Pincushion doll and thimble purse – 4

Well, this didn’t take too long. It’s finished already!

This is the picture from the front of the chart pack:

Stitch & Frame Shop image

And this is my version:

Pincushion doll - 11

I’m fairly pleased with how it’s turned out, although I must be feeling grumpy or something, as I haven’t got the feeling of achievement that I usually have when I finish a project. I think that the ‘niggly’ things with this project have outweighed the positives, and spoilt it a bit.

As you can see from the two pictures, it has come out very much like the one on the packet. However, I’ve had to do a lot of problem-solving with this one (or compromising, depending on your viewpoint), and some things haven’t come out as intended. The instructions, considering the cost of this chart pack, were too brief, in my opinion. A few more diagrams in places would have helped. Some of the measurements seem to have been decided after the original doll was put together, as they don’t work. And if there’s a ‘best way’ to achieve a certain stage successfully, maybe it would have been good to explain what that is, rather than vaguely stating what the next bit is, and leaving people to work it out? Like I said, I’m feeling grumpy!

I didn’t take any photos of the assembly of the heart-shaped purse – probably due to the grumpiness creeping up on me! It needs a heart embroidered on each of two pieces of linen, then attached (I laced them across the back – the instructions said to glue them, but I don’t like using glue on my embroidery) to a piece of Skirtex, then felt glued on (I oversewed the edges of the felt to the linen) to line them. Then you oversew the two sides together up to the curved top edges, to make the bag shape. The cord I was told to make, I found, was too short, when made to the length given in the instructions. But by then it was too late to make another one, as I’d cut my last piece of thread up to make an ‘almost too short’ piece of cording, and the remainder was only two feet long, so no use at all. The cord, once slip stitched to the bag around the sides and over the top to make a strap, was barely long enough to go over the doll’s head – compare the two photos above – my bag is far higher up on the doll than the one on the packet, which annoys me! The bag is for a thimble.

I decided against sticking huge hat pins into my pincushion doll, as I think she looks finished enough as she is.

I did count the hours this project took me: the main cross stitching on the skirt took 14 and a half hours, the beading took 1 hour 20 minutes, the bars for the cording took one and a half hours, and the assembly, including making the thimble purse, took five hours. So, 22 hours and 20 minutes altogether.

I feel that I need to do a project that has more creativity in it, now. Crewel, or goldwork, or something detailed….


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15 thoughts on “Pincushion doll and thimble purse – 4”

  1. Thanks Janet for the review of the pattern, as I was about to order it. I, too, get grumpy with patterns/instructions. It seems that lots of folks who design just don’t know how to explain what they do to others. I have found this true for dolls, mini furniture etc. If there are enough pictures I can figure it out, if not I’m as grumpy as a wet hen.
    Rosemarie in Alaska.

    1. Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘don’t buy this chart pack’, but I think that, if you were a complete beginner to 3-D stitched things, you might find it challenging! In the kits that I produce, I do try to think through exactly what people will *need* to know, and try to have a Tutorial available on my website for every type of kit that I do, just so that people can see just what needs to be done before they buy, so that they don’t get any nasty surprises half way through a project. Assembly is a large part of most embroidery projects – especially 3-D ones (not pictures, I mean). So, if you’ve put hours and hours into stitching something, you don’t want to ruin it by assembling it wrongly. Oh dear, I’m still behaving like a wet hen!!

  2. She looks lovely! I like the more vibrant underskirt. It’s unfortunate the instructions were unclear. The end result is beautiful.

  3. I think she looks beautiful! Stitching can be a bit like child birth. After a while you forget about the pain and just enjoy what you created. ( Until they are teenagers, but that’s a whole other story.) 🙂

  4. Despite the problems you’ve had with her Janet, she’s still beautiful and you should feel very proud to have finished her.

    Have you been in touch with the company who produce the chart and told them of your concerns regarding the lack of instruction and diagrams. I think feedback on things like that are important, so that at some point they can revisit the directions and amend them.
    Even so, feel proud because you’ve done a beautiful job.
    Happy Stitching!
    x x x

  5. Janet,
    She is very pretty and you should be pleased.
    Did you choose to make the skirt shorter than in the original picture, or was that as a result of the less than perfect directions?

    1. I made the overskirt to the exact instructions given on the chart, and using the same count of fabric as that recommended. The overskirt came out looking shorter than on the kitfront image because the pink underskirt instructions said to cut the fabric six inches wide, and then make half inch turnings at top and bottom, so five inches of skirt ‘depth’ was left. When this was stuffed and the overskirt attached, it was too late to alter the pink underskirt to make it shorter, so that the overskirt would come nearer to the ground, as on the model. It was one of the things that made me think that the detailed dimensions hadn’t been worked out *while* the model was being put together, but estimated afterwards, maybe.

  6. Janet, she looks fabulous. Anyway, the feeling is familiar for me too. Being grumpy or unsatisfied during the working process I would probably put a project in my UFO box. You didn’t give up. You can come up with your own more complicated and detailed design and make another stunning doll. Hugs, Natalia

    1. Thank you. Yes, I am tempted to do another one, to my own design, now that I know what the process is for assembling them. A crewelwork doll would be lovely, wouldn’t it? A sort of tree of life pattern all over the skirt…..
      I try not to have UFO’s, as I don’t have the space to store them, and if I don’t finish one thing before I start another, I just lose interest forever 😦

  7. Thank you for sharing on line. I have been looking for options to use for my half doll and some insight on all to begin. I’m not much of a stitchery person but just seeing your doll gives me incentive to begin on mine. Thanks again.

  8. Hi Janet,

    I just came across your blog. I have just purchased one of these pincushion designs myself. I was glad to read all of your comments on putting it together.
    I have one question for you. My directions talk about a wooden stick? Is this inserted into the base of the doll and then in the center of the cap before you gather the skirt base? I am assuming this stabilizes the half pincushion doll?

    Barbara La Belle

    1. I don’t think my instructions mentioned a stick, but I suppose it would help stabilise the china half doll on the stuffed base if you used one. My one stands firm anyway, though, without a stick.

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