Handmade Doll Story

Handmade Doll Story

Hi there! My name is Kristin Baird and I am the doll maker behind Hey Kitty Rae. I've always been a maker and, funny enough, I didn't really play with dolls as a child. Truthfully, I preferred learning to weave or knit or bake or papercraft or really anything creative to most other activities. So, when I left my interior design career to become a stay at home mom, it seemed natural to turn back to my maker ways as a creative outlet and source of identity. 

Over the years, I've crafted many things and sold some of those creations, but, for whatever reason, a handful of years ago, I landed on sewing stuffed animals. They started out simple (I refused to make limbs... they're too much work!), basically a pillow with a face and ears. After about a year, I elongated the body and simplified the face as well as added embroidered details. 

Then in 2020, I started thinking about furthering my handmade stuffed animal skills. I looked around and saw these wonderfully vintage inspired ragdolls, but many of the handmade stuffed toys were created with beige linens. They were beautiful, but, well, beige. Also, lots of them were "not intended for play" or "intended for display only". I thought, well, I like the nostalgic vibes, but I really want bright colors and a well made stuffie that my kid could play with. I got to work designing a pattern. I started with a bunny because those are the most easy to identify just from a silhouette and I wanted to keep the overall shape simple so the fun fabrics could shine.

After a few attempts I finally landed on a design that made me happy and then set up the pattern to fit in a fat quarter so that each animal would be unique. Later that same year, I had a request for a kitty so I adjusted the face a bit, changed the ears and boom: a kitty.

At this point, I had absolutely no intentions of developing a human inspired ragdoll (again, seemed like way too much work with the hair and the face...), however the following summer, in 2021, I came across a reel on Instagram showing how to create a doll wig using hand dyed yarn and I had to try it. So, I made a human doll with an embroidered face and created a crochet cap to attach the lovely yarn and haven't looked back.

My most recent adventure has been crafting a pattern for a bear ragdoll. I'm hoping to have a collection ready in time for Christmas. Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks.

Bye for now!

P.S. Should you wish to peruse, click on the photos below to link to my handmade stuffed animal and doll collections

Hey Kitty Rae handmade kitty cat stuffed animal, white fabric with green leaves and orange dots  Handmade bunny rabbit stuffed animal with bright pink flowers on an aqua blue background Hey Kitty Rae handmade blue doll with hot pink hair and light pink jumper

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1 comment

So great to see your amazing creations and learn how your adventures led you. Can’t wait to see the bears!!!


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