Handcrafted Cloth Dolls – Stitched Art

I have never really been a doll person. I appreciate them, but just never got that doll-bug as a child or as an adult. Looking back, I played with paper dolls and Barbies as a kid. Hmmm . . . perhaps that has something to do with it.

Until now, that is. Over the holidays, I was given a beautiful handcrafted doll as a gift by my sister-in-law, Lee Fried. She had created the most meticulously sewn, whimsical doll I could imagine – and she used my fabric designs, Capri, to create it! I was overwhelmed. What a wonderful gift!

DSC00639 DSC00643

What shall I name her?
Sistah Capri!

This got me thinking about the art of handcrafted cloth dolls and the changes doll-makers have made over the years.


Here is a Simplicity Pattern with the basic doll shape. Wow! 35 cents???

Simple Tymes blogspot

I love these vintage dolls from Symple Tymes Cloth ArtThey are lacking faces, but are filled with expression. Every wrinkle and crease is a story of their past.

Many talented designers and artists today have been able to evoke stories and expression into their creations without relying on the wrinkles of time.

Elinor Peace Bailey brings color and whimsy to the art of cloth dolls.

Eleanor Peace Bailey
Elinor Peace Bailey uses amazing detail in her doll faces.
Inspired by a drawing by Elinor Peace Bailey’s grandchild.

Patti Medaris Culea brings magical, fairly-like qualities to her creations.

Patti Maderus Culea
Banbury Cross Beth by Patti Medaris Culea
Audine and her Seahorse Willie by Patti Medaris Culea

Barbara Willis takes us back to yesteryear with her nostalgic lovely ladies. style.

prudencePrudence by Barbara Willis


Susan Else creates incredible sculptures using cloth doll-making skills. I was fortunate enough to see her as a guest artist at the Alden Lane’s quilt show, Quilting in the Garden, last fall. I was stunned at how creative her collection was.

Susan Else
Forever Yours

But there is also a lot of wonderfully simple designs today. One look on Etsy or Pinterest is enough to inspire anyone. From the vintage style –

Jennifer Jarman Palomita rag dolls
Jennifer Jarman’s Palomita Rag Dolls are inspired by antique European dolls. Pieced together from vintage, recycled, new and salvaged textiles, each doll is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation.

Visit Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/palomitaragdolls to see more of Jennifer Jarman’s  work.

To the couture –

Abi Minroe Taylor Couture
Abi Monroe’s Taylor Couture is a day-dreamy collection of dolls, clothing and decor in beautiful images and styles.

Spend some time perusing her blog, Abi Monroe and Etsy shop, Taylor Couture. You will be so glad you did!

Even Raggedy Ann has entered the new millennium –

Cherry Rag Doll
Cherry Rag Doll
Rag Doll by Handmade Teddy Bears and Raggedies

I am fascinated by how much character can be expressed with the slightest curve in an arm or a simple line movement in an eyebrow.  There is truly an art to bringing these dolls alive.

fabric chicks eleanor peace bailey
EPBD Dolls
Digibudi's Digital Garden
Digibudi’s Digital Garden

Or in some cases, maybe not so alive?

Junker Jane Art Dolls and Soft Sculptures

Have a good week! See you Friday!

Signature Cropped

8 thoughts on “Handcrafted Cloth Dolls – Stitched Art

  1. Wonderful!!!! I’m a doll maker/lover and am bringing doll making back to Wooden Gate Quilts! Love these examples (recognize several). Just beautiful!


  2. Oh, I just love it when doll art is recognized! Thank you so much! I am no longer a dollmaker myself — arthritis, sadly — but a post like this one reawakens the desire! Beautiful! Beautiful!! Who is the designer of the doll you received? I recognize but can’t place it.


    1. So glad you enjoyed it! The pattern is from Magic Threads, the doll is called Pop Tops, designed by
      Julie McCcullough, and was copy righted in 1994.


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