The Windy Woods Girls

This is a little image I have scanned in from an old Noddy book which was published in the 1950s. The pictures in it are beautiful – all full colour and totally endearing, by a Dutch illustrator named Beek. These littlies are nine dolls who are entrusted to Noddy by their mother to be taken on a picnic to Windy Woods where they eat “egg sandwiches, tomato sandwiches, banana sandwiches. Chocolate biscuits, ginger biscuits. Fruit cake and ginger cake. Lemonade and orangeade.” Sounds like my kind of picnic.

I haven’t made any little dolls or soft toys in ages. I am still slowly working on a commissioned doll but apart from that my crafting has all but stopped for now. I am busy enough not to miss it exactly, but occasionally I get a little pang of longing to start making little characters again, especially when I stumble across an illustration such as this. I think I might try to find the time to make nine dolls inspired by these girls some time next year. Each one is so cuddly looking.

Today I visited a friend from my old mother’s group who has just had a new baby – her third girl. A couple of other friends from mother’s group were there too with their kids of various ages from 3 and a half down. All girls. All lovely enough to totally melt your heart. And if you include the two girls who are in utero (mine and another who is due in two weeks) it adds up to nine girls. I think I may know where I will get the dolls’ names from.

I haven’t developed a new pattern for the longest time. The last time I sat down to try I found that I was completely at a loss — I have been making creatures using almost exactly the same pattern for a year and a half, not that I’ve made hundreds of them, but surely it’s time to try something new. Actually, now that I look at them, it wouldn’t be too difficult to adapt the existing pattern to make a similar cuddly doll. Phew! I may just escape from scary pattern design once again!

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18 Responses

  1. That is so sweet and charming! I feel abit sorry for boys…

  2. Love the dolly girl scan.

  3. What a brilliant idea! I cannot wait to see the girls in real life. I just love the illustrations from the children’s books of this era. I have some of my father’s books and they are just beautiful. And nine girls! That is rare. Everywhere I take Alice at the moment there are only boys, which has led to her current catch-cry of “Me No Like Boys”.

  4. They’re adorable. I’m sure you’ll get back into crafting and sewing. Give yourself time. I find that I do it when I want to, not when I feel like I “should” or “have to.” Whenever I try to force it, inevitably, my stitches are sloppy and the end result is poor.
    And I didn’t know you were having another little girl. Congratulations!

  5. Did you just sneak into your post that you’re officially having a girl??
    🙂 Guess those quilt colors are perfect afterall!

  6. i love your ideas for the nine dolls…and the nine picnic items. fun!

  7. Your dolls are amazing!

  8. those dolls are precious! can’t wait to see your take on them 🙂

  9. Your current pattern is excellent and the nine doll project sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  10. I do hope you make those dolls at some stage, that illustration is utterly adorable. Not that you’ll have time to burn next year either…!

  11. Hi Loobylu, I’m enjoying your blog and I’ve added you to my list of links. I have two (c-section)sons, and of course, find myself surrounded by boys and the mothers boy filled families. What is it that decides some of us should have daughters and some of us sons? There seem to be less mixed siblings these days! Best wishes for a happy birth.

  12. I love the Noddy books. I’ve got the full set from before they got all politically correct and took out the golliwogs. They’re beautiful stories and illustrations.
    I hope you get back to the doll-making, you’re so good at it!

  13. Fantastic idea. That illo is so sweet, too. I can just picture how lovely they’ll be.

  14. I can see why you are inspired by the illustration, the nine little dolls are adorable. Thanks for the info on the artist, I think I may have some other things around here that he illustrated. His style is wonderful!

  15. says:

    fantastic.I BAGS ONE!
    Thats if you decide to sell them 🙂 But you’ll probably just give them to the nine little girls. But then again….if you dont 😉

  16. Those girls are just beautiful. I love the idea of a series. Can’t wait to see you recreate them in your usual great style. I read this post this morning after spending last night wrestling with a doll’s pattern myself. I agree – pattern making is tricky! 🙂

  17. That illustration is just so cute! I’d love to start making some softies and maybe that wee picture is the push I need! Thanks Claire.
    Can’t wait to see your’s as I know they’ll be fabulous!

  18. So cute I can not wait to see them! They will be totally lovely, I just know it *smile*!!