Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fabric Nesting Dolls - Challenge No. 19 Submission

I had about three competing ideas in my head for this challenge, a lot of procrastination and one extension (did you notice we pushed this a week?).  My oldest daughter is a really into "family" right now - in fact, her lovey aka "Towel" has a family now: her stuffed monkey is Towel's brother, her blanket is Towel's mommy, and her sleeping bag is Towel's daddy. Don't ask me, she has a vivid imagination that I'm happy to foster and roll with. So for this Toy Challenge, I wanted to keep with the family theme.

While craft blog reading one day, I came across this fun blog called Made by Joel - Joel creates toys for his kids. I was looking around and then saw these: Fabric Nesting Dolls. A-ha, the perfect craft for the Toy Challenge!

I switched up the original instructions a bit, but the idea is the same.

I made sure to position the front & back so that I could get a peek at the felt from the front.
I highly suggest making your own - these are really cute toys! And what a cute gift to give to other kids, for birthdays or maybe when a new baby is born...

Generally following the original tutorial, here are the changes I made:

  1. Use Canvas for the front - it's great for painting
  2. Use REAL felt for the back (I have an affinity for real felt & had leftovers; ok ok, I keep a decent stash on hand).
  3. Use pinking shears to cut the shapes (it's pretty and eliminates hemming the bottom)
  4. Top stitch right onto the outside of the "doll" instead of sewing and flipping (so you're sewing onto the right side, hence the pretty pinking)
  5. Add color to the 'people'
When I tried to explain what I was making to my husband, his two comments were: is this really a toy? (He's a stickler for the submission being accurate to the challenge) and can you put long pants on me? The answers were YES it's a toy (picture proof below) and NO, we're all having stick legs in our portraits! :)

They are all "comfy & cozy" as my daughter would say, i.e., they fit well as a bundled / nestled pack.
For real, these Painters by Elmers are amazing! I will definitely snag a couple more colors next time I'm at the craft store.
potentially my newest obsesseion FABRIC PAINT PENS! Brilliant!

I practiced sketching before the final paint hit the canvas. I tried linen, but it was too flimsy to draw on - for me.

Real felt is so nice & thick.

Just below, I used random circular shaped items to draw the "arch" on each doll. That's my removable fabic / invisible ink fabric pen. I drew right onto the front so that I'd have a guide once I started sewing.

Just give these a spray of water, and the ink will quickly disappear. It's like magic. :)

After stitching together, trim off the arch and start sketching. I am NO ARTIST and cannot draw to save my life. These shapes however were super easy.

My trick: when I was at Joann's the other day, I snapped a couple pictures with my cell phone of iron on decals for family stick figures. I used those pictures as a reference to figure out how to draw these. I combined the hairstyle from one w/ the arm pose of another, etc to suit our personalities.

We've got the carpenter, the knitter (I wasn't about to try and draw a sewing machine), the sassy, hand on hip big sis with her Towel, and the curly haired sweetie little sis (with her special blanket too).

I finger pressed the canvas edges up a little so that the felt showed more - wanted that pop of color!

I think this constitutes playing and qualifies as a toy in my book! :)

I hope you like these Fabric Family Dolls, and if so, do me a favor and vote for them! :)
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