On Saturday 4th May I was lucky enough to be able to attend a workshop at Needle and Thread Workshops called An Introduction to Doll Making, taught by Katy Livings. I'm guessing that if you are reading this, you are familiar with Katy's work. She makes the most exquisite heirloom dolls and rabbits. Her attention to detail is perfection. I've followed Katy for many years and it really was a dream come true to be able to take part in the workshop and learn from her.
I've also followed Needle and Thread Workshops for a long time and I've longed to attend a class there. They run the most interesting array of workshops, all of which appeal to me. They are located in Lincoln which is three hours away from me, so I've never been able to go before. However my husband realised his childhood friend lives 15 minutes away from there so it was the perfect opportunity for him to take our son to visit friends whilst I did some sewing!
The location of Needle and Thread Workshops is stunning, a converted barn in the countryside, the perfect setting. When I arrived I was given a warm welcome and really taken care of with cups of coffee, slices of cake and a delicious, healthy lunch. If you ever have the opportunity to take a class there I highly recommend it. They have lovely sewing machines for you to use and if you need any help they are only too happy to support you.
The first thing we did was look at the examples of Katy's work. Her dolls and bunny's are so beautifully made. It takes her four days to make one and you can really see how much love she puts into each and every single thing she does. She talked about her career and how it has lead her into doll making and it was really interesting to learn more about her.
Katy then gave us patterns and we cut out what we needed. Then we could choose which fabrics we wanted to use and there was such an exciting selection, it was heaven! I chose to make a brown bunny out of cashmere wool and I'm so happy I did. It is so soft and luxurious and really makes my bunny feel special. I also chose to make the legs from gingham fabric and I picked denim for the skirt. For the body, I used vintage fabric that I had brought with me. It belonged to my Gran and I wanted to incorporate some of her things into my bunny as a way of remembering her. Katy showed me how to line the fabric I brought with calico as it was a fine fabric and this gave it much more structure. I also added a vintage trim to the skirt I made and this belonged to my Gran too.
Katy is such a brilliant teacher. She is very generous with sharing her knowledge and I feel like I've learnt so much from her. She shares tips and techniques for every step of making the bunnies and dolls, it really is a masterclass. I loved the step by step examples she had brought of each stage of the making process. I'm a visual learner so being able to refer back to these throughout the day really helped me to understand the process and now I feel equipped with the knowledge to make more bunnies!
I had so much fun taking part in this class. It's so lovely to be in a room of likeminded people and to learn from other sewists around you. I didn't quite finish my bunny on the day but that's ok! I was excited to get home and finish her off and I'm really happy with how she turned out. I think now she needs an apron, a cape, a bag, some shoes, a quilt...
About the Author
My name is Emma and I love all things sewing. My little blog is the place where I document what I'm making. I hope you enjoy reading what I'm up to. Thanks for stopping by. All opinions are my own and there is no sponsored content or affiliate links on my site.