If you are at all into making dolls and soft creatures then Ruth Sleigh-Johnson’s book is well worth spending some time looking through. It is a perfect beginners introduction into handmade softies, with oodles of projects for every level to try your hand at.
The book itself is broken down into chapters, including flat dolls, stump dolls, knitted and crochet dolls, rag dolls and one hour makes. Each chapter introduces the style of doll or creature, and gives a quick concise explanation as to what they are. The image below for example, are painted flat dolls, meaning they are made with only a front and back piece of material and held together with the row of stitching all around.
Flat dolls are a great starter project and Ruth has included four good solid patterns, from the simplest handmade oval doll, to a flat cat cat and man and woman dolls.
If sewing is not your forte, there are also knitting and crochet projects with full patterns to follow. And, in the one hour makes Ruth includes no sew projects, an example being this cute doll in the image below, completely created from recycled pieces of card, material and yarn.
In the final section of the book, Ruth includes an inspiration section filled with art dolls, doll makers and a really cute gallery.
The patterns are at the back of the book. My only caveat here is that they have to be scaled up, which is understandable, but I feel sometimes this puts a barrier to the making in place. It would be a lot easier to just trace, cut and make.
Even as an experience doll and softie maker, I loved this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in handmade dolls and creatures.