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A ‘Tilda’ Birthday Present


Having been invited to a friend’s birthday party at the beginning of December, I found myself in the unusual position of knowing exactly what to make her as a gift.

She had previously shown me a book purchase in which there was a typical Tilda doll, and mentioned that she loved them in all their whimsical weirdness. As I happen to own several of Tone Finnanger’s publications, it was an easy decision to actually go ahead and make one for the first time.

I had some wool left over from knitting the Westie, but had to add in some pink to make two-tone sleeves as there wasn’t quite enough of the cream. Although just a small project, the jumper and stockings took the best part of a day to knit – but aren’t they cute?

Cutting a star shape out of some firm interfacing, sequins were individually sewn on until a sequin star was achieved.

The use of pink sequins ties in with the pink sleeves.

Now, on to the doll itself.

The instructions direct you to draw around the pattern pieces and sew BEFORE cutting them out. This is the best method when dealing with narrow pieces of fabric.

This is what you end up with and then comes the fiddly bit – turning them the right way out!!

It took at least an entire hour to turn, stuff and assemble the doll, probably nearer two – then you end up with the weirdest proportioned doll you have ever seen!

Following the instructions to the letter, the hair was added.

I ran out of cream yarn so, instead of winding tiny balls for the side buns, I wound what was remaining around two miniature pom poms for the same effect.

Two dots for eyes were added along with a smudge of blusher, and she’s finished.

The trousers were a simple and quick finishing touch.

I added a thread chain at the base of her neck so she could be hung from a hook as well.

Here she is sat on my table just before being wrapped and gifted an hour later. I know, I know, yet another by-the-skin-of-my-teeth project!

My husband thinks it’s ugly and odd, and I kind of see where he’s coming from but, luckily, my friend loves it and that’s all that matters.

Will I make another one? Well, it’s time-consuming and extremely fiddly in parts, but Tilda’s creations are strangely attractive partly because they’re so unusual and Scandinavian in character, so I think I probably will. The fact that I have four of her books on my shelf is rather telling……

Author: sewchet

Sewing, Crochet and other loveliness!

22 thoughts on “A ‘Tilda’ Birthday Present

  1. Love your Tilda doll, I’ve made a few myself and I agree they are strangely compelling! I note that you spent a lot of time turning the limbs the right way (as I did when I made my first one) and wonder if you know about fabric tube turners which make the job really quick. Love the jumper with its sparkly heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. They are really cute! I like your word in this context: “…fiddly…” 🙂
    But, it’s the little things that make the biggest smiles.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A lovely gift – hand made shows so much love 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is so adorable. Thank you for sharing the design and tutorial.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. She is rather quirky, but I can also see the appeal, especially when dressed up in that yummy wool. I like your addition of pink sleeves, and I also admire your ingenuity. You have lucky, lucky friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Really cute – I have a kit in my cupboard, maybe I will get it out after Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I like her! She’s odd and fascinating in the same time! I can easily imagine the amount of work behind her 😱

    Liked by 2 people

    • ‘Odd and fascinating’ sum her up brilliantly and she’s sure to be a talking point whatever your opinion of her! As is often the case, the smallest things can take the most effort to produce and she was no exception:)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! That does look fiddly and definitely not my thing. You’ve made it beautifully and I know how satisfying it is to make something you know your recipient will love.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I adore her, and am now suffering from doll envy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great job! I love her jumper. i’ve got a bit of a doll phobia, but I do like Tilda dolls. I have several of Tone’s books too and keep meaning to make one but they look so hard to do!

    Liked by 2 people

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