A custom order its always such a pleasure to receive. For me, there are few things that beat the joy of creating something unique for someone exactly to their specification and knowing that it will be going to a good home where it will be enjoyed for years to come.
I was asked to make a baby Tilda Doll in the same style as the very first doll I made. This time though, I had a special request for her hair to be in two bunches because the recipient had a favourite doll with hair in this style when she was little.
Meet Rosie ...
I made Rosie following the Step by Step Instructions in my early post – Baby’s First Tilda Doll. Please refer back to that post if you want to make a doll yourself. everything you will need for the project is included there too.
There are a few extra tips included in this post too though. As with everything we humans do, you learn new things as you go along and hopefully improve with practice and I aim to share what I learn with you as I go.
The wonderful thing about making a doll for me is that no two are ever the same. Each is unique, with her own personality.
It is often the little finishing touches that make a doll really special for someone. I made the little heart for her dress from a tiny piece of waste fabric, a fused fabric heart and a small flower cut from of up-cycled lace.
I ironed the fabric heart onto fusible interface to stop the edges from fraying before I cut it out.
To see how to fuse fabric, check out my earlier post Heart Fusing Fabric – Some Like it Hot.
It’s always a pleasure to be able to make good use of things that would otherwise go to waste. As well as using up some very pretty fabric scraps left over from previous projects, I was also able to up-cycle three other pieces in my growing collection:
- A miniature reel of vintage thread wound onto an old fashioned little cotton reel – the sort you never ee any more – was indispensable for this project. The thread was an exact colour match for Rosie’s bunches, helping to conceal all my little stitches. Thanks Sue – this little gem was at the bottom of the box of goodies you sent me from your late Aunt’s sewing box found in your garage.
- The heart embellishment on Rosie’s dress was made using a small piece of this lovely pink bow that was once tied around a bunch of flowers. My friend Jenny kindly gave me this – and there is plenty of it still left for future projects!
- When I first started Heart Up-Cycling, my friend Maria at St. Mary’s Hospice gave me a stack of paper and card that she had been hanging on to that had been donated to the hospice. I was very pleased to find this piece of card pre-printed with labels and turned one into a pretty little name tag for Rosie.
Tips and Tricks
- A needle threader is a great time saver with small, fiddly projects like this. I discovered a little gem of a product to help with this task. This duck shaped needle threader by Hemline – is cheap and really very cheerful indeed! I have tried several versions of needle threaders, but this is the best I have come across.
- A Clover mini iron was also a great help for this project. It is very easy to burn yourself with a big iron – a mini iron makes it just so much easier to get all the seams pressed nice and neatly.
- The two baby Tilda dolls I made previously both had needle felted hair made with wool roving. For Rosie, I used genuine Tilda Doll hair and attached it using a mixture of needle felting and hand sewing, to make sure it was really firmly adhered. I needed a large number of pins to get her hairstyle right before I stitched it all into place. I really hope that Rosie didn’t feel anything!
- Bunka is a lovely substitute for ribbon – more delicate for a small doll like Rosie. I secured it in place with several tiny hand stitches to make sure it was very firmly attached.
I was working with a fat quarter of fabric for this project which meant I have quite a few bits left for future projects.
Watch this space! Keep reading for lots of ideas on how to up-cycle scrap material,
Would you like a Doll made especially for you?
I am always very happy to receive custom orders – in fact , this is how I really prefer to work – so please do contact me using the link below if you would like something made especially for you.
I donate all my profits to support the valuable work at Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice.