Thursday, November 7, 2013

My First Large Doll: The Story of a White Unicorn

Edit: Now with references since the commissionw as delivered.

For the past 2 1/2 years that I've been plushing, I have never made anything over 6.5 inches. I received a challenge this year from a commissioner to make something relatively to scale based on an image they gave me. I made two dolls and had wanted one to be 3x bigger than the other.

(I apologize for the poor background. This plush is larger than any setup I have for photographing it.)

For me, there are 3 main differences I faced when scaling up. They came up in :

  • jointing
  • eyes
  • construction of the mane. 

One of the things I definitely struggled with was figuring out how to joint the doll. I worked with bolt joints for the first time and having never even used a wrench before it took some figure out. I picked a tapbolt with a nyloc nut, and I was frustrated for a couple of days trying to figure out why the limbs kept falling off, only to realize I have to break the nylon on the nut.

It was also the second time I worked with colored eyes, which always throws me off when looking at the face. Constructing the eyelid and white of the eye out of wool at such a size also threw me off.

Construction of the Mane:

The mane itself was an even bigger job than the ones on my small ponies (even though the small manes are all sewn by hand). For the mane, I machine sewed each strand, stuffed it, then hand sewed them onto the head as well as sewing the strands together for one continuous piece. I am very pleased to get results that match the reference I was given

To sew the strands together and attach them to the head took 7+ hours of hand sewing alone, not to mention the time it took to construct the strands.

Last but not least, I have attempted satin stitching on my machine to put together a tail, but I have yet to get the result I like despite using heavyweight interfacing. I know the results can be achieved without a walking foot, but I have yet to figure out how to get smooth stitches.

Overall, I am happy with my first attempt at a large doll and his mane sorta makes him look like a princely character to me. (I've been watching too much MLP) He'll look more complete with a tail and all the proportions will make sense then. Hopefully I will figure out a way to photograph him so that the photos will do him justice.

Until then,


  1. I love the mane! WOW so detailed! :)

    1. Thank you Wayne, I actually updated with the references for the mane. The gift was well received, which makes all those hours even more worth it