Dolls and Soft Animals: Lynn Miller

In the seventies, soft ducks were very popular if made in plaids and wools.  Of course, I had to try that.  I also ventured into Teddy Bears made of everything from black crepe to corduroy and fake fur.  There may have been a bunny or two in that time period as well.

My Learn to Sew Book: A Golden Book

In making these animals I was learning, unbeknownst to me, skills that would carry me into new projects.  Seeing how wedges and ovals could shape the final product was as important as learning ways to attach legs that were either stationary or movable.  Working with fabrics, both thick and thin, gave me a great deal of experience in mistakes and un-sewing:  widen your seams for silks, trim back the fur, and corduroy is not very forgiving when trying to ease a neck onto a body.  Unfortunately, I have no photos* from this period but I’m sure your imaginations can supply a few!

As a teacher, I made puppets, costumes, and helped the children make small bags called pockets for our annual trip into the times of the English Settlers in Plimoth. (old

image from

One year, I had each child draw a picture of themselves using fabric crayons on muslin.  I made each of these into a hand puppet.  I say this as it was the niggle of a later idea that came to fruition.  A child’s drawing is sometimes detailed and sometimes not so much.  The puppets were cute although not all of the children recognized their own drawing when put in this new form!

I’d say that this chapter was more on the learning end than anything.  I did a few things, I tried some new ideas; however, nothing seemed to be worth fine tuning.  AND, I was working full time, had two children, a husband, a house, a dog, a guinea pig, a parakeet, and fish.

Lynn’s dolls and other creations can be found in her Etsy shop, Lynn’s Simply By Hand.

*some images are from a classic in my library; 

My Learn to Sew Book by Janet Barber, Golden Press, 1971.
My Learn to Sew Book: A Golden Book

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