mosquitos on my work table and a pattern sneak peek : turning tiny doll parts

*update – the tiny doll sewing pattern is in the shop.

The tiny rag doll sewing pattern is pretty much ready to go but I’m waiting until next week to release it – just to make extra sure it is all I want it to be.  I’ve looked at it so long and so hard I can’t see it any more – you know? I’ll review it with fresh eyes in a day or two. The big challenge of the pattern was the littleness and looking for the easiest and most effective ways to deal with tiny sewing – like turning the little arms and legs right side out after sewing.  I included the simple method  below in the pattern.  Maybe everybody already knows this trick but I didn’t until a couple years ago and it works fabulously well – so just in case you haven’t tried it:

turning tiny doll parts

Besides pattern and workshop making work I have some mosquitos on my worktable. Mosquitos are slow, detailed work that involves lots of pins and stabbing myself repeatedly with various instruments – the five  below have been in progress forever and are finally in the homestretch.

mosquito work

mosquito work

mosquito work : proboscis

They suffer such indignities – this poor girl is having her proboscis hammered.  I hammer the wire parts on a tiny anvil to stiffen them after shaping and make them a little textured and sparkly. Three of these Edwardian pests will end up in the shop sometime in the near future and the other two are going on special missions. If you’d like to be notified when I have new pieces available you can sign up here.


  1. Those mosquitoes are fascinating, engorged with just the right color, ha ha.
    The straw-and-skewer tip is brilliant. Thank you!

  2. gloria mackenzie

    my dear ann,
    you never cease to amaze me.i love your work especially your owls,but now you have gone and done it again with of all things MOSQUITOS. I JUST LOVE THEM AND THEY ARE NOT EVEN FINISHED.hope u r havin a great day.

  3. The trick for turning tiny sewn pieces is genius! I have never heard of that one, and have relied mostly on a pair of hemostats. The mosquitos look great, but to tell the truth — they freak me out a little. Poor things — they’ve gotten such a bad rep. Thank you for showing them some love by making them soft and gorgeous.

  4. Ann! Thanks so much for the turning tip. I have never seen that done….so wonderfully simple.
    I live in Alabama, and your sweet skeeters are pretty much life-size down here. 😉

  5. Thank you so very much for the turning tip! Goodness, I avoid such sewing projects just because turning is so difficult.

  6. The straw and stick turning technique does make it so much easier to turn small things doesn’t it!! I’ve even used one of the very tiny straws from a Popper drink carton on occasion for those very tiny pieces for doll’s fingers etc. 🙂

    Love those mossies so much Ann! Very clever indeed the way you’ve designed them! 🙂

  7. Ann, your creativity and style continually blow me away! After living two years in the tropics I have an understandable aversion to mozzies but these beauties with their velvet tummies and lacy wings would be welcome in my house anytime 🙂
    Thank you for continuing to share your creative journey with us!

  8. I’m afraid I’ve never met a real mosquito that I liked…they’ve liked me too well. I have to chuckle because how many people claim that they are the “state bird”? But your mosquitoes are quite cute and don’t carry Zika and I like them much better than any I’ve met!

    Your little doll is sweet- somewhere I have a tool to do what you’ve ingeniously done with a straw. Years ago when tiny 2″ dolls were being sold in kits, I made a few by sewing the two sides of the body together as one piece for each side, then cutting out, cut a little slit in the back and turned them through that hole…stuffed them and hand-stitched the back together. I still have a couple in my china closet…one with tiny red braids, the others with french knot curls around the seam. Now that I see yours I am tempted to go make another. The ones you’ve done look like tiny china dolls with their adorable little faces!

  9. susan hall

    can’t wait to buy your dolly pattern ! I’ve made one or two small dolls myself -and struggled with them, so am looking forward to your showing me the best way ! one of my main struggles was with hair and i have resorted to drawing on the cloth head with a sharpie pen . that gives a not bad result and adding a little dark yarn improves it , but i know there must be a better way and I’m hoping that you will show us what that is .
    i think your work is marvellous
    susan hall.
    ps. i do have an instagram page but no blog – susiestitch1

  10. Thank you so much for the turning tip. I will try that next time.

  11. Ann, I love your work and your creativity. Each thing you do is amazing. As an artist myself I am so envious. You are the BEST.

  12. Hemostats are the best tool for stuffing toys. One of the most important tools for this type of work.They can go into the tiny crevices that need just a tad of stuffing without disturbing the poly fill.

  13. soulfuliciousdesigns

    thanks for the tip on turning doll parts right side out.

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