Waldorf dolls are designed to enhance pretend play for young children. They have very simple features that allow the child to imagine the doll's expression. They are made of a soft cotton knit fabric and stuffed with wool. Wool absorbs the child's body heat so the doll is warm when the child hugs it. Natural wool hair and simple cotton clothes complete the doll. A doll kit is a great gift for a mother or grandmother with sewing skills.
Buy a pattern for the doll. Waldorf doll patterns are available online (see Resources). The patterns come in several styles and sizes. Choose a size that will be easy for your child to carry. Clothing patterns are usually included with the doll pattern.
Buy medium-weight cotton interlock knit fabric for the skin. Waldorf doll supply companies sell "skin" fabric in a range of skin tones. You may want to choose a fabric that will match a special child's skin tone. The pattern will tell you the amount of fabric required.
Purchase wool yarn for the doll's hair. Mohair yarn will create soft natural hair. Regular mohair is best for straight hair styles. Mohair bouclé yarn has little loops along the strands. It creates the effect of curly hair. Mohair yarn is available from doll supply companies. Worsted wool yarn, which is available at craft stores, will create a rag doll effect when used for hair. One skein of yarn will be sufficient, unless the doll is very large.
Order a length of cotton gauze tubing. The pattern will tell you the size and amount you will need. The tubing is used to create an inner head form that the skin is stretched over. You will also need a 5-inch doll-making needle to shape the head. These supplies are hard to find except through a company that specialises in Waldorf doll supplies.
Add soft cotton string and wool stuffing to the kit. Be sure the string will fit through the eye of the kit's needle. It will be used to shape the doll's head.
Finish the kit by adding fabric for the doll's clothes and embroidery floss in colours suitable for the doll's eye's and mouth. Only small amounts of fabric and floss are required, so look through your scrap bag and sewing box for these items. The last item needed is sewing machine thread to match the skin and clothing fabric. You may leave out the thread, especially if the recipient has a large thread collection.
Package the supplies and pattern in a large plastic bag. Label the bag with a marker.
Things you need
- Soft cotton string
- Wool stuffing
- Fabric scraps
- Embroidery floss
- Plastic bag
- Permanent marker