50s Tilda by crimsonrabbit




Following a comment from Rebecca, I thought I would post up one of my recent cloth doll projects.

I've made a number of the Tilda 'dolls' (not toys - actually decorative figures) designed by Tone Finnanger and started off following all her designs for the clothes, but have recently become a little more adventurous as I develop some dressmaking skills (very few, it has to be said!).

My latest theme is making outfits for the figures from various periods in history and the outfit for this doll came about when I decided I wanted to make a bit of a prim 50s lady who looked like she was ready for afternoon tea with the mother-in-law.  I started with the jacket which is crocheted in baby alpaca and has 3 little coconut shell heart buttons.  Next came the skirt, which is essentially one long piece of fabric ( a basic soft cotton) that I joined with a French seam, hemmed top and bottom and then gathered at the waist on the doll with some quilting thread.  I then made a broad kind of belt for the skirt to cover the gathered waist, which has a hidden press stud fastener at the back, and finished it off with a 3 stranded 'pearl' necklace which is just some white seed beads threaded onto quilting cotton again.

The figure itself is made with Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in Dark Sand, stuffed with a high loft toy stuffing and hand stitched together with YLI quilt thread (love this stuff).  I usually make hair with a boucle or other nice quality 'hair like' knitting yarn but this is actually from the Tilda range, which is pretty uneconomical.  When I started making these dolls, I bought some dark brown and some blond Tilda hair and this one, which is kind of red / auburn.  I initially didn't like this colour, but once it is on the doll, I really like it - probably the prettiest look overall with this skin fabric colour.  The fringe is sewn on with matching embroidery thread.

The face (limited as it may be!) is made with fabric paint (eyes) and some versa ink (cheeks).  The little paper rose is again from the Tilda range but you can also pick these up for much less at Hobbycraft, if you're in the UK.






Oh my...I can see all the little details you put into this. Looks like it is a lot of fun to do and look at.


I too love making Tilda dolls, and your little sweater is absolutely divine! Great job!


I bought the sewing book for Tilda dolls, I just love them but haven't tried making yet. very pretty & great job.


She's great. Love the details. Have you ever seen Susanna Oroyan's Mulliner/Forbes family dolls? They're extreme examples-- just loaded with stuff, all of which tells a story-- and they're hilarious.


Thanks very much Pat smile I wasn't aware of Susanna Oroyan but have had a look around the web and found lots of examples - her dolls are amazing and totally eccentric, which I love. I'm very much a beginner when it comes to the whole doll thing but do find it really absorbing and a great way to try out creative ideas on a small (and manageable) scale.

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