Last week Saturday, July 21, 2012, Fernanda and I joined Joana at Ovelha Negra for a workshop given by Rita Santarem, a teacher who is currently opening a school here in Porto teaching the Waldorf method.
The idea behind the dolls is to give a child a doll that they can relate to and is mostly made of 100% natural materials. Fernanda and I had both seen the dolls available at Ovelha Negra and both jumped at the chance to do one of the workshops. We went for the smaller dolls, but I’ll definitely be doing the bigger dolls as well.
Rita brought along all the supplies needed for the workshop, fabric, sewing thread, cotton thread, toy stuffing, birdseed, lavender essence/oil and templates (not shown). After a short explanation of what we were going to be doing she showed us how to get started with the head and we were off.
The head is definitely the part that takes the most time to make, but it’s 100% worth the effort in my opinion. Also not something to be rushed, you need to take your time and do things right to get a great result at the end. It starts with making a firm ball using toy stuffing and from that we turn it into this….
Next up, make the body and the hands before we can start to put the doll together.
I went for a plain fabric for the body and a patterned fabric for the had, this way I can make little clothes for the doll if I want to.
The little hands were made and sewn onto the head in a specific order. First one hand, then you close the gap where the other hand is to be placed with a pin and fill the body with birdseed (which has been dried or else little bugs will start to infest your doll) through the head openening to about halfway full (legs and the arm where there is already a hand attached), then you join the head, fill up the rest of the body and join the second hand.
Next we add the hair and the hat/cap. This takes some patience, but again totally worth the effort.
The feet are next, which are very simple and optional before doing the last thing to make the doll come “alive” the facial features.
And the finished dolls. Below, Fernanda’s, mine and Joana’s.
And all the dolls made during the workshop.