lightly stuff that poo.
5. position on diaper and topstitch down.
6. finish diaper.
googiemomma: leading the internets in tasteless tutorials since 2010.
i do my baby doll diapers from one layer of fleece and one layer of just white cotton. cut diaper shape, sew right sides together, turn right side out, topstitch. i used pink velcro to make little tabs for the front.
i did one poopy diaper and two clean diapers.
so there you go. and that’s really all i planned on doing. this size baby fits quite well in premie sized sleepers, and so that’s what i was going to dress her in.
but i’m nothing if not an over-achiever, so i didn’t stop there. oh no i didn’t. however…i read once that people generally give up reading something after about 1000 words and this is probably close to 10,000 at this point so what say we cut it here and address the rest tomorrow? good? good.