My Dolls

My Dolls
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

My First Hitty Doll

I have always been interested in wood dolls and thought in some vague 
way that I might want to carve one myself one day.
So I was looking for some doll items online and came across a picture of
the sweetest little wood doll.  She was called a "Hitty" doll.
I had never heard of a Hitty doll!

Below is the original Hitty, doll who lives in the Stockbridge Library Museum, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  She was found in an antique shop by Rachel Field in 1927.
Two years later Hitty, short for "Mehitabel", was the heroine 
of her own novel, "Hitty, her first hundred years,"
written by Rachel Field.

Well, I ordered the book and started reading it immediately.
At the same time I went in search of a Hitty doll of my own.
Most Hitty dolls are carved from wood, some are made from fabric.
The more I researched the more I was amazed at how many people carve their own Hitty dolls!

Challenge accepted!
I decided I would carve a Hitty of my own.

I found this starter kit and ordered it from:
I had no idea what to do next!
More research about wood carving and after ordering and receiving 
a set of carvers knives, I was off!

The most helpful  video I watched was this one:
This showed me some basic carving technique and I
 just rushed ahead in my normal impulsive manner.

 Next I started on the torso, how hard could it be?
These dolls are deceptively simple in appearance.

Creating facial features is tricky, but I persevered.

 Next her arms.

Getting there.

 Here is my first try at putting her together.

Not too bad for a first try!

 Painting her face was another puzzle.  The paint kept leeching
out into her face, hmmm.
I tried again with less water and the features were better.

My husband, the woodworker, was a great help at this point.
I decided to use tung oil as a finish.

The tung oil gave her skin a nice warm color and set the paint. 

I like her!

 Here she is all dressed.

 One thing I learned as I tried to dress her is that you must leave 
space between her arm and torso, or her dresses won't fit easily.

I was originally going to make her a puff-sleeve dress, but the arm situation  
made this impossible and I had to try a simpler style.

And a view of her pantaloons.

 Well, what's next Hitty?
(maybe a sister)

Final note:

I kept thinking my Hitty reminded me of something and I finally figured it out!

The mother from the original Fisher Price toys! HA!
I actually had these toys when they were all made of wood. Funny.


Anonymous said...

Congratulation on a great job. Hitty is a adorable.

Anonymous said...

Your Hitty is a winner. You are quite talented.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful job you did creating your own Hitty.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Thank you Joan, I am pretty pleased. I am definitely going to try another though and see if I can improve.

Brenda and Sophie said...

Thank you Marion, I appreciate the good words! I am going to keep working on my carving though. :)

Brenda and Sophie said...

Thank you Marilyn, I am happy with this first try. I will definitely be trying again.

Anonymous said...

Hitty is so pretty. Well done!

Brenda and Sophie said...

Thank you Fawn!

Wanda Harrigan said...

A friend forwarded a link to your blog. I have a couple of You Tube videos on carving half harms and legs . It was for a challenge to make a cloth bodied Hitty. Your first Hitty is very very good. To keep paint from bleeding you need to seal the wood. I use an acrylic spray because it dries quickly. Wood is like a straw and sucks the paint into the openings where we don't want it.

Great carving, keep doing it.

Brenda Savage said...

Thank you Wanda! My first Hitty was a real challenge, but I was happy with the results. I have a second doll in the works, but I have stalled a bit - afraid to make a mistake! We are going on a camping trip soon and I will take the doll with me and see if I can break through my anxieties. I will look at your videos before I leave and see if your guidance will help me break through. The video I watched for my first doll was a much older lady, I don't remember her name.

Susan Serven said...

Your first Hitty is wonderful!! I'm making one too... I bought a kit but am trying from scratch (following the model in the kit). Before you paint dud you first seal the wood? Or did you just paint her face, hair, and shoes /stockings and leave her "skin" without paint and finish with Tung oil? Also, I'm having a hard time with my Warren knives...(the blades keep slipping out, lol!) Did you something else? Sorry for all the questions and thank you!

Brenda Savage said...

Thank you Susan, it was a fun project. I painted before sealing and found out later I should have sealed first. The paint just soaks in to the wood and blurs! I used carving knives I bought in a kit by "Flexcut". They were very good. It came with 3 knives. Later I used a dremel tool my husband had for sanding in small details. I am a rank amateur here though. There are some VERY good tutorials online. One of the ladies, Wanda Harrington, commented on this post.