Monday, July 25, 2011

Mia's new kimono doll

Mia is at that stage where everything goes straight into her mouth. I've been wanting to make her a doll for some time, but wanted to avoid making one that would have to sit on a shelf for 2 more years until it was safe for her to play with it. After making my first doll a few weeks ago for a friend's baby, I got to thinking how it might be fun to combine a cloth doll with the clothes I'd been making, as well as tackle the problem of making a doll that's safe for a 9 month old to play with. Enter the kimono doll...

I altered the pattern I made for my friend's doll - mostly just changing the face shape. First time around I forgot that I hadn't factored in seam allowances to the original pattern and ended up with a pieces for a doll that would have been rather thin. Oops. Second time round was more successful.

Thinking that the hair is really the major problem for a younger baby, I decided on using fixed cloth hair... the sewing equivalent of lego hair. It took a little bit of trial and error to work out the right shape. The first attempt looked like a Darth Vader helmet.

As far as clothes for the doll, I decided to make the juban and the kimono, plus an obi. I could have made a petticoat, but minimizing the clothes made sense for a doll that's meant for a younger baby. The main reason I made the juban was so that I could experiment with the kimono pattern on some plain fabric first.

The juban turned out well and so I added in 0.5 - 1cm on each of the seams for the kimono so that it would fit nicely over the top. For my next doll, I'll cut a wider lining for the kimono and allow at least 1cm more on each side of the front to give more of a crossover on the front of the kimono. I chose to use the same fabric that I made Mia's kimono dress from as I had some leftovers. I still had some binding leftover from that too, so just sewed two open pieces together along the long sides to form the obi.

On went the face, just simple triangular eyes and a curved mouth using embroidery threads, and a sakura decoration on the hair. Am very happy with the finished product, as was Mia this morning when she met her new doll.

I thought geta (sandals) might be something to add, but I haven't yet decided how to embroider them on so they actually look like geta. I'm also thinking of sewing the obi down at the back so that it doesn't come open when Mia discovers it.

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