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Doll Fashion

I believe a great deal of wonderful articles have already been written on the topic of Waldorf doll-making and, seeing that my own dolls follow closely in the steps of tradition in terms of their anatomy, with the same tightly-rolled wool for the head and similar stylized arms and legs, all made from natural materials, I have decided, instead, to write on doll fashion.
It is the making of a doll’s wardrobe which allows me to fully pursue my creative fancies and develop my own ideas. After perusing many fashion catalogs and blogs, I strive to create garments which would reflect my love of the simple and yet elegant, of beautiful warm color combinations, and of small intricate details. I make doll dresses with the same careful attention and love with which I clothed my own daughters when they were younger. Sometimes, I may be inspired by a simple combination of colors, such as a pattern of complementary bright orange and blue which I used in creating Solène. Placed side-by-side, they seem to invigorate each other and endow the doll with a unique personality of its own, bright and sunny as her name implies.

Other times, my eye may be caught by a work of art in a museum, such as a masterpiece by Amedeo Modigliani, in which I, again, may fall in love with the color scheme. One of my earlier dolls, another redhead, reveals this love of mine for working with soft yellows and browns.

Although I prefer working with contemporary styles, sometimes, especially after visiting an exhibition featuring historical fashion, I may get inspired to re-introduce a style from the past. The blue lace dress I recently made, for example, was inspired by a 19th-century French ball gown, and, in making it, I used the finest silk, lace, and delicate little pearls I could find to create the most authentic experience possible for the doll which had decided to grace a ballroom with her presence.

2 in one
Sometimes, a character from a story may strike my imagination, such as in the case of Sarah from A Little Princess by Frances Burnett. In her white silk, pleated, low-waist dress, soft linen coat, and small hat, she envelops herself in elegance and grace so appropriate for a little princess.

Finally, I love finishing off monochromatic outfits with a bright dab of color. With her bright red beret to set off her black-and-white couture dress, this doll seems ready to join the casual strollers in the boulevards of Paris.

As a thank you to all of you, wonderful doll-makers and doll-lovers, I would like to offer a give-away of one of my tutorials/patterns to dress your doll. The winner will have the option of choosing between a Dress or a Hooded-coat pattern found in NobbyOrganics etsy shop, which will be sent via email as a pdf file. Both patterns are for a 18-20” doll and are easy to follow.

To enter, visit the shop, then come back here and leave a comment saying which of the two patterns is your favorite, along with a way for me to contact you if you win. The giveaway will run until 9:00 pm EST June 10, 2013. The winning comment will be selected using a random number generator, and announced here on Tuesday, June 11.

If you would like to learn more about my work please visit Petit Gosset Blog and FB Page! Thank you!

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Dyeing Easter Eggs Naturally

Every spring my kids and I dye eggs for Easter. We do it naturally without chemicals and artificial colors, experimenting with different  herbs and colorful fruits and vegetables.

According to, “Many food colorings contain color additives such as Red No. 3 and Yellow No. 5, which, according to a 1983 study by the FDA, were found to cause tumors (Red No. 3) and hives (Yellow No. 5).”

Last year we had so much fun using the leaves and flowers to get some contrast to the rich sienna color produced from the onion skin, that I would like to share this method with you.

Take 10-12 white eggs. Get some fresh small leaves and tie them to the eggs with a string.  Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add water until the eggs are covered and add the skins of 12-15 small yellow onions. Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat, and allow the eggs to simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer you leave the eggs to boil, the deeper the color will be. Remove the eggs, unwrap the string, rinse the eggs in lukewarm water and cool them. If you’d like to add a soft sheen to your eggs, coat them lightly with vegetable oil and polish with a cloth. As a result, you’ll get beautifully decorated Easter eggs! Enjoy!


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Pencil Holder Tutorial

The pencil holder is a perfect gift for any child who loves to draw, and it has been one of the long time staples in our family. Each of my kids has one. It’s great for keeping the little one busy in the car or airplane, or while waiting at the office. It fits easily inside a purse or a diaper bag, so it will be ready when you need it.

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on making this lovely gift.

Use thick 100% wool felt made from sheep’s wool to make the pencil holder extra durable.
You need 2 rectangles: one 15″X9″ and one 15″X3.5″ for the pencil pockets, plus any necessary wool felt for applique.


If you want the outside of your holder to have any applique make it now on your big piece. Cut out the paper design and pin the pattern to the wool felt. Cut out the felt in the pattern design by following the edge of the pattern.

Place the applique on the lower right side of your big piece and blanket stitch with a cotton thread around the applique shape. I used a matching white cotton thread.

You can add some ornaments for more holiday glitz using tiny running stitches with a contrasting thread.

When you’re done with the applique, take the small rectangle and place it on top of the wrong side of the big piece.  Pin them together to keep in place. Blanket stitch with a contrasting thread all the way around the outside 1/8″ from the edge. Fold in half a 24″ piece of ribbon and insert 1/2 ” of a folded end on the right edge between two layers of wool felt. You can make a button and a loop instead of the ribbon if you’d like.


Divide the length by how many pockets you’ll need for the pencils. I made 10 pockets, each for two pencils.

Find the midpoint of the pocket rectangle at 7.5″ and mark the middle line. Then make a line  every 1.5″, until you draw all 9 lines. Sew nice straight lines from the top of pocket to edge of fabric using a backstitch. If you’re using a thick wool felt, you can easily avoid harming the applique on the other side by going through only half of the thickness with your needle. Remember to do a couple of extra back stitches at the beginning of each row to reinforce.

