After making a bunch of little doll dresses for my favourite niece awhile back using McCall’s 2097, I decided I needed to make her a doll to go with them. I had made her a few dolls before that the dresses would fit, but since she lives out of town and I would be giving the dresses to her as a belated birthday gift when she comes down to visit with my older sister sometime over the summer, I thought it would be a bit of a bummer for her to get some doll dresses but not have a doll with her to play dress up with. I pulled out McCall’s 2097 again and decided to attempt to make the Betsy McCall doll.
It has been quite awhile since I last made a doll, maybe about a year now, so my (already not-so-great) embroidery skills weren’t up to scratch and I didn’t bother replicating the hair style (next time I’d definitely love to, I just didn’t have anything on hand to aid in making those curls!), but I still think the doll looks pretty cute and luckily my niece is an incredibly sweet kid and loves the silly dolls I make her, even if they aren’t the prettiest or most well made dolls out there. I also made another dress and will probably make a few more so she had a larger wardrobe to play with.
The yarn I used for her hair keeps attracting fluff, so I’ll have to give it a good once over before giving it to her, I do love how soft it is though. The Nautical print quilting cotton I used for the dress was some I found on sale at Fabricland – there was under a metre left by the time I got my hands on it, which made me sad, but I knew it would be enough to make cute little things for my niece, so I snapped it up anyway.
I used view C of the dress, without the pinafore/jumper. The fabric ended up being a bit of a pain – if you notice at the hem of the skirt there are some white marks, that happened just from sewing it somehow, which was frustrating as hell while I was making it. I’m kind of glad now they didn’t have more of the fabric left or I’d probably have made myself a dress or something with it and have this same problem but in a much more annoying way.
Close up of the bad embroidery job. Ugh. I might do a complete re-do of this doll just so I can improve the face (also, the eyes are in the opposite direction as on the pattern envelope, how the heck did I manage to do that without noticing??). I want to make myself a version of this doll anyway because it is super cute, so I might make another one and give whichever version looks best to my niece – even though, like I said, she wouldn’t complain, the bad job I did bugs me, so I’d like to do a better job for her.
The pattern is really good, I just need to pay more attention to the actual instructions next time around and practice the face beforehand. I also want to find or make some kind of tool to help make the faux curls.
I love making dolls though, they’re such nice, relaxing sewing projects and they can give you a chance to practice new skills (I learned how to insert sleeves, sew gathers, and a whole bunch of other things, by sewing dolls and doll clothes!) and they’re an excellent way to use up fabric scraps. 🙂
All in all, I really love this pattern, it was fairly easy and came together very quickly, I just need to practice more so I can to do a much better job making it!
Other than this doll, I have a lot of sewing projects in the works – tons of vintage inspired dresses and other exciting clothes either have been made, are in the process of being made or are on my (very long) sewing to-do list. I’m going to be photographing them as soon as I can between all of the sewing, fabric shopping and pattern printing, and I’ll definitely be writing up a bunch of reviews, too! I’m really excited about wearing them and sharing them with all of you!
What about you? What have you been sewing? Have you ever tried sewing dolls before? Do you think this doll looks too wonky/creepy to give to my soon-to-be six year old niece? I think I definitely need to try again, the more I look at this doll, the more I see “FAIL” written all over it – but at least I can kind of laugh about it. 😉