Hello and welcome Springtime! My favorite time is the Winter (and Autumn), and most of my other dolls reflect that. This year, I tried to generate some more purposeful excitement for the season – new colors! New images! I was looking forward to seeing some hyacinths which we planted in the Autumn… unfortunately the deer feasted on those as soon as they came up. But, they haven’t yet gotten to the Hyacinth Harlequin, who is happy despite the loss of his outdoor brothers and sisters.
- Assorted synthetic/wool/blend felt
- Wool roving
- Embroidery floss
- 4 or so chenille stems
- 1 oak twig
- 2 novelty bee buttons
- Air-dry clay
I tried to further improve the standing doll design. My brother suggested adding weight to the feet to help them stand upright, and at this small size the best solution seemed to be clay (they are too small for doll beads, and searching the internet for advice on weighting dolls brought up some… disturbing results). Since it’s all covered up in the end, I went for the least expensive air-dry clay at the art store. (As difficult as it was, I had to resist the temptation of the red Italian clay alluringly marked “GLUTEN-FREE”… a mystery for the future.)
I went for multicolored limbs this time! I couldn’t pick a favorite green.
This time I kept the two legs separate – they are the largest feet I’ve yet made on these dolls, and I had to push the legs into the body through the bottom, rather than pulling them through from the inside as before! I molded the clay directly onto the chenille stems, and after it dried wrapped the cotton and sewed the felt around them. Otherwise, I made the body in the usual way.
His pants are knitted in the round. I didn’t save a pattern because it was just by eye – increase, split off into two legs, a bit more increase, then decrease until they were long enough. I’ve had this purple yarn for years and never made anything with it!
His jacket is sewn from felt pieces. I made a not-very-different, but still-new design, with front buttons. I’m always on the lookout for super tiny novelty buttons (most are too big to look good on these small dolls) and was very happy when I found these bumblebees at Joann’s.
The hat was a little bit frustrating, but fun in the end. Initially I planned to needle-felt the entire thing. The round green base is needle-felted. However, I had trouble getting the blossoms tiny enough – it is really hard to estimate the proper amount of wool! So I cut them from felt sheets and sewed them on in rows, adding the felted spike at the end. It took quite a few shifts in between work and during meetings, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
And finally, the staff! I found a nice straight(ish) twig segment and painted it green (and later wrapped the middle in scrap yarn from the pants, cover up that thumbprint!). For the decoration, I needle-felted purple pompoms onto yellow and purple braided embroidery floss.
Finally, he was ready to bring in the Springtime! No hyacinths here, but he’s perfectly happy to pose with some violets(?).
Thanks for reading – ’til next time!