Do You Need A Dotee Doll?

Hi there. Long time no write.

Since the last post I’ve been sewing face masks of course, crocheting an Afghan, and catching up the Roll of Arm project for the Barony of the Lonely Tower. I had a whopping eleven heraldic arms to add. I painted them all but I still have their support drape to sew.

Along with that I discovered something crazy and quirky I love creating. Dotee Dolls. From the get go I was charmed by them.

So what’s a Dotee Doll?

Dotees are the current fabric-artist swapping fad. A 4-6 inch handmade stuffed cloth “doll” with an applied circular face, a hanger and usually one – or several – beaded tail. Usually they have no arms or legs. And they’re often kooky looking.

My First Dotee Doll
Made it for someone turning 40.

You can make their face by painting, embroidering, or drawing with markers. Then embellish your Dotee with beads, ribbon, sequins, yarn or whatever strike your fancy.

In these troubling times I found making these easy, cute hangers to be therapeutic. Addicting even. I love making them with someone in mind, the basis for their design. It gives me joy knowing their special Dotee is stuffed with love, kind thoughts and well wishes. 

Made these two for close friends.

Dotees take few materials and little skill. These simple hangers can be a beginner project for most any age. You can make them with felt or fabric; beaded or plain; with faces drawn or embroidered. It’s also a great way to use up fabric scraps and project leftovers. Keep working with them and you turn them into complex artworks.

Made this Dottee for my apprentice,
HL Astrid Esbjornsdotter

The Dotee Doll originated around 2008 by an Australian lady named Dorothy “Dot” Christian. The original Dotees were people-like but later creators transformed them into animals, fantastic beasts, snowmen, winged things, fish, dinosaurs, and gingerbread men. You can make one anything you dream up with at least eyes and a mouth. Even inert things such as a Christmas tree, star or flower.

Sadly, the closest similar SCA period thing I can find is the rag doll, which dates back to the Roman era. Its only similarities are being sewn from cloth and stuffed.

Dotees have become popular for trading or mini-gifting. They even work as a quick, quirky handmade holiday ornament. While I’ve only made five I can see myself making many more. I plan to even make some with coronets or laurel wreaths for SCA friends.

My first fabric Dotee.

So yes, I believe you need to make a Dotee Doll. If you want, there’s lots of help on the web. There’s a Dotee Dolls Flicker group with information and a thousand images for you to view. Or Google Dotee Doll images and find tons; most on Pinterest boards. There’s also multiple Dotee Doll construction YouTube videos for making them.

Remember, there is no single right way to make a Dotee Doll. That’s one reason they’re so much fun. You can’t get it wrong because even an ugly Dottee Doll is uber-cute.

Categories: Projects

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