Louis and Nell

Louis and Nell

 The Sew Mama Sew 6 Weeks of Softies is bringing out the giddy obsessive compulsive maker in me! Introducing Louis and Nell, my new brother and sister dolls. 

So, I have a big nose. And that’s ok. I am old enough now to feel like it just gives me character. And it seems fitting that the dolls I design should have good solid noses also. You can see my (what is becoming my signature) 3-dimensional nose on the Hazel Doll in my book, Sew Fun. And also on Bo the Bunny, my new pattern for Bo Twal. But now I was thinking, how big could I make that nose using the same technique?

Well, it seems that it can get pretty big:

Louis and Nell both  have this fabulous hair made from fake fur and cut in a simple two piece wig. Louis has wild eyebrows and simple embroidered glasses:

Nell has green hair. Why not?

When I am designing removable clothes for dolls, I try to make them as simple as possible. A minimum of pattern pieces and easy to get on and off. I thought Louis would like a t-shirt. A minimum of pattern pieces and made in a knit so easy to get on and off without any closures. Well. That t-shirt was a big pain in the neck. I really have no idea how to sew jersey. How hard could it be? Apparently pretty hard at least the way I was doing it and on that small scale. Anyway, I think I managed to make it work. The shorts were much simpler:

For Nell’s dress, I was excited to apply a technique I had just learned. I just did a Handmade Scarf Swap and used a Purl Soho design. Elastic thread in the bobbin made some really wonderful stretchy gathers in the scarf. How would that work with a dress? Very nicely actually! The teeny tiny bias trim around the neckline was more problematic (I think I need some new glasses), but I got it on:

The dress would be easier to get on and off with a snap or some velcro, but for now I couldn’t resist a pretty button:

For the shoes I used some leather scraps and thick felt for the soles. Nell has a tiny button on her purple shoes of course:

Both Louis and Nell have integrated underwear. Louis has his boring white briefs...

...but every girl needs pretty underwear so Nell has flowered underpants and a pink camisole with embroidered edges and daisy detail. I usually stick with the backstitch and french knot for my embroidery, but I wanted to try something new. Since I just joined Creativebug, I watched Rebecca Ringquist’sembroidery class and learned the coral stitch to give a bit of a lace edge look to the camisole. Perfect!

I could spend my life working on accessories for these two! Nell needed a paint set: embroidery on wool felt with a balsa wood box. Wire hinges and a translucent top from an old plastic lid. The box is 2 ⅝“ x 1 ⅝” x ½”. And what good is paint without some paper:

Apparently, Louis is a writer. A notebook and pencil were required (Louis is old school). The notebook is 2 ⅛” x 1 ⅝”. I designed the lined paper inside on here. I use this site to custom make my graph paper for quilts, but it worked great for Louis’s notebook. I made the lines ⅛” apart and printed it on both sides. Then I cut the paper into tiny sheets and gave it a linen cover. The pencil is 1 ⅝” long. It is just a bit of wood dowel, colored pencil and aluminum foil, but I am completely enamoured of it:

I was planning a sweater for Nell, a jacket for Louis, a backpack, a viola, a pet turtle...but alas I am out of time for now. Louis and Nell are not an official pattern yet, but I would love to know if anyone would be interested!

Thanks, Sew Mama Sew, for reminding me how much I love making softies!

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