Eve's first birthday is in May, and I wanted to make something special for her to celebrate her babyhood. I've been on the hunt for a baby doll for a while, since before our little moon was even born. It's more difficult to find a cute cloth dolly than you would imagine! Finally, I did some research on traditional doll construction and styles and discovered Waldorf dolls.
Waldorf dolls (or Kinder dolls) are made of natural materials (wool & cotton), with soft faces and bodies created through traditional European doll making techniques. They have formed faces with only small suggestions of a nose, eyes and mouth, with no specific facial expression which allows children to use their imagination fully when adopting a persona for their dolls (used in Waldorf education). Their arms and legs are flexible and soft so they can be positioned in many ways.
I see first hand how effective this type of plaything is toward developing creativity in children. Luke has a teddy bear which fits the same description, and the personality that has grown in that bear is fantastic! From the age of about 1 to 5, Teddy was a major part of our family. I believe from experience that encouraging imaginative play in this way helps foster empathy, gentleness & care in a young child. Luke could not be a kinder, more loving big brother to his baby sister, and without us being aware of it, I think the way he was allowed to love and care for his own "baby" gave him the inclination to be a caregiver to others.
This doll is blank because I wanted to mirror some of it's features to Eve's, giving it brown hair and green eyes. I bought the Waldorf blank from Etsy seller Wonderland Inhabitant. I'm excited to get started with the transformation! I'll share the changes here, so if you're thinking of customizing a doll for your own little one, you might pick up an idea or two.