Dear Prudence


Yesterday I finally took a little leap of faith and starting working on a Waldorf doll.

I am calling her Prudence because if it hadn’t been for the gorgeous Waldorf dolls which Prudence makes and sells on Etsy, I would never have attempted it. Prudence, the doll, is a big tribute to Prudence in Montana, who inspired me to ignore the “rules” of Waldorf doll making (something which I have found very intimidating hence the reluctance to ever attempt this before) and do an alternative interpretation.

I like that she has injected huge amounts of personality into these dolls. They are a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Raggedy-Anne. Each one looks so incredibly sweet and endearing. I love their distinctive faces. Quite obviously I was very taken with her idea to use multiple soft and stretchy fabrics to make up the body rather than the traditional skin toned fabric. This is the bit that really appeals to me – lots of nice texture and crazy colours.

The head construction was challenging. I gotta tell you – if the Steiner ideal is to create a unique doll full of love, with a specific child recipient held lovingly in mind etc etc, then this poor wee doll is going to have to be stashed away in the cupboard because not a lot of love went into that head. A lot of “frigging” fleece went in, but not a lot of love. That being said, don’t let me put you off. Once I finally finished it I felt pretty sure I could do it again with far less struggle.

I did some free form cutting (that was fun) based losely on my rabbit pattern and came up with something that does quite well… if a tad derivative and just a little wonky.

Is there a way to avoid those little gathery puckers around her neck? I am hoping that goes with practice.

Yes – I want to make more now – I can see how people get quite addicted to it. I was thinking it would be fun to make each one without a pattern so no two are the same. That would be pretty radical for me – a person who has been making rabbits and cats from the same pattern for the last four years!

For those who might like to try it — I got all my supplies for the head from Winterwood here in Melbourne where I also got the book Making Waldorf Dolls by Maricristin Sealey which has very clear instructions. This tutorial helped a lot too – and Sooz has a great tutorial for a simple Steiner doll to get you started. Magic Cabin looks like the place to get your supplies in the States.