START AT THE BEGINNING



Your child's imagination is a sacred space of story and movement.

It is peopled with the folk and critters of her dreams and wishes.

You delight to watch your child play with laughter and selfless abandon. And you were transfixed by her wonder as she discovered....spaghetti noodles....mirrors....ocean waves....zippers.

A child's sense of self and other is fundamentally based on the words they hear again and again. And when your child puts together those words, stories are born.

Where do her stories come from? What is your child's play vocabulary? 

Gypped by the Script


Mass-produced movie, TV, and video game toys figure almost exclusively in toy and doll trends seen in trade shows and on shelves and in ads of toy and department stores.

These toys, made mainly from highly polluting oil waste, steal from our children by replacing their own unique words with scripts, characters, and plots that do one thing only: sell another person's story to your child.

Screen-washed


There is no love in these toys. None of these toys was made for her. No one in the corporate board room was thinking about your child. No relationship was fostered.

Can your child identify any heroes who are not fictional? When was the last time your child told you a story he made up on his own? Remember those cute nonsense songs she used to sing before she memorized the entire score of every new princess movie?

Movies and TV are not problems. But when scripted play replaces imaginative play, it's time to bring back the wonder of using all the words to your children's stories.

Playtime is just an idea away

Only you, the adult, can do anything about the amount of scripted toys in your child's play, but shopping for remarkable toys for your children or a special child in your life is getting harder and harder. The quality toy, often made of natural materials, is becoming an expensive boutique item and unaffordable for many.
 Parents are asking for affordable, story-rich toys, DIY projects, and patterns that are ecologically friendly and locally sustainable.

Luckily, you have many more tools in your play-box than you are aware of.

What you already know can help you:
  • fairy tales
  • cloud watching
  • hopscotch rhymes
  • baking cookies
  • forts made of sheets and blankets
  • dancing with scarves and ribbons
But when your child wants to run off and make her own world of characters and story, SweaterDoll is ready to help you make people, animals, and other critters that fill that world.

SweaterDoll's mission is to design "clean" and story-rich toys and doll patterns and projects free from movie, TV, and video game scripts, for families who yearn to make, relate, and flourish in an extraordinary world of storytelling and play.


 Handmade is love made visible
 
By giving a child a toy you made with the words "I made this just for you", you invite that child into a relationship with you and you enhance their meaning-making by giving them an opening to create and innovate on their own terms and from their own unique inner life, making untainted stories and writing what has yet to be written.
SweaterDoll is committed to working on new designs you can make and projects you can use that promote story-rich play.


With SweaterDoll behind you, you get to be the hero. 
  • Using digital pattern downloads rather than paper, packaging, and shipping materials is good for the environment and the world's water supply.
  • You are supporting a family business.
  • Crafting makes you part of the human creative culture, and any help you need is just an email away.
  • As the maker, you are in charge of material choices, color, and costs because you are free to choose and use new or repurposed materials.
  • You can customize the toys to meet your child's special needs for added weight or fabrics with more texture or more softness.
  • An open-ended toy promotes language development and critical thinking in children.
  • Giving a handmade toy creates a new bond between you and the recipient.
How my customers feel about the patterns:
"I like the idea of recycling clothes."
"So nice to find simple easy patterns with great instructions. Thank you!"
"The pattern and instructions are clear and very easy to follow."
"I've already created a beautiful doll."
"I love the final product we made and have had many compliments on her. Thank you for designing a great pattern." 
  


SweaterDoll products include:
  • toy and doll sewing patterns, 
  • tutorials, 
  • advices regarding toxin-free fiber options, and
  • upcycling resources to help you create eco-friendly toys. 


SweaterDoll sewing patterns - 
classics with a modern twist

Using new or reclaimed textiles, you can use the patterns and projects of SweaterDoll to create a traditional cloth doll with a modern twist.







Get to Know SweaterDoll 

If you want to get to know me before you jump in, that's okay. Follow me on on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SweaterDoll), or on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/sweaterdoll/).



SweaterDoll on Etsy offers DIY toy and doll sewing patterns, tutorials, and upcycling e-books.

Craftsy SweaterDoll carries my free downloadable tutorials as well as all my patterns for sale.





HOW ON EARTH DID I GET HERE?

I am a self-professed rag hound and thrift store queen. I learned how to sew and make toys and other household textiles at the feet of Cajun and farm women of the American South and Midwest in the 1960s and 70s.

With an unexpected switch to single motherhood and limited funds, I started making most of my own two young children's toys, dolls, and games. I drew from a deep well of women's wisdom and traditional needlework skills and the depth of my children's imaginations to create original designs that filled their playroom with open-ended play opportunities.

Limiting their TV time helped the children develop the capacity to play in their own safe worlds for hours on end, allowing me to work, study, and do housework without worry. Joining them in their play was easy as their stories came from our own imagination, not prescripted from TV or video games. The best part was that their play was filled with love and relationship.

That's what motivates me to help parents and friends of children to move away from toys that have limited playability and predetermined personalities.

Take your time with the upcycling tutorials or other articles here or in the Etsy or Craftsy shops. Email me if you have any questions or skills needs. I'm happy to help you create a gift that makes your love visible.

Allison

Glass House Mountains, Queensland, Australia

sweaterdoll@gmail.com

Remember to SIGN UP for the SweaterDoll Hugs (box on the right) to keep up with my patterns, projects, and skills videos.

And you can also "Like" SweaterDoll on Facebook.