Pincushion doll and thimble purse – 1

Having spent the best part of three months stitching the Lavender and Lace Celtic Autumn, I feel like doing a project which can be completed a little bit quicker, next.

I’ve decided on this pincushion doll project, worked in cross stitch with a little bit of beading, which is produced as a chart pack by GPA (Giulia Punti Antichi, run by Giulia Manfredini of Italy). When finished, it stands about 7 inches high.

Pincushion doll - 1

I bought the chart originally from the Stitch and Frame Shop in the USA, even though I’m in the UK, partly because they were doing an offer where they included the fabric recommended by Giulia, as a ‘bundle’. Giulia has her own website, here, where she sells all her designs – and very nice they are, too! But as I say, I was tempted by the offer….so, I ordered the pack and the fabric, but when it arrived, the fabric hadn’t been included. I contacted the shop, and they sent it on – but when it arrived, I was disappointed with the quality. In the chart pack, the recommended fabric is Cream Northen Cross 35 ct linen by Norden Crafts. But I found this fabric to be almost lemon, rather than cream, and quite stiff, too, so I didn’t think it would drape well to make the skirt. So, I ordered a piece of 35 ct Floba Superfine cream fabric (quite beige, actually)  by Zweigart, from Sew and So. A fat quarter cost £9.50, and I’ve only needed about a third of it for this project, so there’s still a lot of it in my stash for something else later  🙂

The threads Giulia recommends are Caron variegated Waterlilies silk threads – 101 Cherry, which has shades of deep plum, coffee, dusty pink, etc, and 112 Fir, which has shades of pale teal, lilac blue, pale grey green, etc. Both really lovely. Giulia says you could use DMC instead, which would obviously work out a lot cheaper (Waterlilies costs about £5 per skein, whereas DMC is 72p per skein), but I think the variegations in the Waterlilies threads are necessary to make this design ‘work’. About 100 seed beads are needed altogether for this project, so although Giulia recommends Mill Hill Petite beads 42012, I used 00367 Glass Seed Beads from my stash instead – they are both a deep maroon colour.

The porcelain half doll was bought from Belle Bambole Dolls, in Australia. This particular mould is called ‘Florence’. I’ve seen several other places where this same mould is used, but the painting on the dolls from this particular website is far better than anywhere else I’ve looked.

The version of 'Florence' on the front of the chart pack booklet
The version of ‘Florence’ on the front of the chart pack booklet
This is the one I have bought from Belle Bambole Dolls - isn't she pretty?
This is the one I have bought from Belle Bambole Dolls – isn’t she pretty?

I’ve spent one weekend of stitching on this so far (and yes, I am counting the hours again!). It ‘grows’ quite quickly, but I’ve already found that I have to keep switching from one area to another so that I don’t get bored, as this design, stitching-wise, is very repetitive, although the finished item is lovely, so it is thinking of it when it is finished which is keeping me motivated!

Pincushion doll - 2


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