Blog, Pattern Reviews

Aubrey & Dara Dolls – My Crochet Doll Pattern Review

So I have been desperate to try artist Isabelle Kessedjian’s pattern from her book “My Crochet Doll” for the longest time. Up until creating these dolls I had very limited experience in making detailed amigurumi figures such as this, only the odd Pokemon here and there and a few of my own very simple designs. I had never created a doll prior to completing this pattern.

I finally got the opportunity to try this pattern when I was asked to make a mini me for a colleagues daughter, Dara. I loved it so much I decided to make my best friends daughter, Aubrey her own version.

 

I used a variety of my existing stash to create this piece, which was great for using up some of my leftover yarn I was unsure what to do with and as recommended a 3mm crochet hook.

It’s important to note that the book is written in entirely English crochet terminology, in comparison my blog uses American terminology. So what I would refer to as a single crochet (SC) the book refers to as a double crochet (DC). I also found some of the patterns in this book a little bit difficult to read, I’m a huge fan of photo tutorials if you hadn’t have guessed and this book was solely written patterns. But this may also have been because I am not used to complex patterns!

Head

The book recommends making the head in two pieces (top down and then bottom up), instead I decided to work the head as one piece.

I increased as stated for the scalp and then completed 21 rounds of the DC before moving onto my decrease rounds.

I paused and placed a stitch marker just one round into my decrease rounds in order to attach the hair, eyes and nose.

After attaching the hair, eyes and nose I did not close up the head entirely after completing all the decrease rounds. This left a small gap where the head would fit with the neck. I did this to add more support to the head/neck, which I will elaborate on further in this post.

Using the top down method for the head as one piece, I added the hair at round 8. I inserted my eyes between round 16-17, approximately 10 stitches apart and I stitched the nose between rounds 19-20, approximately 2/3 stitches wide.

Hair

I found the description for the hair very basic in Isabelle’s book. For someone who has NEVER added hair to a piece I struggled with this to start with.

 

I found the easiest way to create lots of “hair” the same length was to wrap this around a book relevant to how long I wanted the hair. e.g. The Aubrey Doll’s hair strands were wrapped around a standard paperback as I wanted it relatively short but the Dara Doll’s hair strands were wrapped around a rather large cookbook I had on my shelves. Every single hair tutorial recommends doing this and I can see why.

 

I stumbled across Stephanie from All About Ami’s tutorial on adding hair and followed this to a tee with the hair on my Aubrey doll. It worked perfectly, honestly if you’re adding chunky hair to a doll then this tutorial is made for you.

The hair on the Aubrey doll was simply an Aran weight yarn (although it seemed more like a chunky weight yarn) and some fabric glue.

The hair on the Dara doll was a bit more complex. I used DK weight yarn and covered every stitch from round 8 up to the MR. I threaded each yarn through and tied individually and the plaited three strands together and tied in a knot at the very bottom. This took AGES (around 6 hours) and although I think it was definitely worth it, it’s maybe not something I’d be prepared to do again, haha!

Body/ Arms

I followed the pattern for the body exactly as stated in the book.

Having read a few reviews before I started this project I have heard that the head can sometimes need a little more support. I decided to add this support by extending my wire frame upwards as couple of cm into the actual head itself, through that little gap I mentioned earlier before sewing the head and body together.

For the arms I removed by 5 rounds of the DC as I found my first attempt at the arms to be a longer than I had pictured. I folded the wire in the arms as an elongated and almost triangular figure of 8 on the Dara doll, with tape around the centre. This stopped the ends of the wire poking out of the hands and shoulders of the doll, which I found happened with the straighter wire version I did with the Aubrey doll. I did the same with the feet of the body wire structure.

Clothing

For my Aubrey Doll I used the trousers and shirt PJ pattern to being with. I decided to create an alternative top so that the doll’s outfit could be changed and used the top pattern from the Ski dolls outfit. I loved the miniature bear pattern from this book, literally too cute!

I then created two miniature hearts from this pattern and stitched these in place to my alternative top to add a little bit more detail and make the doll as girly as possible.

The dress on the Dara Doll is the “little red riding hood” outfit, minus the cape.

I used a dark grey and blue yarn with black boots.

The only amendment I made to the dress was to make it a little bit more form fitting and moved 2/4 increases around to the other side of the increase round of the pattern.

 

Here are the finished two dolls, both are so different and yet so cute. This just shows the versitility of this pattern. You can create any kind of doll!

Dara loved her doll and Aubrey has yet to receive hers as it is a birthday present for the end of June, I hope she likes it too!

I hope these notes help you when and if you come to try this wonderful pattern. I would definitely recommend giving this pattern a go!

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Happy Making!

Zoe

 

 

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