Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Little Russian Dolls

I've had a couple of birthday presents to find for little girls recently, October seems to be a very popular birthday month. These Russian Dolls are one of my favourite girl presents to make, I've made them a few times now.

I got the original idea from this book

Here on Amazon.

Can you see the little Russian dolls at the bottom? They're very cute.

In the book the front and back are just sewn directly together, but I prefer to hand sew a circle of wool (or felt) at the bottom, so that they stand up - although to help with that I also hand sew a weight on the inside of the wool circle first (I use the kind of weight you can get to put in the bottom of curtains to make them hang beautifully). 

These are the dolls at various stages of the making. The purple one is ready for its ric rac before sewing the front and back together and stuffing. You can see one completed (one of Maria's) with the circle of wool as a base.

In the book the dolls are given little blankets and there are instructions for making a fabric basket. I decided mini sleeping bags would be much more fun for little hands than the blankets. And the first time I made them I really didn't get on very well with the fabric basket idea (mine was rubbish!), so I decided to put them in a real basket. And I actually much preferred them that way so I've stuck with it ever since (charity shops are always a very good source of baskets). I did mention yesterday that I like to tinker a little with instructions, didn't I?!

The sleeping bags are very easy. I make my 'front' and then get a plain piece of fabric and sew them together just along the top, right sides together.

I often add a bit of applique now and then sew some quilting lines. Here's another one at this stage, with its oblong of wool ready for the back of the sleeping bag.

And then, again with right sides together, I sew the 'front' and the wool back together.

If you wanted to be neater I'm sure you could add extra stages to avoid any raw edges on the inside of the sleeping bag. Or you could make it in an entirely different way - the sleeve of a wool jumper or a sock perhaps?

Here are the dolls with their sleeping bags:

Each doll has a pretty button sewn on next to her face.

I always make a quick, thin 'mattress' for the basket too.

And here they are all tucked up together.

Hopefully just right for a little girl's present.

Back again tomorrow, Sally.


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  2. Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.


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