Arden (a custom baby)

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I love making babies. Okay girls, you know I mean the cloth ones!

I just finished working on this custom dolly, Arden. Apart from a couple of trades I have, she is the last of my custom orders for the year. I’ve been making dolls for about 6 years now but rather than getting quicker, I am getting much slower. I keep thinking of new ways to make their bodies, their faces, their clothes and trying to perfect every little detail, while also learning new skills. I recently learned to knit from my Mother-in-law, so I am happy to say that now the little knitted booties and bonnets are made by me! It only took me about a month of lessons involving my poor MIL unpicking a lot of knit and looking puzzled over my attempts. These days it’s taking me about 3 weeks to finish a big doll but of course I can’t really work on it full time, the duties of family life take up a good part of the day. I will say I am really enjoying spoiling each individual doll I make.

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There was a time I didn’t love making the clothes but now I find it the most exciting part. It helps bring out their personalities. I found that putting just any outfit on them doesn’t really work for them. The dolls have their own vibe that need something made just for them.

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Dressing them up! I think anyone will agree that is just plain fun right?

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Taking their picture is another new skill I am trying to learn. I am not very good yet but I hope to improve the photo’s I take of my dolls. It is a part of them I get to keep, so I think it is important to have nice photo’s.

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I think though, my favorite part of doll making is the many lovely people that I get to send them to. While I do miss saying goodbye to the little dollies, I am always so excited for them to arrive in their new homes.  I don’t think I can ever express how much I appreciate you all, the comments you send, the support you give and the many lovely friendships that have been made in this crazy/beautiful world of dolls fills my heart.

–Jenn xoxo

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25 thoughts on “Arden (a custom baby)

  1. OK I have to admit that I love all the dolls and animals that you make but this little Arden and her clothing made me fall head over heels in love, her essence is so sweet!!!! I keep waiting for your elephant pattern but see why it isn’t yet, I am sure whoever Arden went to is in bliss having her in their home, thank you for sharing her!!!!

  2. She is absolutely exquisite! A true gem! Whoever gets her is very lucky. Hope to one day get one of your babies.

  3. I found Lali doll nursery a little over a year ago, and was finally able to time it right to be able to have Jenn make me a custom doll. I feel so lucky for having found her nursery, as she is Really the best doll maker I’ve ever seen (and believe me I’ve looked); and even luckier to now finally to be able to own one of her dolls!
    I decided some time ago that I wasn’t into the mainstream toy scene, I just wasn’t inspired by any of the toys, dolls or otherwise out there; and resisted buying any of that junk for my kids. I’d rather spend more for special, inspiring, and magical things that bring my children’s imaginations alive! And so I found Etsy, and Lali Doll Nursery and Jenn. I will absolutely hope to have more dolls made by Jenn, who is a master, and who made the custom process so easy and a lot of fun! We can’t wait to welcome our new baby, Arden, home and to see her new mom’s eyes light up on her birthday! Arden will be so loved!! Thank you Jenn

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Jennifer! I am thrilled to know you love her. It was so much fun creating her and was lovely to talk to you. I’m excited for her to get home to you guys. I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday! xoxo

  4. It is incredible how your dolls look like real personalities!
    You are a real super artist.
    Marijke (The Netherlands)

  5. I am so inspired by your dolls I love making toys for my grandchildren and I totally agree with the lady on your comment about not buying into the retail toy industry handmade is so much more personal I would love to try my hand at making one of these dolls for my grand daughter do you sell the patterns I would like a newborn size baby pattern if possible thank you and keep up the fabulous work x x

    • Hi Patrick, thanks so much for your comments. I do sell patterns in my Etsy shop. I don’t have my newborn pattern ready yet but I do have some baby doll patterns and they could always be resized to whatever size you want. I have instructions for resizing here on my site. Thanks ❤

  6. Hi Jenn
    I would love to try and make one of your dolls. Do you know where I can get full instructions on how to sculpture face. I live in South Africa so no good buying pattern before I can find out how to sculpture the face. Love your dolls.
    Regards
    Olivia

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