School in the Craftroom — Lulu’s Dollmaking Project

One of my very difficult tasks as a teacher/mother is allowing creative mess.  Lulu especially is a very craft-y person.  She enjoys her art projects, and is happiest with a piece of cardboard and plenty of tape.  Some projects, though, require some help and concentration from Mom.  We were glad we had hiked during the week this week, because it snowed on Saturday.  Everyone else had plans for their day, so Lucy and I decided to take the day to do a doll making project.  This was something she had never done before.

After looking through all our patterns and books, Daddy helped us enlarge the pattern we chose, and we went shopping to choose yarn for hair and embroidery thread colors for eyes.  We also discussed different fabrics for skin colors, and what the results of different choices would be.  For example, unbleached muslin makes a very “country” doll, while pink fabric might be better for a baby doll.  We traced around the patterns and cut them out very loosely, planning to sew on the drawn lines as a better way for a beginning seamstress.

Lucy needed a little help with sewing on the arms and legs, and while I did that, she wrapped the yarn for the dolly’s hair. We chose a yarn that had a beautiful crinkle, so that our dolly would have wavy hair.

Lucy had never really used stuffing before, so that was an interesting experience.  She had to learn how much was enough to keep out the lumps, but not too much to fit in small places.

The end result was very satisfying.

Of course, on a project like this one, most of the fun is in the doing.  Lulu already started planning what her next doll would be like.  She can experiment with markers and pencils for drawing faces, and she began practicing her embroidery so that she can make the next dolly face if she chooses.

All in all, it was a very profitable day for us.  Lucy practiced her sewing skills, and we both worked on patience.

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