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The Book Of Dollmaking

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The Book Of Dollmaking

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Book Name: The Book of Dollmaking

Author: Alicia Merrett

Publisher: Chartwell Books

ISBN: 0-7858-0887-6

Cover: Hardcover

# of Pages: 192

Illustrations: Color photos and sketches

Experience Required: Projects available for Beginners through to Advanced skill levels

Book Review

This book contains a wide variety of dolls to make including different styles and sizes of dolls as well as dolls made from diverse materials.  I like that the author has considered different cultures and looks when choosing which projects to include in her book.  There are dolls with varying flesh tones and hair colors and dolls such as Molly, Beth and Hannah are wearing appropriate period or cultural clothing.

The Getting Started chapter is a must read before beginning any of the Projects in this book regardless of the skill level of the dollmaker.  The tools, equipment and fabrics for making dolls are clearly displayed in color upon its pages.  Also important are techniques such as the stuffing the dolls blurb outlined for your knowledge and the illustrated dictionary of stitches (machine, hand and embroidery). 

In addition to the stitches, in the Getting Started chapter there is a section on Preparing and using Patterns and Templates.  Included in it is how to enlarge the patterns by photocopier or by the grid method, whichever you are more comfortable with using.  There is also a small Hints and Tips section included ensuring proper transfer of doll patterns to material.

Depending on the skill level of the dollmaker, the Elements of the Doll section offers a detailed breakdown of how dolls are created including bodies, face and hair and how to assemble them all together.  Also shown are sections on making the hair and clothes.  I like it that the author ties in the sections (i.e. fur fabric wigs) with the craft it applies to in the book (Chima, the African Boy) as well as giving us other options to use for Fantasy hair (i.e. materials such as raffia, ribbons, straw, and material) that aren't necessarily used in the book.

Some additional points to be aware of:

  • There is a Patterns and Templates section at the back of the book (the patterns are at scale 70%).
  • Each doll rated with 1-5 stars to indicate the level of difficulty of the project, the rating legend is in the front of the book in the introduction to the book, Dollmaking - A Creative Art section at the beginning of the book.
  • Sketches accompany photographs of each doll to clarify the instructions. 

My only criticism of this book is that the patterns don't immediately follow the craft to which they belong (as would be my preference) but this is a common occurrence in books where many patterns are required for the Projects.  At least the patterns are clearly labeled and easy to find.           


  • Basic Dolls Sophie, Josh, and  Molly
  • Toddler Doll Joe
  • Rose Fairy Rosalind
  • Baby Doll Kamal
  • Child Dolls Lara and Her Friends

Overall Rating:


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