Inviting Play 18 Waldorf Doll Pattern Fits most American Girl Clothes

Inviting Play Pattern Adventure: I decided to publish my pattern for 18 inch Waldorf dolls!

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A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be doing this.  I figured I would just continue to make one off, one of a kind dolls in my studio without too much thought to keeping a record.  What happened?  A dear doll making friend encouraged me to develop, test and publish my pattern for 18 ” dolls.  At first I resisted.  Frankly, it sounded like a lot of work and I had fear that I would leave something out or I wouldn’t be able to convey how it is exactly that I do some part of my making.  I went about it slowly.  First I traced the latest version of my ever evolving pattern shapes on interfacing and scribbled instructions on paper and threw them in an envelope and sent them off to my friend.  Several months after that I asked a few other doll makers if they would test the pattern for me.  We set up a facebook group of testers and I started getting feedback and suggestions for improvement.  A few drafts later, a couple requests, and voila.  There is actually a listing up!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/109261513/inviting-play-doll-pattern-waldorf-doll

Why am I feeling nervous about this new adventure?  Because I know first hand how much time and love and thought and energy goes into making a doll…that is in addition to the cost of materials and supplies!  The idea that a doll maker, or mom, or grandma, or neighbor would choose a pattern I drew and developed, to focus their resources on, both humbles and honors me.

There is a lot about Waldorf doll making and Waldorf doll patterns that don’t really need to be said again.  There is a lot that I consider a folk tradition or skill.  So, there are whole parts I decided not to go into in my pattern.  For example, I do not include instructions about how to form a traditional Waldorf doll head.  There are many many books on the pedagogy of Waldorf dolls that describe this better than I could, and really I feel I have nothing to add to these tried and true folk methods.  Incidentally, there are also several great, free Waldorf doll Head making tutorials available on line.   For the same reasons, I also don’t  provide detailed instructions on stuffing or wig making.

Instead, my pattern focuses on the things I feel make it unique.  My dolls have a bottom that is shaped and cut together as one piece with the torso.  This bum allows the doll to sit and sometimes (if one stuffs very firmly and is a bit lucky) the bum provides a counter weight balance to the legs that allows the doll to stand.  In contrast, most doll patterns have two piece torsos with no bum at all, two piece torsos with a separate panel where the bum should be to make the doll sit, or a one piece torso with no bum.   I also have a unique way of sewing arms and legs on dolls that maximize machine sewing while also maximizing limb movement and emphasizing natural body shapes.  My pattern has very little hand sewing which I personally think makes for easier construction and stronger dolls.  Finally, this particular pattern tries to adhere to American Girl sizes, dimensions, proportions.

I am quite sure that at least in the beginning of this pattern publishing adventure, I will have to release new versions as I continue to improve on things, but I hope that through these patterns I will be able to be a positive part of many people’s doll making adventures.  I can’t wait to hear what people think!

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Julie Colby

Mom and doll maker. I specialize in one-of-a-kind cloth dolls from original designs using all natural materials .

4 thoughts on “Inviting Play Pattern Adventure: I decided to publish my pattern for 18 inch Waldorf dolls!”

  1. I love your dolls and was excited to read that you have published a pattern for an 18 inch doll–but I can’t find it! I have the pattern from the book “Simple Cloth Daisy Dolls” and would like to alter it to create a leaner/proportional doll for my daughters. Any advice or a link to your pattern for sale would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi – So wonderful you will make some dolls. I’m not familiar with the one you have talked about – but I do know there are many patterns out there. what I would do is make a doll body from inexpensive fabric like an old t-shirt, then stuff it, then decide which seams to pull in and where – it is so rewarding and doable to adjust and create your own patterns. I’m sorry my doll pattern is unavailable right now but I do hope to rerelease it this year. There is a group on facebook that offers support to people making waldorf type of dolls. Good luck and have fun! Julie
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/329830563699726/

  2. Hi Julie, I have clicked on links provided but I am unable to find the 18inch pattern. Could you please advice.

    Many Thanks

    Anne

    1. Hi Anne – Thank you for your message. I’m currently not selling any patterns in an effort to focus on creating more dolls and do less pattern support. I need to revise that post. Thank you for looking ! Julie

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