I just discovered a fantastic vintage fabric and craft supply store here in Portland, and made these simple pillow dolls with some of the fabric I found.  I embroidered the faces with my regular sewing machine, but it worked pretty well.  The twins love to pretend they are putting the dolls to bed.

39 Responses
  1. Camille Dawn

    Fantastic! So simple, so fun! And that shop, what a find! I'm up in Olympia, so will be planning a trip down ASAP!

  2. naomi

    wow, how fun! They look really small in the first picture, then when you scroll down you realise how big they are. Love the faces embroidered on the black.
    Ps- discovered your blog recently, and love it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    Camille Dawn – Yeah, the store is quite a find. It's also where I got the vintage yellow zipper for the pouch in my last post. I got a whole bag of zippers for 45 cents each! crazy.

    Naomi – Yes, I decided to make them big! When sewing, I find that bigger is usually easier than smaller, and I need all the help I can get.

    And hopefully someday I might have enough time to make stuff for selling. Maybe this summer. Thanks for the compliments!

  4. Sarah

    so adorable! one more reason for me to really miss Portland even more…that shop looks awesome.
    question for the girl who is new to sewing (me), when you say machine embroidered, does that just mean you stitched over it or is it a special thing your machine does? (sorry if that is a dumb question!)

  5. Joel Henriques

    Sarah – Yeah, I'm pretty new at all this too, so I know what you mean. Machine embroidery is just sewing a stitch on your sewing machine and making a drawing out of the stitch. To do this, I just sketched out the faces with some white chalk, and followed my chalk drawing with my machine, then dusted off the chalk. simple.

    There is also a special embroidery foot that you can get for your sewing machine. I just got one and it's pretty cool! This is a great youtube video that shows you the foot in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ADupRXK8Y

    Then the other type of embroidery is "hand embroidery", which is very awesome, and actually a lot easier than machine embroidery (I think), but it's slower of course. Also, hand embroidery is totally cheap. All you need is some embroidery thread, a needle and a hoop. Do a youtube search for hand embroidery and you'll find tons of cool stuff. Here's a quick one I did, but it doesn't explain how to do it:

    http://madebyjoel.blogspot.com/2009/10/another-embroidered-bird-shirt.html

  6. Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Yay, Knittn Kitten is great! I love that store! If you feel like doing any techy creations, there's Free Geek tech thrift store on about 10th & Hawthorne, and have you been to SCRAP? It's off of MLK, and has all kinds of amazing recycled materials for creating stuff.

  7. Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com

    Yay, Knittn Kitten is great! I love that store! If you feel like doing any techy creations, there's Free Geek tech thrift store on about 10th & Hawthorne, and have you been to SCRAP? It's off of MLK, and has all kinds of amazing recycled materials for creating stuff.

  8. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    Heather – Yes, I have been Scrap, ooh, and also the Rebuilding Center down the road from there is amazing. I've not been to the Free Geek tech thrift store though. Definitely checking that out! Thanks!

  9. Ashley

    My twins love these dolls too! I made similar ones for them after I saw your first posting, and the boys sleep with them every night.

  10. GG

    Just like everyone else. I love your creations so simple and yet beautiful. I have three girls and would love to make these dolls for them. What stuffing did you use? It looks heavier than than normal doll stuffing.

  11. Dear Joel.

    I am a Los Angeles area dollmaker and have a website and blog with my daughter Sophie. I discovered your site when I was looking for DIY marionettes and saw your charming video. I love the travel size paper city Paris and got so excited, I downloaded it, cut it out and bought some altoids so I would have a box to store it in! I just found your vintage dolls and love the deceptive simplicity combined with vintage fabric and artistry in the dolls faces.

    Keep up the good work – I will be checking your site often!

    Thanks for inspiring me!

    Denise aka Sasha

    Denise aka Sasha

  12. As a Los Angeles area doll maker, I love your vintage dolls, doll houses, dressy cats, marionette, travel city Paris, and many more! Thanks for inspiring me!

    Denise
    aka Sasha

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