Doll design – cracked!

A good part of the last week has been spent tinkering away with my doll prototypes. Tinkering is a nice word for it really. It’s been more like CUT and HACK, RIP and CURSE. But I have finally made a doll that I can look at and think “yep, that’s where I was trying to get to.”
Here’s the final little sketch which I went from on Friday:

(I had to reconstruct it before I scanned it because it ended up being cut up as a pattern piece in the general frenzy).

And here she is:

All I wanted to make was something appealing, something easy and something that I could look at and see that I have left my mark on. Designing a new toy is not something I do very often. I don’t think I have done anything really new in years so it was pretty hard work for me. It was a completely creative pursuit but not entirely enjoyable.

Now I can play with the pattern – switching fabrics and giving her different hair… the fun stuff. I think I am going to change her legs a little and give her some feet, but apart from that it’s pretty much just trace and cut from now.

And just for fun, here’s the line up of rejects:

My main sources of inspiration in this project:

Rosa’s Ermelinda and Florinda (the reason I wanted to try dolls again in the first place), Fanja’s beautiful Lumi dolls, and everything Mimi’s ever made.

Thank you to the kind people who left really helpful and encouraging things in my comments or in emails last week. It helped a huge amount.

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63 Responses

  1. Yolanda says:

    i love her dress!! can i have one of your rejects? the one with the red hair?

  2. Alison says:

    It’s an overwhelming response for the poor rejected red head – she is beautiful. Congratulations on persisting and finishing – your final is a treat.

  3. Suse says:

    She’s lovely! Does she have a name yet?

  4. sbodi says:

    My daughter says it is wonderful, and I also think so!I was wondering if you’ll be selling some like these… please let me know.

  5. Abbie says:

    She’s lovely!That is so funny, though- Mimi is a friend of my mother’s, and it was funny to see one of my favorite blogs link to her!

  6. Kirsty says:

    She’s so gorgeous Claire & the “dis” pile is pretty cute too.

  7. skape7 says:

    She’s gorgeous! I also love the colours on the “reject” with the orange legs.

  8. Fran says:

    Just beautiful. Let’s compare “reject” piles some day – you’ll feel a whole lot better.

  9. lexi says:

    Oh she’s beautiful!

  10. Georgia says:

    She’s wonderful! Perfectly friendly and fun. :-)I love the hair on the orange legged one too.

  11. Jodie says:

    She’s very sweet, she looks like she has a secret!

  12. alyssa says:

    She’s wonderful! I love her hair!

  13. Michelle says:

    She’s great! I love her face – very Loobylu.I like the old style of doll too, though. Hope you’re not giving up on those!

    On another note, here’s a photo of two of your prints (plus three others) I put up in my sewing room this morning. I think they look just fantastic. Thank you for selling them to me!


  14. Danielle says:

    She is gorgeous. I love her fuzzy wuzzy hair.

  15. What a cute doll. I agree with Jodie – she looks like she has a secret just waiting to be told.

  16. Jhoanna says:

    She is so sweet and definitely has the distinct “Loobylu” look and appeal 🙂 I also really like the fabric you used on the ‘rejects’ and I think the one in the reddish hair is super sweet too.

  17. Karin says:

    Gosh, beautiful. I love the reject line up too.You are very inspiring for me.

  18. Meg says:

    Oh,she is so adorable! You’ve definitely left your mark. All of the hard work and cursing was worth it! Please please please don’t throw away your rejects, they’re super cute too! The hair and the dresses… Oh!

  19. I think she’s super cute – and I see a couple in the rejects pile that I’d be proud to own, too……Those Lumi dolls are so freaking gorgeous – I think they are the pinnacle of doll design for me – I am so insanely jealous of them! Yum!

    Looking forward to seeing the new ones in different outfits – the wee leggings! So cute!

    Leah xxx

  20. Kate says:

    I am also all about the rejected orange-legged lass – but the finished product is ridiculously cute. Congratulations on what must have been a draining, but hopefully rewarding weekend. New ideas take time, but this one looks like it was worth waiting for!

  21. Sherrin says:

    She’s gorgeous. I like her very much!!

  22. Tamara says:

    my goodness – what fantastic sewing and equally inspiring was your pile orf rejects. Will your pattern be on sale?

  23. isoinpapu says:

    So pretty! The doll is great. I also like the little chair she is sitting on.

  24. Cherry says:

    I’m going to sound like a complete parrot, but she is GORGEOUS and I too love the red-head reject.

