My poor peddler doll, who will be named Penny while her counterpart will me named Milli or Milly, have been waiting for weeks for a body while I’ve been fussing with health stuff. They have sat there all lined up in front of the dressing mirror just waiting for their turn of attention.
I finally sat down and drew out a body and hands for the ladies. Then, bravely, began my adventure into making hands and arms for the first time.
I should back up though. Why cloth hands? Because I couldn’t decide on porcelain hands. Because I liked the challenge of cloth hands. Because I am cheap. — Cloth hands are soft, something I am seeing on originals, something that may be able to “hold” the basket.
This tutorial “Designing fingers” was one of the more helpful pieces of information I found, and what convinced me I can make some cute hands.
Cloth hands are a major challenge because of the teeny tiny nature of this. (did I mention I like a challenge like this?) I mimicked the shape of my hand, traced then drawn alongside much smaller. Figure she will be about 15″ tall; her arms 2 1/5″ long; her hands maybe an inch long. Those are little fingers to shape and get right.
Instead of drawing two hands and arms, I drew one then reversed it.
Here are the two hands/arms drawn out on the cloth and stitched along with small stitches. As I worked, I did wish I had a tighter weave.
They were a challenge to turn out. I had to use a needle to pull the fingers and thumb up. I did pull too much twice, pulling out threads. Luckily, that doesn’t show unless you are up close.
To give you an idea of the scale of these, here is one arm/hand turned right side out before being stuffed alongside my finger and the pair alongside a pencil:
I used a small crochet hook to stuff and position the stuffing in the hands and thumb. One thumb is a little smaller than the other.
I am just now realizing I didn’t take a photo of them stuffed with their fingers stitched and elbow bend in. Oops.
Once attached with Penny’s head resting in place, I do see that the arms are a bit lean for the doll. A friend suggested she may have had a health problem from being malnourished as a child. Since she is a street peddler, that works. Now, the body is definitely lumpy. My fabric choice and overly simple cut of the bell caused that. I am hoping once I get the weights and base in the bottom that I will be able to coax the batting smoother. I don’t think this will be an issue with Milli since she will have a regular body with legs, not needing to stand on her own.
Here are Milli’s arms in progress: