After making Luna Lapin and Rowan the Redtail Squirrel I was on a roll. It was a case of can’t stop, won’t stop! I had enough felt for one more adorable doll, this time Daisy the Herdwick Sheep.
I cut my sheep out in natural coloured wool with a green floral print for the ears and feet.
The sewing was pretty uneventful. I worked on her slowly, and I brought her to a family gathering at New Years. They all agreed she was already adorable, even before she was put together. I wasn’t sure about the textural bits at her wrists and ankles, and they took a decent amount of time to do, but in the end I decided they are pretty charming.
Once all the bits and pieces were done I added the facial details and then assembled my sheep.
She turned out like this. I am smitten!! I asked my sisters for naming advice again and we decided on Anita Woolsworth. Stay tuned for some cute doll clothes!
After making Ginger Flufftail, I made her an apron. I put the apron on her and fell in love with it, so I decided to make myself one.
I loved the circle skirt shape of the pattern for the doll. I looked at patterns online, but nothing seemed quite right and I didn’t want to drive somewhere to print a PDF pattern (I don’t have a printer), so I decided to take the doll pattern and size it up to fit me. The Luna Lapin dolls are 18” tall, and I am 64” tall, so I did a little math and found that I could multiply the doll measurements by 3.5 to get a pattern piece that was appropriate for my height. So that’s what I did.
Once I had drafted my pattern piece, I held it up to myself and made a few adjustments. Then I was ready to go!
I found a gorgeous cotton Duck at Hobby Lobby that had Impressionist Watercolour flowers for the body of the apron, and a coordinating quilting cotton for the binding in a blue spruce colour. There was a limited quantity of fabric, so I cut the strap off my pattern and made this a separate pattern piece. I also had to fold back the edge of my main pattern piece to make it fit on the full width of the fabric, so I lost a little fullness in the skirt.
I am always amazed at how quickly construction is completed in sewing. When knitting, construction takes 95+% of the time spent, whereas in sewing construction could take as little as 5% of total time spent. In this case, construction consisted of four short seams: attaching the straps to the main body, then crossing these over themselves and seaming them onto the apron front. I put the apron on at this point, looked in the mirror, and was enchanted by what I was making!
So on I went to the finishing work. I used an overlock stitch to finish the raw edges of my seams. Then I cut a bunch of bias, ironed it into bias tape, and sewed one side down to the apron. Then I ironed it again and pinned the other edge in place and top-stitched it down. Applying bias to this style of apron is so interesting because there is only one edge, so you can apply the bias all in one pass! I guess this is one of those times when I have to admit that geometry is cool.
With that the apron was finished! I was so happy that it was every bit as swingy as the pattern promised to be! I LOVE how this came out, and I low-key want to make another version that is a standalone dress.
So there you have it – you can take doll clothes and translate them into human clothes with a little math.
After making Dolores de Lapin (Luna Lapin) I couldn’t stop! I had to make more! I had ordered felt for a rabbit, a squirrel, and a sheep, so I chose to make the squirrel next.
I cut the body pieces out of reddish and white felt from The Felt Pod, and the tail pieces from red faux-fur from JoAnn’s that matched my felt surprisingly well (especially since I bought the faux-fur before I received the felt in the mail!). The feet are scraps from making my plaid Bruyere top.
I learned from making my rabbit, and did as much by machine as I could. These animals take a lot of time and can be really hard on one’s hands to make, so any help I can get from the machine is appreciated.
As with my rabbit, I stuffed the squirrel with alpaca fleece seconds. My kitty enjoyed taking a nap on these while I was working.
I had a hard time with the face. There is a lot going on here, and there is not a lot of space to work in. I found it to be very important to leave the back-of-the-head seam open to sew the throat piece on so there would be room to maneuver the piece around in.
After a few days my squirrel was finished! I whipped her up a cute little cross-back apron (it’s reversible!) and giggled with glee about how cute she turned out.
My sisters helped me name her: Ginger Flufftail. The Flufftails are an ancient family of squirrels that are excessively proud of their voluminous and shapely tails, much like the Proudfoots of Hobbiton are proud of their large and hairy feet. I feel like I should write a book on the subject.
I first saw Luna Lapin several years ago on The Crafty Creek’s blog. At the time, I thought Luna was cute, but that stitching a doll by hand was too much effort. And what did I need a bunny doll for? Since then, and it came on gradually, I started to want my own Luna Lapin. I recently saw Sarah Peel’s third book, Luna Lapin: Making New Friends, at my local Barnes and Noble, and my sisters got it for me for Christmas. I ordered my felt from The Felt Pod, and got started.
I traced the pattern pieces for Luna and cut out my pieces. I chose a blue floral for the ears and foot-pads. This fabric was a scrap from something my mom made me as a kid.
I didn’t have any sewing thread on hand that matched my felt, so I used a single strand of embroidery floss to stitch my rabbit. I made sure to wax the thread for strength. I stuffed the rabbit with alpaca seconds from a fleece I was given several years ago.
The final touches were embroidering her face and adding her tail. I used a bit of angora fleece for the tail, which felt like a very appropriate choice.
I sewed on my bunny for four days. I would estimate she took 10-12 hours to complete, but the time was very enjoyably spent. The majority of the construction uses whip stitches, with a little back stitch and machine stitching thrown in for good measure.
With my rabbit done, I started on a simple wrap dress. I used the pattern for Luna’s Sailor Dress, but omitted the collar. I used the lace that was already on this fabric panel (another scrap from my childhood) to lengthen the dress, and closed it with a ribbon tie, rather than buttons or snaps.
I am delighted with how my dolly came out. I’m actually rather surprised by how much I enjoyed the process and how much I love the finished product. I decided to name her Dolores de Lapin (although, she goes by D. D. Hare when she’s feeling adventurous). I have felt for a squirrel and a sheep, too, so watch this space!