A Cuddle Ringalina is a doll best suited for children between 0-3. As the name implies, these dolls are soft and cuddly, their bodies don’t have a defined shape and that is what babies and young toddlers love best. They love to carry their dolls tight and drag them around everywhere. They like to fall asleep with them and hug them close. They bring comfort in every situation and are best friends. The nice thing about the materials like wool and cotton is that they will quickly take on the scent of home and will bring comfort in unsettled situations.
The doll's hair, eyes, and mouth are embroidered, so there is no risk to the child of swallowing small pieces. I prefer to embroider the head with wool yarn, but I have added a crochet wig tutorial in the lesson plan for you to watch and to choose instead (for this basic crochet knowledge necessary). Often the head is not even covered with hair, only a simple hat or cap covers the head, and that is enough in the beginning. Cuddle dolls invite love, care, and many warm hugs. I like the option to start very simply and have the ability to add on as the child gets older. In the beginning the cuddle doll may only have a hat covering the head, eventually, you can embroider hair, and a year later you can add on longer hair strands. Add a knitted dress or a pair of pants and a shirt and you have a whole new look with new challenges for your young child.
Usually, the cuddle doll has a cotton velour body, which lets the doll appear dressed and the child doesn’t need to dress or undress the doll. Babies and young toddlers that are not yet ready to deal with clothing pieces don't get frustrated with it. When the time comes to practice those extra fine motor skills, easy to manage clothing pieces can be added.
The facial expression of the cuddle doll is simple and invites the child to pretend play, which in return builds the connections in their brains. It is a very important part of child development. Children love to imitate the people around them, which helps them to develop their language and social skills.
In this online course, you will learn about the materials and skills needed to create your very own Cuddle Ringalina baby doll.
A sewing machine is optional! I like to sew my dolls by hand. They are truly hand-made, stitch by stitch. It may sound strange to you, but I find it very relaxing and rewarding to sit in my comfy chair working on a doll, thinking of the child that is to receive it. My customers often send me pictures or tell me stories of the child that I am to make the doll for, so it is easy for me to picture them as I am sewing along. No sewing machine noise in the background and no frustration when the sewing machine grows a mind of its own (mine does far too often). Some areas are even easier to sew by hand, but for larger pieces, a sewing machine can be of use. So please don't fear to have to sew everything by hand. It's all about preferences!
Tutorials of every stitch you will have to know to complete this doll will be available to you in the course work.
The only pre-requisite you might need is crocheting, and that is only the case if you choose to crochet a wig for your doll.