Handmade Dolls Anyone?

I have made a few dolls and softies in the past and have been meaning to make some more now that my kids are a little older. They are really getting into playing pretend with different dolls and characters. I started doing some research last year and came across the cutest patterns by an amazing designer. I recently reached out to her to see if she wanted to write a guest post for you because I just knew you would really appreciate her talent! I was so happy she agreed! She is an expert in making dolls and softies so, I’ll let her introduce herself!

Abby Glassenberg

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on Crafty Gemini, Vanessa!

I’m Abby Glassenberg and I’m a sewing pattern designer, craft book author, teacher, and blogger. I design fun patterns for dolls and stuffed animals which means I have the best job ever!
Think for a minute about a favorite stuffed animal or doll you had when you were little. Recall how you felt when you held it and played with it, how worried you were when you couldn’t find it and the feeling of relief when it was returned to you safe and sound. I’ll bet you can even describe the fabric the toy was made from and the eyes and expression it had.
Nearly all of us have a memory like this from our childhood, and some of us still have our special toy or doll packed up in tissue in a box in our attic. We couldn’t bear to part with Flat Cat or Bernard or Brown Teddy, and neither could our parents.
Now that I’m a parent I understand at an even deeper level how much transitional objects mean to children, how deeply they care for their most special toys, and the level of comfort they derive from them.
I am a sewing pattern designer for plush toys and dolls and I love so many things about what I do. I make a little sketch and then start to create paper pattern pieces that will come together into a three-dimensional form. Each part of pattern drafting is a puzzle of shapes and seams. Once I’ve got the form I get to play with color and texture as I choose fabrics and sew the final toys.
For me, writing the pattern instructions and taking the right photos to illustrate each step is just as interesting as creating the toys themselves.  Before I became a mother I was a middle school teacher and I’ll always love teaching. Through sewing patterns I’m able to teach people all over the world to make toys they love and some of those toys are bound to become very special to a child and their family. What a wonderful thing!
I’ve built a business combining sewing and teaching, two of the things I love most. But I’m also a writer. I’ve been blogging about my business and my toys for eight years at whileshenaps.com. I write about how to run a successful creative business, how to blog effectively, and how to design and sew softies.  I’ve written two books. The Artful Bird: Feathered Friends to Make and Sew came out in 2011 and Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction came out last May. If you’d like to learn to design your own sewing patterns for stuffed animals, this book is for you.
I go about all of these efforts with the same underlying goal. Whether I’m demonstrating how to sew through multiple layers of fleece or explaining how to run an ad program on your blog, my goal is to give you the tools you need to sew creatively and succeed with your creative business.
If you’d like to learn to design your own dolls and toys you might like my new book, Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction. And if you’re thinking of starting your own sewing pattern business, check out my ebook, The Insider’s Guide to Starting an Online Sewing Pattern Business.

Thank you so much, Vanessa!


I told you she is an expert! Abby has been kind enough to offer all Crafty Gemini followers a discount code for her online shop where she sells her books, eBooks, patterns and doll making supplies.

 15% off any order of $9.00 or more!
Visit her shop HERE! 
Enter coupon code: GEMINI

{Note: The code is valid until Monday, March 10, 2014 so take advantage of this offer! She has so many cute patterns for you to try. Click HERE to visit her online shop! }

Here are some of her pattens. Sooooo cute!
handmade dolls softie
Emma Dolls
humpty dumpty doll
Humpty Dumpty
owl softie
Stella the owl
doll patterns
Family of Dolls eBook

handmade dolls softies
More of Abby’s patterns!

handmade dolls softies
Even more patterns!

3 replies on “Handmade Dolls Anyone?

  • krafty grandma

    I just placed a order for your Liam a fleece doll. In the advertisement told me I would receive a discount by applying your code. Which I did. At the check out I was charged the full amount and no discount was given.

    I think your doll is going to be a lot of fun to make but I which I would have gotten the discount as promised .

    • Vanessa Vargas Wilson

      Hi! Actually the Liam doll pattern is not mine. The design is Abby Glassenberg. I simply made the doll from her pattern. The discount has already expired. This is an older post so it was only valid until March 10, 2014. I think you’ll enjoy making it. My son and I loved it! Her patterns are great. 🙂


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