"Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts forever." - unknown
Whether you are a dog person, a cat person, or simply just an animal person, there is no mistaking the heart full of puppy love. Loyal and loving, full of energy and bliss, always ready for the next adventure and quick to forgive. The heart of a dog is like no other animal and the world is certainly a better place for sharing it with our furry friends.
Since I was a child I desperately wanted to have my own dog. We lived in the city and my sister was allergic to animals so the idea was out of the question. However, those hurdles couldn't stop my love and passion for animals.
I started volunteering on weekends at a local pet shelter. I was given the opportunity to take the dogs for a walk, play with them in the yard and even give them baths, brush their fur and blow-dry them! It was really a fun experience and my heart definitely grew bigger for it.
When my husband and I first got married we adopted our first dog together and so the bond between human and dog grew!
Therefore, it is no surprise to me that children LOVE dogs and puppies! Their furry bodies, waggily tails, soft ears, wet tongues and chubby paw prints are just calling for a BFF! The very first pattern I ever released was the Doggy Doll Machine Embroidery pattern and since then, I have wanted to re-release it with some updates and also offer the Sewing/Hand Embroidery Doggy Doll pattern. So I jumped at the chance to sew with Riley Blake Designs newest 4-legged friend fabric "Cooper" by Bella Blvd.
This fabric-line called Cooper for Riley Blake Designs, is just so much fun! There are so many adorable breeds of dogs having fun and playing outside in the park. Just look at that main print. The vibrant colors in this line really give the feeling of happiness and play!
I used the fun word-print for the Doggy Doll's main body / tummy fabric with the accent paw prints for their inner ears. Sooo much cuteness!
Their clothes were really fun and simple to make! I made a basic-ruffled skirt and basic shorts in the fun Cooper prints in this collection. All the colors in this line play so well together, you can't go wrong! I wanted to make sure I left their tummy uncovered to show the collar details that are so much fun!
I decided to really go whimsical and match their embroidery on their paw prints to their main body color. It is such a fun detail.
For their "fur" I used one of my favorite Riley Blake Designs Basics - Shabby. This basic is designed by Lori Holt and it comes in so many wonderful, and realistic shades. I chose two colors for each Doggy Doll and used one for the main body print and one accent Shabby for the muzzle. I love working with quilting cottons for dolls because the weave is nice and tight, the fabric embroiders so easily and they spot clean terrifically well. Shabby is the perfect scale fabric to give your animal dolls some dimension.
I turned these Doggy Dolls into characters by having them "stand" on two legs and wear clothes and these dolls are now just calling to be played with imaginatively! Can't you see their expressions, story-line, feelings and personalities coming through already? Just add a child to this scene and you are sure to get tons of voices, acting, clothes changing and character building happening!
The magical world of make-believe is truly the reason I am so passionate about Modern Rag Dolls. Not only are these toys made with love, care and our favorite fabrics, but their shape and accessories open the door to little imaginations, which to me, is the best gift a maker could receive! Having the opportunity to observe children in action with a homemade Modern Rag Doll such as the Doggy Doll is truly a gift.
Don't be fooled either... these Doggy Dolls are not just for little girls and boys... I have seen adult's faces beam and light up when they touch and hold one of these dolls. Wouldn't a custom Doggy Doll make a beautiful and sensitive gift for a loved one who just lost their fur-baby? Or perhaps a senior who is missing their old furry companion? I know as a child, I would have adored this Doggy Doll - especially when I was unable to have my own live dog in the house.
Whatever the reason, or whomever the recipient, I can guarantee that the Doggy Doll will bring a smile to their face! What a lovely gift from the heart!