Rag Doll Records

In a past life I made rag dolls … mostly original designs. I no longer have access to the outlets I used, and was happy using, and haven’t made any for about ten years.

There is a cupboard in my sewing room which has held boxes of left over bits and pieces, nicely sorted into different families of designs, while instructions, if there were any, were in the filing cabinet, sometimes even with the patterns.


Over the last few months, when I have been home, I have been sorting and trying to work out how to keep a record of each design for future reference, while getting rid of the bulk of materials, plus boxes, folders and scraps of paper.


In the years since I last made the dolls I have been playing about trying different ways of making books. I intended keeping the doll details in simple scrap books, but I wanted to include actual samples … less some of the stuffing! However, even without stuffing the sample pieces added a lot of bulk to the books.


Luckily I was using spiral bound books, so I have pulled the spirals out and am working on loose pages. I am adding a folded strip of card (cut 2 inches wide and folded lengthwise) from the now empty folders to add bulk to the spine edge of the pages. Now the pages are sitting much better!


Next step will be to make covers, then stitch them together. Once again I have turned a simple job into a crafty project … and having some fun along the way. It would be much easier to follow instructions sometimes, but it never seems to happen like that for me.


The photos on the page above were taken at a workshop held in Country Craft and Fabrics, Minlaton (now renamed and moved to Port Vincent) … the workshop notes and/or published patterns were stored separately to the patterns I used to make dolls for sale, so I had to search for them as well!


With the pages shown here I want to create a book in a box … which will also contain a complete doll sample, complete with all her stuffing! I have very little idea how this will work at this point in time. The pages are A3 size and I have some A3 boxes which will form the box … I just have to work out how it will open for the book part!

Any advice will be gratefully accepted!

There are still some pages to be filled with samples of the body and dress under construction, but here is the doll I want to store in the box part of the book I am trying to work out how to make!




A diversion(?) last year (2011) has been clearing out my parents house, including a great pile of photo albums. We decided that the bulk would be reduced if the photos were removed from the albums and stored in boxes … and those in those horrible self stick albums really needed to be somewhere else. Which means a whole heap of empty book covers … just ready to be covered with fabric, and filled with new pages! (If only all the covers matched the sizes of the pages!)



2 thoughts on “Rag Doll Records

  1. well you are one organised gal!I got rid of all my stuff like that and havent kept any records at all, I got to the stage where I just felt sick every time I saw a cloth doll.
    Hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year.
    Hugs Melissa

    • Melissa,

      I have to admit that if I had tried to do this some time ago I would have just chucked the lot, but I held off until I had time to save whatever fabric I could for quilts! I have still managed to fill the bin every week for three weeks, with at least another bins full in the next couple of weeks. And then there was the recycled stuff!

      In that time three great nieces all started sewing too, so glad I held off! Maybe I will be able to pass on my stuff and they can build on it!

      Judy B

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