Doll-Making Instructions: Shaping the Inner Head

The Eye-Line

This part may require some help from another person. The threads need to be tied very tightly for the eye-line – but not so tightly that they will snap! I find it easier if another person uses a thick cord like a shoe-lace or a thin bit of rope to wrap around the mid-section of the head to pull it in. While they are holding this you can then use your linen thread to tie this mid-section very tightly. Wrap your thread around two or three times for security and tie the knot so that it won’t slip. Then the other person may release the lace/rope.
     The idea is to create an indentation that will form the place where the eyes go. The indentation creates a brow, and also cheeks under the eyes, giving your waldorf doll that ‘distinctive’ look.
     It is really important to have this eye-line tight, because later we will be shifting the back section of this eye-line downwards to create the back of the head, and if this line is not tight, you will lose the indentation at the front. You will know if it is tight enough if you are not able to slide your fingers underneath it!
 The Chin Line

Eye-line (horizontal) and chin line (vertical). Stitch firmly where the two lines cross.

     Take a look at your doll and see which side you prefer for the front of the head. Holding the head with the front facing you, take your linen thread and wrap a vertical line, starting under the chin and being tied up on the crown of the head. Again, you can wrap the thread two times around the head for firmness, and to help keep the line tight.
     Now, looking at the place where the two lines cross on each side of the head, you need to stitch those lines together AND to the inner head to hold that point firmly in place so that the next step works. Use a thinner thread of a suitable colour and stitch over and under BOTH of the lines at the point where the cross.
Shaping the Back of the Head

Wriggle the back of the eye-line down towards the neck. Ladder stitch to the chin line.

     Turn your doll’s head so that the ‘back’ of the head is facing you. You are now going to work the back of the eye-line downwards to create more shape to the back of the head and neck. Push the fabric and stuffing up under the line as you gently work it downwards. You will find out at this point if your eye-line is not tight enough! As you work the back of the eye-line downwards you will notice the indentation at the front slackening if you have not tied this line tight enough to begin with. It is possible to tie another one at this point.
     Ladder stitch the back chin line to the back of the eye-line. This is a simple zig-zag stitch that runs between the two to keep the lines in place, to keep the cute shape at the back of the head, and to stop your baby developing huge ‘jowls’!
      That is the shaping of the head completed! Now you take the ‘Outer Head’, and making sure that it is turned right-side out, gently ease this over the inner head. Once it is over the inner head, pull it down tightly, tie the neck line with matching thread and just tug a bit on the outer head fabric just below the neckline to smooth out any creases that may have formed when you tied your thread.
Pull outer head sock over the shaped inner head.

      You can lightly stuff the ‘body’ part below the neck line if you feel it needs it, then neatly sew up the loose fabric at the bottom of the head.

**photographs courtesy of Mama Joie De Vivre **

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