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103 N. Main
Beaver Dam, Kentucky

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Early Style Stump Doll

Ben Ashby

Trudy Honeycutt

Crows in the Attic Primitives

Early dolls were made from a variety of materials – fabric, feed sacks, pieces of wood, corn cobs, etc.  Many of these were made by mothers and children, and often took on a very primitive, simple form.

This representation of an early doll was made from stained muslin, and stuffed with fabric scraps, known as rag stuffing.  You will need to cut two pieces of the pattern, which is easily done by tracing once on a double fold of fabric.  Sew on the tracing line, trim to about a ¼” seam allowance, clip all around, and turn right side out. After stuffing and closing the opening I chose to heavily grunge the dolls, bake them in a low heat oven, and then sand them.  I doubt that this step would have been taken in the early days, however!

Although many of the early dolls are faceless, I have seen examples in my research of those that had a simple stitched face as well.  You might try both!  I used two strands of embroidery floss and a long doll needle for stitching the features, starting my stitching in the back where the knot will be covered by the clothing piece.

To stay with the theme of simplicity, I have torn a piece of fabric into a 6” x 12” piece, wrapped it around the body, and then tied it with some black heavy thread.  For the hat I tore a similar piece of fabric, 3” x 7”, and then tied heavy thread around the neck to secure.  For more stability you could tack the hat and the dress to the doll as well.

After dressing your doll, sign and date, and enjoy!!