Garment making is interrupted to bring you something a little different today. Over the Christmas break I made a couple of heirloom dolls, namely two wool felt rabbits using the book, Making Luna Lapin by Sarah Peel. Long time readers of this blog will know that 1. this is not the usual kind of thing that I like to make, and, 2. I don’t like handsewing (to be fair I did not appreciate how much hand sewing was involved in the making of the bodies at least!) but now that both dolls are complete I can confirm they are adorable with so many beautiful features.
From the outset I will say that this is a really well thought out book. The instructions are very clear with lots of attention to detail. The patterns are easy to trace out and seam allowances are included. It’s obvious that the author of this book is experienced and highly trained – there are lots of tips included which really help you to achieve a great result, including what thickness of wool felt to get. A total of 20 garment/ accessory patterns are included, as well as the patterns to make Luna, and some sweet little stories to accompany the sewing.
Of course, the item that drew me to this book was the coat, and for me, this was the most enjoyable item to make (no hand sewing! lol) The little details on this coat are just so cute – the (non functioning) welt pockets, the sleeve tabs and the little collar. Be warned: some parts of this coat have raw edges so you need to use a fabric which will not fray, and will also not be too thick and bulky. That’s why the wool felt is perfect.
The body is made from wool felt with the legs sewn into the body and the arms “jointed” to the body using buttons. The legs on my first rabbit may not quite be the same length 🙂 but it doesn’t matter. For a moment I considered machining the body but I do think the hand sewing adds a certain charm and character to the finished doll.
The book calls for lace to make french knickers but I didn’t have any so I used a scrap of cotton to make striped boxer shorts. The dress is supposed to be finished with a button and press stud but I used a ribbon to tie the dress closed in the back. I omitted the detachable collar from the dress and added some rick rack trim. These projects are perfect for using up those little scraps and oddments you have lying around.
One thing I will say is that I believe a second book was published last year which contains patterns for 4 different animal dolls and includes the pattern for Luna Lapin, as well as clothes. If I had known I would perhaps have bought the second book but the first book does also contain a pattern for an armchair which is not included in the second book.
I made two of these dolls: one for Kezia and one for ME! No regrets. The joke at work is that I take the clean desk policy to the extreme and have absolutely nothing on my desk, at all times. I might just take my Luna Lapin with me tomorrow and have it on my desk. Maybe.
Until soon fellow sewists!