Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Baby Girl's First Doll

Baby girl gender reveal family portrait with crochet amigurumi doll

At the end of our gender reveal party, we took a family portrait to post on Facebook with a crochet doll I made representing our little girl-to-be. After rooting through a gazillion options on Ravelry, I decided to take a chance on the Nami doll, despite not having any completed projects under its name. I had a ton of fun making it, especially since it took less than a week and all my other WIPs are slow, long-term projects (yawn). Here are some changes I would do next time for simplification and baby proofing, in case you're interested. (If you're not interested, scan through the pics and skip to the end.)

  • Worsted yarn
  • Crochet hook size F (3.75 mm)
  • Black felt for the eyes
  • Red embroidery floss for the mouth
  • Polyfil stuffing
  • No ribbon, buttons, or leather rope

  • With worsted yarn I think the head turned out a little too tall/long. Maybe skip Rnd 19 (or even 18)?
  • After you finish the hair, face, and stuffing, continue decreasing rounds until the head is completely sealed. I think sewing together the open head and open body pieces makes the neck less defined.
Crochet amigurumi Nami doll - yarn hair, face, head, and dress sleeves
  • Rather than buying ribbon for the sleeves, I crocheted my own since I wasn't sure I could find ribbon that matched my dark purple dress color.
  • After completing the arm, point the hand up and the arm hole down. Make a slip knot, but leave a long yarn tail that will be used to sew the shoulder shut and cover up any skin color.
  • Rnd 1: Sc in each stitch around in the outer loop of Rnd 19 of the arm (front loop only); this is similar to how the dress is attached to the body. You will be crocheting the sleeve from the shoulder toward the hand. (9 sts)
  • Rnd 2: *2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 st* repeat three times (12 sts)
  • Rnd 3: Sc in each st around (12 sts)
  • Rnd 4: *2 sc in each st* repeat twelve times (24 sts)
  • Rnd 5: Sc in each st around (24 sts)
  • Rnd 6: Sc in each st around (24 sts)
  • Fasten off, leaving a long tail. Use the long tail at the shoulder to cover up any skin colored-yarn by sewing together the arm hole and also to attach the top of the sleeve/arm to the body piece.
  • Pinch the sleeve to create waves in the sleeve (I made about 3 waves per arm, on the outside of the arm not facing the body). Use the long tail at the end of the sleeve to affix those waves permanently into the fabric. 
  • Insert polyfil along the way as you're building the legs. Don't wait till the legs are finished or it will be harder to make sure there aren't any lumps in the legs.
  • Rnd 1: I made the first chain into a sloppy slip knot. Making a regular slip knot will leave an unsightly knot. I also made Rnds 1-3 using continuous rounds, and then did a sl st and ch 1 at the end so that Rnd 4 would be more even.
  • After Rnd 9, I made the shoes. After step 6 of the shoe instructions, fasten off completely and create a separate foundation chain to tie (rather than sl st) to the shoe rim  to create a cleaner look. I shortened the foundation chain since it was a little too long with worsted yarn.
  • For all color changes, I used PlanetJune's jogless stripes (invisible join version) – it's very clean and worth the effort. Consider starting each color change in a different location at each rnd. My legs were slightly bowed toward the back because that's where all the knots were.
  • Rnds 29-34 are the doll's underwear.
Crochet amigurumi Nami doll - legs and shoes
  • Next time, I'll choose dress and hair colors that have greater contrast. The dark hair can blend in with the dark dress in photos.
  • The dress is completed from top to bottom, so when you join the dress yarn to the body, make sure the body is upside down. The picture instructions are from another doll, so just be aware that the colors won't match your Nami doll.
  • When using worsted yarn, the torso section was a bit short, so next time I'll add 2 rnds after Rnd 9. I also had to add more rnds after Rnd 19 to make sure the underwear was sufficiently covered.
  • Instead of buttons, I chose worsted yarn of another color and cross-stitched 3 X's in a column.
Hair and Face:
  • Since my doll was larger and made out of worsted yarn, I didn't want to spend the time/money using embroidery floss covering her whole head. However, using worsted yarn for hair can result in a very poofy wig because the diameter is so much bigger. So I found this jennyandteddy hair tutorial that worked nicely with worsted yarn hair without being too thick. It's faster, but the downside is that she's got a shaved head underneath her top layer of hair. :)
  • Instead of safety eyes, I sewed on black felt circles. Red embroidery floss sewn in three stitches was used for the smile.
Nami doll - crochet amigurumi with worsted yarn

My OB/GYN said she couldn't understand why gender reveals had become such a big deal in the past three to four years, and my best guess was Pinterest. :) Did you do anything special to share the news of your baby's gender?


    Unknown said...

    We are old-fashioned. We found out what flavour of baby we were having at birth. I didn't even have an Ultrasound the first time around! The second and third times, there were signs posted all over the diagnostic imaging department saying it was against hospital policy to reveal the gender of the baby at a prenatal ultrasound (since it's a diagnostic tool, and gender is not a medical conditon). I think by my third, there was a 3D ultrasound boutique open in my city but I chose not to go there. It wasn't important to me, and by the third I had boy and girl clothes in my house anyway. My midwife let me find out for myself what we were having. She didn't even tell me and that was so thrilling and exciting to me. I got to say "it's a boy!" or"it's a girl!". Best surprises ever.

    A Gamer's Wife said...

    @Jennifer - That's so cool about your midwife letting you announce the gender! I totally bawled on the ultrasound table when we found out with baby #2. K was like, "I didn't know you wanted a girl so badly," and I responded, "I didn't either!" :P

    Unknown said...

    Girls are much more fun to shop for than boys!
    I forgot to mention how much I like your doll. She's adorable. I wish I could crochet.

    When I was a girl, I knitted a doll that had two heads and torsoes you sewed together end to end with a long skirt in between. One head was sleeping and one was awake--you flipped the skirt to have a sleeping doll or awake one. It looked much less creepy than it sounds.:-)

    A Gamer's Wife said...

    @Jennifer - Awww, thank you! I think there are so many more crochet-able and knit-able things for girls (e.g., headbands, plushies, shawls). I know exactly what you're talking about – the reversible, topsy-turvy doll! I think it'd be so fun to make one for baby #2 one day. :)