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a weekend of crafting

i said i wouldn't do it this christmas.  i said homemade gifts were usually more expensive and definitely more time consuming.  yet, somehow i spent most of the weekend working on a rag doll for indi for christmas.  

given that we posted about advent conspiracy (spending less/giving and worshiping more) and being we read a recent article stating that 1 in 3 toys was found to be toxic, we decided that we would like to make most of the kids' toys this year. dan is making some wooden toys and i am doing some sewing.

at first the idea of sewing a rag doll inspired me.  i thought i'd listen to christmas carols, have some alone time, drink tea, and participate in an activity that mothers around the world have done for hundreds of years.  then i started encountering one problem after another.  it took several attempts, lots of determination, and a few moments of cursing myself for not buying a gift on amazon instead.  i did, however, finish.  well, almost.  i didn't realize i needed a special embroidery needle for embroidery thread.  i only have the embroidery left.

here she is.  my all natural doll, made of cotton, stuffed with bamboo fibers, and topped with wool hair.

i had this idea that if we crafty mamas united (and i hesitate to call myself  "crafty" as this would be a huge overstatement) we could each make several of one thing and then swap.  so i could make 5 rag dolls which i would exchange with five different people for five different toys.  it certainly would be easier given that half the trouble and cost is on getting set up and making the first one.  now that i've made one, the next would be much easier.  this said, i will be taking a break from rag doll making for awhile.  but let me know if you're interested in this and we can plan something for next year!

i used this pattern.  if you would like to give rag doll making a try, i have a few recommendations that would make this project much easier.  email me or leave a comment if you are interested.

i had planned to make indi an outfit that would match her doll's, but i'm not sure i'll get to it.  at the very least, i hope to sew these pants in the same patterns as the doll's pants.   i'll post another photo when i finish the doll and when dan finishes his projects as well.


  1. WOW!!! she turned out great! and you say you are not crafty! isn't it funny how we have these norman rockwell visions of how things are going to go...and then they are the opposite? but you did it! and indi will treasure that doll forever!

  2. Oh my goodness, girl, CRAFTY you definitely are! That doll is beautiful! You are making me feel like a bad mommy... picking up my kids a present at Sam's Club this month!

    Indi will love her doll - especially when she is older and can appreciate all the work that went into it. :)

  3. LOOK AT YOU! Little Suzy Home-maker!
    we are going to have to open you an ETSY shop!
    You baby is going to LOVE her!
    Tell Indie I think she should name her Andrea.


  4. The doll is so darn cute! What an inspiration you are.

  5. She is are awesome! What a keepsake for Indi; she will adore it!
    Keep us posted on the pants and please know that often my visions turn out quite differently than expected too & rarely as peaceful! :)

  6. Um, no. You're my hero.....I wouldn't even ATTEMPT to try that.

    It is seriously beautiful!!! :)

  7. Rachel, I love you doll! My mother made me a doll when I was little. She died when I was 11. I still have that rag doll. I cherish it. Handmade is the way to go. I will be e-mailing you for tips. I want to make one for E-beth after Christmas!
    We will be in Cedar Park this Fri-Sat.

  8. I'm totally impressed!! Both with the doll and the sentiments about buying less/giving more. Good for you! Me? With 9 days to do all my Christmas shopping and prepare to go to Taiwan, I went and bought a bunch of toxic toys from Target! Sad = ( BTW, a friend of mine is adopting a little girl from Ethiopia and I just saw her pictue. She was beautiful! I thought of you. Merry Christmas, Sarah


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