F Tamdoll's Dolls | tamdoll's workspace

Tamdoll's Dolls

Most of this information has been published on my previous websites, I'm fortunate that the web archives saved most of what I published in 2002 and I was able to recover a lot!


After making a few dragons and mermaids, I decided to create patterns so others could make them, too. You can find the patterns to purchase in my Etsy shop and they include Basics and Beyond Basics instructions to create your own from simple to complex!


This page features many of the dolls I've made in the early 2000s, how the designs were born, tips, and a list of some of my favorite books and tools.


Tamdoll's sewn fabric mermaid doll featuring blue fiber hair, painted and stitched face, and beaded decorations on the torso.

The Serenity Mermaid© pattern creates an 18" mermaid designed for hanging. This sewing pattern is available to purchase in my Etsy shop.


This 10" Serenity© pictured has been painted with Jacquard Lumiere Acrylic Paints and beaded with moonstones. The pattern is easily enlarged or reduced to give you the size mermaid that you wish to make. This Serenity© mermaid won the People's Choice Award at the 2003 Goffstown Main Street Art Show-Off.


White and blue fabric sewn mermaid dolls.
The Arctic, Foam, and Deep Creek mermaids have been painted with Jacquard Lumiere Acrylic Paints, decorated with a variety of glass, Czech, and Miyuki beads, mesh and lace accents, shells, and sea glass. Hair is made of synthetic fibers or mohair from a local farm, and bodies are weighted or wired.

Jeri made a mermaid doll with blue tail, blue hair and shell decorations on the torso.
Jeri's Mermaid has been embellished with shells, shells, and more shells! Her hair is ingenious! - Jeri used a hair 'scrunchie'. Her stand is made from a wooden base with a garden stake attached to it. Jeri's mermaid's tail has been quilted with fancy machine stitches and her face hand-drawn and painted on.


Quiet Dragons© are 12" dragon fantasies that you create. You;'ll enjoy the peaceful nature of them! This sewing pattern is available to purchase in my Etsy shop.


A variety of sewn, fabric dragons by tamdoll in sitting postures with purple, blue and gold fabric, fiber and bead decorations.

A variety of sewn, fabric dragons by tamdoll in sitting postures with purple, blue and gold fabric, fiber and bead decorations.

The first creation of this design is seen above in blue and black fabrics. After creating the Dudley version, I found it difficult to translate that one into a written pattern. After some trial and error, and inspiration from Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Terry Jones and illustrated by Brian Froud, the Quiet Dragon© was born. The Treasure's of the Gypsy Art Doll challenge showed me the variety of embellishments that were possible. 

More Dolls

A sewn flying fairy doll with pink body and yellow mohair hair.
Tamdoll's Flying Fairy, OOAK

 This one of a kind (OOAK) doll is similar to the mermaid pattern above.

Tamdoll's Shamrock fairy sewn doll with velvet green body and wings, hand embellished beaded vest and painted features.

The Shamrock Fairy is only 9" tall - the perfect height to hide in the grass when planting four-leaf clovers. Its vest and wings have been beaded with hundreds of glass and gold-lined Czech beads. The luxuriant mohair tresses come from the fleece of angora goats raised in the fresh mountain air of New Hampshire. The Shamrock Fairy's features have been hand-painted onto the cloth and wire-armature body.

A pink fabric figure holds a lace shawl with beaded edging behind her. The face is a bead featuring closed eyes with false eyelashes attached and a beaded headdress.

The Goddess of Compassion: She's nurturing and compassionate...waiting to wrap you in her Shawl of Comfort. This doll won the www.joggles.com Beaded Goddess Doll Challenge in the Viewer's Choice Category.

Tamdoll's sewn fabric doll with green wings and hair, wears a crown and vest, standing on a wooden plaque.

The Dragonfly Fairy is only 9" tall. The vest, necklace, crown and wings have been embellished with glass and crystal beads. The luxuriant mohair tresses come from angora goats raised in New Hampshire, and the arms and face have been hand-dyed shades of green.


Materials I Use

Everyone has their own preferences for materials, there is no "right or wrong" way to do things—experimenting is the best way to find out what works for you.


I use whatever fabric colors and patterns I like without regard to stretch or weight... Tightly woven cottons are good and tough when stuffing bodies firmly. If I must use a stretch or light-weight fabric, then I iron on a light-weight interfacing to the fabric before cutting out the pattern pieces. Working with a stretch fabric is always fun and can add new dimensions to a doll. Visit your local quilt shop, or rummage through a local thrift store, and discover something fun to work with!


I only use Fairfield's Poly-fil® because of the consistency in quality and smooth silhouette it gives my dolls when stuffed firmly.


The only tools I absolutely need when making my dolls are a basic sewing machine and a pair of "hemostats" (to get stuffing into small spaces.) The "hemostats" I use are 6" Locking Pliers found in the fishing department at Walmart. A Turn-it-All is also a great tool to help turn tiny points like fingers and wingtips—in a pinch I've used a coffee stirrer and a smooth chopstick to gently push/pull fabric until the piece is turned right-side-out.


Inspirational Teachers and Books

A class with Nancy Laverick at The Academy of American Doll Artists WOW 2001 unleashed my pattern making skills, when I created my first completely original doll, Dudley:

Tamdoll's first stuffed dragon sewn in batik fabric in shades of green, orange, and purple.

Before I even learned how to use a sewing machine, I admired the character and personality that shone in elinor peace bailey's dolls. Her book Mother Plays With Dolls was indeed "...an important key to unlocking creativity," as it is subtitled. Soul Mate Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay made me realize that I don't have to be in a good mood, or even make happy dolls all the time, in order to use my free time to create. I have also taken fun and inspiring classes with Judy Skeel and Julie McCullough.

I have found no better instructional book that covers so many aspects of doll making than Anatomy of a Doll by Susanna Oroyan (affiliate link). And to jump-start creativity, I have enjoyed Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Medaris Culea, Making Creative Cloth Dolls by Marthe Le Van, Soft Dolls & Animals magazine, and Art Doll Quarterly magazine. There are so many fantastic books and creative sewing magazines available today, I could spend all my time looking at pictures and coming up with new ideas!

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