  25. gigi wenger says:

    she’s beautiful! i adore her mischievious eyes and that little nose and the groovy striped dress! gigi

  26. Anna @ D16 says:

    Aww, Claire, she is so wonderful!

  27. Marta says:

    She’s gorgeous. And by the way I love the red haired reject and apparently I’m not the only one who does, maybe a rejected giveaway? lol

  28. Claire, this is perfect! What a lovely doll. I love the wool hair. Congratulations on the new design.

  29. Dbora says:

    Shes so beautiful!I love the photo of the “line up of rejects”:)

  30. Amy says:

    I love the redheaded reject! WOWEE. Inspiring stuff all round!

  31. read me... says:

    She’s great… and it’s a shame to call the others rejects!!

  32. meg says:

    I’m pretty fond of that redhead in the reject pile…Making a pattern for a soft toy is really frustrating and so time consuming, but you’ve done well. I can’t wait to see all the variations that come out of this simple rag doll.

  33. Alisa says:

    Congratulations!! Love some of those reject colour combinations. Gotta luurve playing with colour and yummy textures!

  34. Jeni says:

    I love her. 🙂 The discard pile has some really cute ones, too.I need to come up with a new doll design for my daughter who wants a doll “with hair I can braid!”

  35. Prue says:

    She’s adorable but I actually like the drawing better, as opposed to the finished doll, possibly because when I saw the drawing I assumed she had light hair. I think calico rag hair would be cute!

  36. rebecca says:

    she looks beautiful, i just love her hair!

  37. kirsten says:

    She’s very sweet! And very loobylu-ish. I need to figure out how to make dolly’s arms lay nicely like yours.Did you give her a name?

  38. Isabella says:

    I love your doll. It makes me want to sew one up, and I have boys, so I guess I’d have to find a girl to give it to as a present.

  39. Laura says:

    She’s very, very cute…Makes me want to run to my sewing machine!

  40. Di says:

    Great doll and don’t let the reject pile go to waste!! I am sure there are some more cute dolls in there somewhere!!

  41. Penny says:

    I love her, but your rejects pile is beautiful too!

  42. michelle says:

    Oh wow. She is wonderful! Unique and Oh-So-Very Loobylu!. Instantly with the eyes and legs it looks like something “Claire-Robertson” like. Congratulations on creating something new! … not an easy feat.

  43. Kathryn says:

    So cute! I especially like how you’ve done her hair. I’d love to see the version with feet too!Well done, Claire.

  44. chiara says:

    Hallo,She has a very very Loobylu style!

  45. Beth says:

    Super Cute. I love seeing the process for creating a new doll!

  46. Elise says:

    Very sweet and tres Loobylu. But the one in the reject pile with the red hair is adorable, can we see more of her?

  47. pip says:

    i love the rejects too!And i super love the final doll.Because superloving is the best kind of love, dontcha think!

  48. Mary Smith says:

    That doll is so cute, my daughters would go crazy for it!!! I just added you to my blog roll today. Thanks for the inspiration!

  49. Victoria says:

    All of them are just precious!

  50. Kari says:

    Now you are encouraging me! I had great visions of a doll, that now sits headless and abandoned in my studio. I think I’ll give her a second chance. (I like the red legged reject!)

  51. Taylor says:

    these dolls are amazing i want one1

  52. Carrie says:

    She’s just perfect!

  53. sosser says:

    adorable!! thanks for including the description of the struggles to get to the finished doll… knowing others are courageously overcoming the obstacles is powerfully inspiring 🙂

  54. lulu says:

    i love your dolls..wish i had one of your rejects, they are beautiful..

  55. Mary says:

    she would look absolutely darling with little black shoes!

  56. Katie8471 says:

    I love the little dolly! and she sits on a little Russian chair! how cute! do you have a russian baby?(I do thats why I asked)

  57. tiel says:

    just gorgeous. is that laura ashley fabric on her dress?

  58. laura says:

    I love her! I think the pile of rejects is gorgeous,too. Don’t forget them.

  59. Rehanna says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!Your persistence (or what I’ve seen of it) is inspirational! And the dolls look amazing. 🙂

  60. Victoria says:

    Very sweet – my elder daughter was very concerned about the prototypes “she isn’t going to throw them away is she mummy?”

  61. Nina says:

    Hi, I know this is an older post, but I was really impressed with the beauty of this doll. You have probably made heaps more since then…Happy making,Nina

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