This week with my time constraints I decided to feature a doll made by one of our members for the Christmas Gift Project. The doll can be made for a boy or girl but this one was designed for a girl.
All kids love something to cuddle, mom and dad probably preferred but when they can’t be there or the family dog isn’t available, kids love to turn to a favorite stuffed animal or doll. Searching the web turns up all kinds of “cuddle” items, cuddle diapers, cuddle tunes, cuddle pillows, cuddle blankets and linens, cuddle clothes, cuddle toys, cuddle wigs, etc. There’s even a “Cuddle Alert “ on a radio station
With the “cuddle” theme in mind I thought a nice cuddly softie was in order for the gift project of the week. Many children on the rez come from homes where parents are suffering from mental or physical illness or single parent homes where there isn’t enough time to cuddle with the kids as much as they’d like. The doll featured this week could be a child’s go to toy for that special “cuddle” when others aren’t available.
This week’s toy is made by our talented Beulah, many thanks to her for sharing her time and talents. Beulah told me, “Found this doll for a dollar at a yard sale and couldn’t leave it there. I thought to myself, I could make this. Used the doll to make my pattern changing it a little here and there. Decided to use a tan fabric and make a native appearing doll for PRR children. Had some tough tan dental uniform fabric from my boss and that was ideal. The head, arms and body are all one piece and the legs were attached after stuffing. I did the faces first, the yard sale doll was made with those tube paints that were popular back in the 60’s and 70’s, I decided to use embroidery. The iris was a problem, too big to embroider, so I fused on some brown fabric.
All my seams are sewn twice, don’t want them to come apart”.
“The arms and legs were stuffed with long strips of quilt batting instead of lumps of stuffing. The rest of the doll was stuffed with the poly you buy for making toys and some batting scraps. I’ve even used cut up fleece scraps, nothing goes to waste around here. The black yarn for the hair was no problem but I lengthened the braids and added ribbons. The doll came with a pair of pajamas, but I thought a dress would be nice so made that pattern and also a pair of panties with some lace around the edges. A doll quilt would be easy to make, even a pillow or a little afghan. I liked the doll because it was big and soft enough to cuddle, durable and not likely to come apart, and with the black hair and tan fabric, a little more ethnic and it had a big smile on its face.” This is the same doll with a face on each side.
This doll could easily be made for a boy by changing the clothing and hair, although many Native American men have long hair and wear it in a braid or pony tail. I’m always on the lookout for ideas when shopping at thrift stores, garage sales or the big box stores to use for inspiration in my crafting for kids. Children don’t see all our little imperfections and mistakes just a friend to play or cuddle with. We would love to feature your ideas for “cuddle” toys on the blog.
Check out this link to see what cuddling can do for you. This book by Chuck Gaidica also has a cute story to tell and would be a fun read for a child.
Thanks from Sew For Kids And always remember to be on the “alert” for someone close to you who might be in need of some comfort or some affection and give him/her a cuddle !