The Big Fig Doll Pattern, ready for your making hands.
You have all been waiting so long for this and now I finally have the pleasure of letting you know it is ready for your doll making hands.
If you have followed my journey long enough you will know that I created the Figlette pattern in November 2011. It was a monumental effort for a young doll maker, trying to find her feet and doll making voice in this vast world. It sprung up out of the efforts to freeze the body proportions of my youngest child at the time.
The doll that was born of the first iteration of this pattern was given to my mother. The second doll that came out of the “actual” pattern was Eva. She was the first doll I ever kept for myself. I just couldn’t bear to part with her. That same sentiment accompanied my words every time someone asked me to publish the pattern for others to create dolls from it: I just couldn’t bear to part with it.
Also, I was so insecure in my doll making ways. I wasn’t really sure I was creating a doll “the right way” and I was trying to find ways to develop my own style. So I kept the pattern tucked away with me all this time and over many years I have evolved and improved on it according to where newly acquired skills have taken me.
I, of course, had to modify this pattern into a much “simpler” one for you than the one I currently use. But I would still consider the pattern an Intermediate to Advanced doll making pattern. If only because you are making such a large doll and dealing with vast quantities of fabric, wool and felting. I am so used to making Petite Figs now and other small dolls that creating a figlette always feels so abundant and almost luxuriously excessive!
Large dolls have a very unique feeling to them as you can hug them and sit them on your lap. They feel the most like children than all my other dolls.
But on to the pattern. The dolly that came out of this version is Ava, as a nod to her predecessor Eva. We are not calling this pattern a Figlette because that is the one I still use, so we are calling it Big Fig.
Ava measures roughly 18” tall and has a needle-felted head and facial details (the head is sculpted first with thread, then covered in wool completely and needle-felted). She has embroidered eyes and freckles galore (instruction included in the pattern).
Ava has a cute sculpted bum, belly button and bumpy knees. She has a three-part foot and her legs are sewn within the torso. Her curved arms are attached by hand to the torso. She also has a wee neck, ears, sits and stands very well (with assistance). I gave her hard-sole shoes and she stood all by herself, the little munchkin!
Her body proportions correspond to a 5 year old. Click on the button below to read the pattern listing page.
She is quite chubby, which gives her a very young appearance. We are still trying to decide here what to do with Miss Ava as to clothing, she is such a quiet little girl and hasn’t spoken much in regards to her preferences. But now that she is out of the packing box (we recently moved countries again!) she might start yapping and making her long list of things to get.
In all these photos she is wearing the Little Penny overalls and tshirt. So if you want to make the doll and dress her in the same get-up you can find the pattern for her and her clothing in the store.
The pattern also comes with instruction on how to make a doll wig in crochet and add weft for a natural hair style. The options regarding weft are quite astounding, so I am sure that you will be able to find the style you want. If you want to make your own weft with locks (Alpaca, Wensleydale, Teeswater, etc) you can find a tutorial over here.
This time I am also including a handy list of online suppliers where you can find all the materials required to create the Big Fig. This is such a common question I receive and normally answer with a link to my list of Doll Making resources, but in an effort to save you time I included the list in the actual pattern. You can choose the supplier closer to you to save on the materials shipping cost.
As for the cute little topper she is wearing, that is my soon-to-be released knitting pattern, aptly named Acorn Cap. It was designed for Pom, the doll created for my first online dollmaking class (which took place this past October), but as Ava was lying there without a single clothing item of her very own, I decided to write the pattern in her size as well. So very soon I will have the pattern out, making a little acorn cap for your dolls with 9”/10” head circumference (the small size) or your big dolls with 12”/13” head circumference (the large size).
But don’t let that deter you. Over the years I have published oodles of patterns, both in knitting and sewing, to dress your dolls with the body proportions and size of Ava. You can find a small selection to follow:
1. Knit a beautiful pair of doll boots, following the Sock Booties knitting pattern.
2. What about making this traditional and heart warming (hehe!) wrap shawl for your doll? Take the Corazon knitting pattern with you.
3. Do you want to dress your doll in something playful and warm? Use the Ermentrude sewing pattern.
So now, aside the clothing patterns, you can choose from four different doll making patterns as well, to learn doll making in the comfort of your home, at your own time. That’s how I learned, except I had no patterns to follow and it took me very long to learn and amass the skills I now have. Definitely very rewarding but you don’t have to spend years and years trying to learn how to make a doll. Especially if you have limited time to spare to your doll making shenanigans.
This will be the last doll pattern I publish in a while, as I am going to devote more of my energy into some e-books I have been dreaming about as well as my workshops and online classes. But if you are unable to attend a doll class online or take one of my workshops, I recommend using a doll pattern to learn from.
You don’t have to travel, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home and there is no rush to buy the pattern; if I at this time you can’t devote your energy or time to a doll, the pattern will be there in the shop for when inspiration strikes.
I will say that my doll patterns have been published in order of difficulty (this was intentional, not just for you but for me, so I could learn from the previous publishing adventure and do things “better” next time), and with each new one there is something more to learn. So there are definitely things in this pattern that will broaden your horizons if you have already tried the others. But to be concise, here is the order of the doll making patterns published so far:
1. Beginner. The Wee Baby doll pattern. Easy, quick and so darn cute. This is the perfect introduction, in my opinion, to doll making of this kind, 8” tall.
2. Intermediate Beginner. The Little Fig doll pattern. A simple but sweet little doll, 14” tall.
3. Intermediate. The Baby Fig doll pattern. Much more involved though the doll is quite small, 11” tall.
4. Intermediate to Advanced. The Big Fig doll pattern. A large doll full of details and assembly shenanigans. 18” tall.
When I look back, when I read what I wrote about Eva, when I see all these four patterns published and have a somewhat clear vision of where I am headed next year, I can’t help but feel goosebumps. Nobody could have ever warned me when I made my first doll ten years ago that I would be here, but now teaching, guiding others, traveling and writing so much still about doll making.
Doll making opened an enormeous well of creativity, adventure and yes, healing. It has allowed me to support my family in times of need, it has created wonderful friendships, it has given me a lot of room for self awareness. Most importantly, I can list so many benefits that I have received by being a doll maker, but the biggest one is that my journey has inspired many others to dive into it. By doing what I most love, others have felt encouraged to do the same. It is so incredibly humbling to know that what you do has such a positive and healing effect in others as well.
I am incredibly grateful to all of you: for buying my dolls, for asking questions, for posing challenges. For being my students, my patrons, my partners in crime. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here.
Enjoy the Big Fig and everything that this pattern can help you create. Be it a doll for your kiddo, for your Grandma, for a friend, for yourself. Or for you to accrue knowledge as you walk down your doll making path.
From my hands to yours, the Big Fig Doll Pattern.
PS. There will be a handy discount coupon via the newsletter, so wait a little bit for it. My newsletter provider has a server down and once it is all fixed I will send you December’s Love Letter.