I got a new book last week and I thought it would be of interest to many of you. Stitched Toys by Kate Haxell is a book that has something for just about any doll maker.
Many of the designs in the book are simple, basic designs that would be great for a first time doll maker to try. There are a wealth of beautiful color photographs, at least one of every toy. There is also a good number of colored drawings to illustrate each step in the construction of the toys. This is very helpful for beginners to understand the written directions. I would recommend this book as a wonderful gift for a young friend, with some fabric and trims, to get them started making cloth dolls.
There are sections in the beginning of the book for "Equipment, Materials and Techniques" which are very thorough, almost to the point of over kill for the beginner, but a great resource, none the less. I especially liked the section on stitches used in the book. Everything from running stitch to embroidery stitches are explained and illustrated.
Which brings me to what I found most useful, for myself. Even though the designs tend toward the basics, the embellishments shown on each completed toy are beautiful, inspiring and fascinating. Each toy is lovely, despite it's simplicity. There are truly gorgeous results shown in the book and this is a great jumping off point for your own imagination. I particularly like the cat which is sewn together with a beading stitch so that your finished piece is outlined in seed beads. What a fun idea to turn a simple design into a fiber art masterpiece.
Even if you've been making cloth dolls for years you will find something in this book to inspire you.
Stitched Toys, 20 Stunning but Simple Designs by Kate Haxell
published by Octopus Publishing Group, 2009
ISBN 978-0-600-61850-8 $19.99 USD
128 pages, soft cover
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.