Doll Pin Cushion with Parasol Pin-keep

Okay, a couple confessions here – This really is two projects put together to be one entry for the fair. Plus, the parasol is technically a needle-book while “pin-keep” suited my “P” theme of entries.


This project came about a little inside-out. I ordered the frozen Charlotte off of Ebay paying attention to her size while accounting for her lost legs. You may ask “Why did you buy a doll with broken legs?” I rationalized that since several of the directions in Godey’s calls for breaking the legs off a doll, I might as well start with a doll with broken off legs. I certainly will not be breaking the legs off a doll. So, when this doll arrived I was surprised by the size and the weight. Oh the weight! This girl is solid.

Between the size and weight, the pen wipe idea was out the window. Instead, she needed to be a pin cushion, a pin cushion with some weight in the bottom.

I drew out a dome shape for her size, similar to that I made for Bonnie just smaller. The bottom of the base is a few layers of heavy pasteboard. Inside is nearly a whole bag of ground walnut shells. Because I could not figure out how to get the base tightly filled while keeping the doll positioned center inside, I opted to fill the base, then tighten it in like I do with the wool batting dolls. She is firmly and snuggly inside, though I would strongly prefer no one picks her  up from her head.

Her dress is made from yellow check silk taffeta The skirt is pretty self explanatory. The bodice on the other hand was a trick. Notice how the doll’s arms are afixed to the body down past the elbows. This meant I couldn’t just make a bodice with sleeves. Instead, I cut what basically comes down to a circle with a V neck hole. Then I shaped the sleeves working through the tiny amount of space between her forearms and waist. Then I finished with a little orange embroidery.

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image (4).jpgThe parasol is inspired by directions in Godey’s Lady’s Book and An American Girl’s Book. My version uses yellow mini-check silk taffeta on the outside and full white wool on the inside for needle pages, with a broken crochet hook for the handle. Both the silk and wool are pinked with a pinking machine. The in-folds of the parasol are stitch along the radius with a thread loop near the circumference for the drawstring. The broken crochet hooks have been harder to find than I thought. I have one merchant keeping an eye out and another local one I check on occasion. The broken tip of the crochet hook is sanded to make it look more like a point. I was more and less successful with each of these.  I just did a little embroidery on this one to match the doll’s dress.


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