I made a Purl Girl for Analeise, my friend Carrie Whitter's daughter. I did most of the work in short intervals during a recent visit we made to California to see some of my family, and was motivated to finish the doll by the firm deadline of seeing Carrie and Analiese on a jaunt to my childhood home of Tehachapi.
For quite a while I've admired the work of the artist that designed the doll. Her name is Mimi Kirchner, and she lives in the next town over
from us, Arlington. Her blog is at: http://mimikirchner.com/blog/
She periodically offers doll making workshops; I would love to someday attend one!
A while back she donated a pattern and instructions for this doll as part of a collaboration with Purl SoHo in NYC. She is called Purl Girl, and you can find the instructions and pattern here, and a Flickr stream with people's completed dolls here.
The first one, which I made for Violet, took a lot of time since I had to read the instructions carefully and figure out how to do things. I am also not that skilled at hand work, but I do want to get better and these dolls make excellent if not particularly demanding practice.
The second one, which was for Millie, went much faster. And the one I did for Analiese went faster still (partially because I wasn't being as meticulous with the stitching and used only one thread color for assembly, in order to finish morequickly). This last one probably took 8-10 hours total, done in chunks between 15 minutes and a few hours.
I was very pleased with how the two I did for my daughters came out! A big thank you to Mimi Kirchner, and to Purl SoHo!
I wish I could whip out awesomely cute doll designs, but for now I'm glad to have the opportunity to make Mimi's dolls occasionally as presents. I do hope to sew a boy doll for Buster, though the design I've started is shamelessly reminiscent of Mimi's style. She makes some really nice man dolls, including some tatoo'd old fashioned carnival guys who are brilliant.
If you want to start making a Purl Girl, make sure to use the highest quality wool felt. I used lower quality felt on some parts of my daughters' dolls and these parts totally fell apart over two years of play.
The high quality felt parts are in much better shape. I got the better felt from here:
The felt sold on the Purl Soho site also looks good, I might order
some from there next time.