Waldorf-style doll made by Linda Theil.
I have been hoping to replicate that enjoyment by making my grand-daughter a baby-doll, but I wanted a soft doll for her, so I checked out the doll patterns on the Web and discovered the Waldorf-style doll would be exactly what I wanted.
I bought Maricristin Sealey's Making Waldorf Dolls (Hawthorn Press, 2005) and watched many of the myriad Waldorf doll-making videos on YouTube.
I studied the information, and it looked so daunting, I decided I'd see if I could find a doll-pattern from one of the pattern companies that might make the process a little more accessible to me. I purchased Simplicity pattern #2809 for a 15-inch cloth baby-doll and gave it a try.
Cloth doll made with Simplicity pattern #2809
I didn't want to handicap my efforts by not having the proper tools, so I purchased $50 worth of materials and equipment from Weir Crafts, an online site that specializes in Waldorf doll-making supplies. I bought:
- a beautiful fine, cotton-knit, doll-skin fabric,
- wool stuffing that is de rigueur for Waldorf dolls (no fiberfill for these babies!),
- cotton gauze tubing for making the head,
- a set of doll-making needles (very handy!)
- some ball-point needles for my sewing machine
- and patterns for making the dolls and clothes.
Even though I had the Sealey book that also has patterns in it, I thought the Weir patterns might be useful; I was looking for the key bit of information that would crack the doll code for me.
The key to the Waldorf doll is the method for attaching the head -- which includes stuffing the head and creating a "muff" that will fill the doll torso, before attaching the head and muff to the body. For me, this method worked better than stuffing after the head is attached that was featured in the Simplicity pattern.
Close-up view of Linda Theil's Waldorf doll.
Emerson tucked her new dolls and her old bear in for their nap.
Kathe Kruse video, "How Waldorf Dolls are Made"