Mad In Pursuit Notebook

handkerchief doll made from vintage hand-dyed linen napkin

instructions for handkerchief dollDollmaking: A "Handkerchief" Doll

Tue, 4.28.2015. Thinking about dolls again. Not refined art dolls. Simple "spirit" dolls. In so many cultures, dolls play an important roll. They aren't what you mindlessly give little girls a hundred of. Probably through Pinterest I stumbled upon the "handerchief" or "church" doll. Legend has it that during pioneer days, a fidgety child in church was often entertained by a parent's handkerchief knotted into a doll.

This basic diagram for construction was done in 1992 by Kathy Ballard for Country Woman and is reproduced many places. I got the one here from the very informative entry at Homemaker's Journal blog.

I decided to use a pretty hand-dyed linen napkin for my doll. Me being me, I wound up battling with the cloth over several sittings, using rubber bands and string to tame it, wondering what possessed me.

Then her head looked wierd so I found a scrap of silk for a scarf.

handkerchief doll made from vintage hand-dyed linen napkin

Dolls without faces creep me out somehow, but I wanted to keep this project minimalist, so I added just a few stitches to bring her to life.

handkerchief doll made from vintage hand-dyed linen napkin, with silk scarf

Once I was satisfied, I stitched her scarf on and replaced the string with embroidery floss. I think she is sweet.