Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a child in Colonial times? There was no Target or Toys-r-Us, so kids had to make their own toys. One of the most popular toys were hand-sewn cloths dolls, commonly known as “rag dolls”. These dolls were made primarily out of recycled household items such as old rags, and their faces were either drawn, painted, embroidered, or left blank. Not only did making dolls provide the children of the time with a playtime activity, but it taught them a valuable life skill — sewing. Crafting this type of dolls goes back in Colonial America to the 1600′s.
We took a step back in time with the “Fashion Design” class at Coventry High School, and the students each created her own hand-sewn doll. While we used mostly new materials, we did use recycled shirting for the dresses, keeping with the spirit of these historical toys. It is wonderful how many different variations they came up with from the same pattern and instructions!