by Fiona Goble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fleecie Dolls / 978-0-89689-734-2
I love homemade toys and dolls, and I particularly love the styles in this little book. The book covers the gambit from what I would call "cylinder dolls" (simple dolls that are simply a cylinder of cloth, with a 'neck' gathered near the top) to proper "leggy dolls" with proper limbs for dressing and posing.
All the dolls featured here are made from polar fleece, with felt embellishments (or buttons, for older children). The stitching and detailing on the faces and clothing are simple and yet very evocative - I like the simple "cartoony" style captured here over some of the more old-fashioned dolls. I also love the variety featured in this book - particularly pretty is the mermaid doll with the optional sequins stitched onto her tail.
The author provides clear instructions on both machine- and hand-stitching, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow, with templates in the back for copying and cutting.
One unique thing I like about this book is that the dolls feature a wide variety of "color" - several of the dolls represent races other than the sometimes-ubiquitous "white" in many craft books. I myself like to create dolls from lots of different colors, and it is sometimes difficult to find the appropriate shades at local stores, and I applaud this author for doing so. Some of the detailing featured on the dolls may not be perfectly sensitive - one of the "asian" dolls has horizontal dashes for eyes, as opposed to the vertical dashes used on the "white" and "black" dolls, and one of the other "black" dolls in the book has individual felt rays of wild, untamed hair flying in every direction (both examples can be viewed here on the book cover) - but as the detailing is a matter of personal choice, it is left to the crafter to follow or ignore those particular options.
I do think that of the all the fleece and/or stitched toys books I own, this one has the widest and most pleasing variety of dolls, with a wide room for customization and extra detailing, depending on the crafter's level of skill.
~ Ana Mardoll
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