Mae Loveday doll kit review

Well, who’d have thought it! The whole world over we’re in solidarity and stuck at home.

I’ve been taking the ‘stay at home’ rule as a reason to start doing those craft projects I’ve wanted to do but keep putting off. Firstly, cloth doll making.

I reckon most folk have seen the Luna Lapin books by Sarah Peel. A project book showing how to make Luna the rabbit and her felt friends, what sold me was the many clothes for the animals, Y’know how I like well dressed dolls!

I’ve had two books for a while (a third book is on its way I think), but not visited the website until a few months ago. The website has patterns for animals and clothing I’ve not seen in the books, one of which is the Mae Loveday doll, and Y’know, if there’s a doll with lovely clothes then I want it.

Thankfully for Christmas my mum and dad bought me the Mae Loveday doll kit from the website. It costs £26 for the kit plus UK postage at £3.55, making it just under £30 for the kit.

So, the first doll in isolation was Mae.

The kit has everything you need to make the doll, including the stuffing; the cotton for the dress is different to the cotton on the images, but still very pretty and good quality.

The doll pattern is simple to understand, the body and head are made in sections (three for body, four for head) then joined together. The legs and arms are jointed by button shanks from make your own buttons and joined with strong beading elastic. The hair is either balled yarn sewn onto the head or zigzag stitched in groups and sewn to the head.

Well here’s my finished doll…

So, here’s what I loved…

The fabrics in the kit were nice quality, the cotton dress is quilting quality and apart from the dress, there was plenty of materials in case you make a mistake. The dress was more than a basic a-line dress which comes with a lot of basic dolls, so it gave you a little challenge and a new style to learn.

I had enough stuffing to fill a second doll and left over body fabric and wool. The kit comes with three sewing needles and pins, embroidery thread for the face and a whole reel of sewing thread. The instructions were very clear and the pattern worked well.

What I would change if I made the doll again…

This is the only doll amongst some wonderful animals and the face looks more like an animal than a human. I think I’d turn the mouth into a nose and put the mouth lower down.

The button shanks used were the ‘make your own’ buttons which are expensive, I’d use normal shanked buttons or teddy bear joints, both of which are probably cheaper. The bear joints also come in sizes so you eliminate the feel from an oversized joint. I’d also use something other than elastic thread to secure the joints, this is more a child safety thing, but I don’t think the elastic used would make the doll safe for small children.

By far though, the very best thing about the doll and books are the clothing that comes with the dolls and animals. Hopefully they all fit because there’s some outfits I really want to make.

Hope you’re all ok, I’m going to try and make more stuff while I’m stuck indoors, trying to use up my stash of wool and fabric.

Published by bettyvirago

Betty Virago is an award winning textile designer. Based in Yorkshire, England, and known for her Northern Folk dolls and the Quilts of Hope project.

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