Making Waldorf-inspired handmade dolls

04 September 2014

"I will never get too old for dolls" and "I will never get tired of learning and creating" are two mutually exclusive statements that when put together results to "I want to go to a dollmaking workshop and learn how to make dolls."

This opportunity came last week when I saw an invite for a Basic Dollmaking Workshop in Mommy Jac of Dolldalita Dollshop's Instagram account. I am a fan of her dolls (I need this Batman doll in my life the way Batman needs his Batmobile) so after confirming with her that my sister and I can avail the P1,500 workshop fee that is supposedly for a mother-daughter pair, I immediately signed us up!

Instead of relaxing and lounging around the house last Sunday, Kyla and I spent almost three hours commuting to far far away BGC, more than three hours making our dolls, and almost two hours on the journey home to Navotas. We were tired and famished when we got home, but it was all worth it.

Disclaimer: unlike Meream who's a whiz when it comes to needle and thread, my knowledge when it comes to sewing is limited only to what I learned from our Home Economics classes in Elementary and High school. Still, I am SO proud to say I successfully finished this project!

Part of what makes the Dolldalita dolls extra-special is the fact that Mommy Jac makes everything by hand. Being a mom herself, she takes many factors into consideration: whether the stitches are strong enough and whether they will hold when the child plays with them; whether the doll's hair will stay in place or not; and whether they will still look okay even with wear and tear. I saw the dolls she made and I can attest to how well-made they are. Only a person who's very passionate about what they do can put that much attention on it the way Mommy Jac does.

I'm so thankful Mommy Jac already pre-cut the rayon knit for the head and limbs, because if not I don't think I would've been able to finish it.

My sister Kyla
Our dolls are collaborations between the two of us. I can see how it's a great bonding activity between mother and child.
This is the framework of the head before it's covered with another sheet of rayon knit
I summoned the craft gods and back-stitched and running-stitched until the head and arms of my doll have been attached to its torso and legs.

We used Worsted yarn and spooled and spooled and spooled for the hair

I have had quite a lot of dolls in this lifetime (including those I lost when we lost our house to a fire) but this one is the most special of all because I made her myself, although she doesn't have a name and clothes yet.
And here's my sister's
With Mommy Jac and her doll with multi-colored hair
For those who are wondering, our dolls don't have mouths because they are Waldorf-inspired dolls. The Waldorf style of teaching is that nature beats nurture, so when they give this Waldorf doll to a kid, they let him/ her form his/ her opinions on whether the doll is happy or sad depending on his/ her disposition that day.

It was a very challenging yet fun afternoon that we didn't really notice the clock ticking away. Mommy Jac is a very effective teacher and I found her tips really helpful. After the workshop, she emailed us the pattern we can use if we want to make more handmade dolls for personal use. If it turns out to be something I can really be good at, then I can save a lot of money on gifts, heh.

Photo from Mommy Jac
A lot of my friends got interested on the workshop after seeing my photo with my doll that they're now asking me whether Mommy Jac will hold other workshops anytime soon. Great news: YES, she will! She'll have a workshop at Craft MNL on September 27 and another Mommy & Me Basic Dollmaking Workshop at the Fully Booked BHS branch on October 26. Click on the links for more details. 

My sister and I enjoyed making our dolls so much, we stayed until almost midnight working on adding more layers of hair to our dolls!

Kyla used a different color of thread for her doll's eyes. However, she ran out of this thread so I suggested she sew on a different color and make it seem like her doll has eyeliner on, hihi. Same DNA and same hair color, but I imagine their personalities are polar opposites. Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefiled-opposites.

Now, I can really proudly say that I was able to make my own doll! If you love dolls and/ or crafts, now is the perfect time to learn to make them. For those who would like to check out the workshops, just kindly click on the links I have provided above. Happy Dollmaking! BUT if you don't want to go through this process anymore, Mommy Jac also has some dolls on sale. Check her Instagram page to see them. Dibs on the Batman doll, though! 。◕‿◕。

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