Today I'm going to feature a wonderful doll maker who is also the proud owner of a BeBe Baby! Jennifer of Lali Doll Nursery makes the tenderest little dolls I have seen in a long time. Another great thing about Jennifer is that she sells patterns too. For those of you looking for baby doll patterns, her shop is a great place to start. One thing that I admire most about Jennifer, is that she makes her own doll clothing. I would really love to branch out some day and sew more clothing for my dolls but I find making clothing so frustrating. I truly admire doll artists who can create the entire vision for their dolls, including the outfit. Jennifer was kind enough to answer some questions for me about her dolls and process. I invite you to read about her and her dolls as well as visit her shop and give her some love. The "notes" are my words/responses.
1. When did you begin making cloth dolls?
I first began making cloth dolls in 2009.
2. Have you always made cloth dolls or have you made other types of dolls?
Before I started making cloth dolls, I made Sock Monkeys and other sock animals, actually, my very first cloth doll design was made out of socks since I already had those on hand.
3. How did you learn to sew and make dolls?
I have always enjoyed art, so have made a few things here and there over the years, including a few stuffed toys. I took a sewing class once at school and my Grandmother gave me a sewing machine when I was a child that I use to play around with. My doll making skills originally developed from the sock toys and quite a lot of trial/error. I learned new techniques from doll magazine articles, online articles and old patterns as well.
4. Do you have any advice for new doll makers?
My advice would be just to jump in. Don't think that you can't do it, I really think that anyone with a desire and love for art, crafts and dolls can make something beautiful if they are willing to put in the time and effort to learn it. If it's something you're interested in doing, start investing in patterns or classes to learn new skills and just enjoy the creative process of all the different doll making styles.
Yes, My husband. He constructs the inner heads on most of our dolls, cuts out parts, packages up kits, supplies and takes care of post office trips. He's quite a good organizer too. He keeps the work area very neat and organized and it makes it so much easier to work. He does some of the less fun stuff too, like paper work/taxes, which allows more creative time for me. (Note: I am slightly jealous of all the wonderful doll makers who enlist the help of their husbands or partners. I always tried to get my significant others involved in my business but it's never worked out mostly because we alway break up, :(
6. Is making dolls just a hobby for you or a serious business?
Making dolls started out as a hobby but it has turned into an actual business over the past couple of years. We not only make dolls but I also write a lot of patterns so that others can learn to make them too. We also sell many of the required materials and patterns with kits etc. Our pattern/supply shop is on Etsy here.
7. Do you belong to any doll clubs/groups/forums?
Yes, I belong to tons of doll making, doll collecting, doll chat groups. I have met a lot of very sweet and helpful people online that enjoy doll making as much as I do and it is so great to be able to share ideas and just discuss all kinds of doll related things together. When you work from home, you almost miss having co-workers to chat with. They are quite a lot like co-workers. (Note: Jennifer says most of the doll groups she belongs to are on Facebook and she found them just by searching for "doll making" and "doll collecting".)
I sell my dolls in my Hyena Cart shop; www.hyenacart.com/Lali When I have things available, they are listed in my shop on Friday evenings. I am also in a group shop on Hyena Cart called Dollectable. It is a group of over 20 doll makers from all over the world. We sell together as a group once a month; www.hyenacart.com/Dollectable. The best way to stay updated when new dolls will be available is by signing up for my blog (www.lalidollnursery.com) you can get email updates when we have new things available.
9. Do you collect dolls yourself?
Yes, I do. I have different styles of dolls that I collect. 3 of them are cloth dolls. I have some vintage dolls, several of which are the 1979 Strawberry Shortcake figures. I have a Naber Kids doll that was given to me by my grandmother. Planning to add a Ball jointed doll soon. (Note: I collect Strawberry Shortcake dolls too! Well I did in the past, not so much now. I sold a lot of my collection before moving to Mexico but did keep one nearly complete set. I love Strawberry Shortcake so much, and I'm absolutely in love with Jennifer's version!)
10. Who are your favorite doll artists?
I recently really love Kaye Wiggs dolls. They are Ball jointed dolls and I'm hoping to add one to my collection soon. I adore the little Waldorf dolls made by Ineke Gray. It is one of the cloth dolls in my collection as well. I love the endearing and detailed faces of the dolls made by Darlene Rausch.
Thanks for visiting today and getting to know Jennifer. As always if you are a doll artist and would like to be featured on my blog please send me an email at email@example.com