Finally it is ready for the pencils!





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Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Cream

A Ballad of the Pumpkin Roulade

October month is here,
The crispy autumn air,
The falling golden leaves,
And pumpkins in the fields…


A pumpkin muffin in the morning,
A pumpkin soup for lunch,
And in the evening, after dinner
Our spicy ginger Roulade!

Liza and Daniel

My kids love pumpkin in all forms and especially this wonderfully rich pumpkin roulade. Recently, after making it for a small family celebration, they have written this ballad of a pumpkin roulade. Please enjoy the recipe.

Pumpkin Roulade Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/4 cup organic ground hazelnuts
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of sea salt
3 organic extra large eggs
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin (or squash) puree
1/4 ground hazelnuts for dusting

For the filling:

1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger

To roast fresh pumpkin/squash:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Place pumpkin on a lightly greased baking pan and roast for about one hour, until it is very tender. Remove skin. Using a blender or food processor puree pumpkin meat.

To make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 by 17 inches pan with parchment paper.

Mix the flour, ground hazelnuts, orange rind, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice together.

In a separate bowl, blend the eggs and brown sugar until thickened. Add the pumpkin puree.

Then slowly add the flour mixture, whisking with a spoon until just combined.

Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for about 12 minutes, until the top springs back when touched.

While the cake is in the oven, put a thin cotton cloth on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of ground hazelnuts evenly over it. When cake is done, carefully turn it out on the prepared cloth. Peel off the parchment paper. Then roll the warm cake with the cloth and allow to cool completely.

To make the filling:

Whisk the cream in a bowl until it just holds its shape. Add sugar and minced ginger.


Unroll the cake and remove the cloth. Spread the cake with the cream, right up to the edges, and carefully roll it up again.




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A Waldorf Doll and its Role in a Child’s Development

“A doll is an image of a human being and is therefore the toy most suited to develop and enliven the self-image in the growing child.” Freya Jaffka – Toymaking with Children

What is a Waldorf Doll?

A Waldorf doll is a type of doll used in Waldorf education. It is usually handmade from natural fibers and materials like wool, silk, and cotton, using traditional European doll-making techniques. Natural fibers are warm to the touch and feel more real, compared to synthetic and plastic materials used in the commercially produced dolls.  The wool stuffing absorbs the child’s warmth, producing a soothing effect. Its facial features are intentionally made very simple, which helps to spark the child’s imagination. Depending on the child’s mood, the doll can be happy, sleepy, sad, or even angry and crying.

A Waldorf doll is much more than just a toy; it’s a link between two worlds, the child’s and the adult’s. Children have a natural desire to imitate their parents’ behavior. They love to pretend to be doctors, teachers, cooks etc. and dolls usually become the first props in their pretend play. Doll play helps to develop language and social skills, making children more creative and less aggressive. By dressing and feeding dolls, children also further develop motor skills and coordination. Doll playing allows children to practice their future roles as adults, helping them develop love and care for other people. A Waldorf Doll becomes a friend, a true companion with whom a child shares her (or his) feelings, hopes, dreams, and adventures.

How to choose the right doll for your child?

A little blanket doll is the perfect first doll to introduce to a child as early as his first year. It usually has a formed head with a very simple face, often without any facial features, and a soft flannel body with small knots at the corners, bringing much relief to the swollen gums. You can even soak these knots in water or herbal tea and freeze them for a while to ease teething pain.

A lovely cuddle-baby Waldorf Doll, or a bunting style doll, designed without legs, are ideal for a toddler. These dolls are easy to grasp and to hold, and they usually don’t have hair that can be chewed on. Be sure that the doll doesn’t have small parts that can come off and be swallowed.

At 4-6 years old, a child’s motor skills are developed enough to start enjoying the classic Waldorf “dress-up” dolls with longer hair. That is the age when children start to play imaginatively, imitating the world around them. Play becomes more complex, allowing the child to resolve situations that could be new for him or her. A 17-20-inch doll is an ideal size for this age.


Making dolls for both girls and boys and having sons who play with dolls, I get many questions, usually from fathers of boys, if it’s appropriate for boys to play with dolls.  I think the belief that by playing with dolls a boy can become less masculine is not backed up by any sound evidence. Would you stop a girl from playing with a hammer or a screwdriver because it might make her less feminine? I personally think that playing with dolls only shapes a boy’s personality for the better, helping him become a loving and caring father and husband in the future. Let the children learn trough their chosen play activities; it will help them flourish and learn the skills they will need for adult life!

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Nina’s Yo-yo Hair Pin Tutorial

When my daughters were little I used to make these Yo-yos to decorate their dresses and hair.  It’s a very easy and fun project to make with children requiring only a few simple stitches and your imagination.

A Yo-yo is a circle of fabric gathered up at the edges and sewn together. This little craft has been first used in the 1920s as a home-made decoration on quilts. Later, designers began using the Yo-yos as stylish and fashionable ornaments in the hair, on clothing, or as elegant jewelry. Yo-yos are easy to make using colorful fabric scraps. A single Yo-yo can be attached to a hair pin or hair band, while several Yo-yos can be stringed together to make a necklace.

1. To make a YO-YO hair pin, trace around a glass or lid onto a piece of cardboard. You can make different size cardboard templates, ranging from 2 to 3.5 inches in diameter.

2. Cut out the templates and trace around them with a fabric marking pencil on the wrong side of the fabric.

3. Use a strong quilting or button thread to baste stitch around the entire edge of the yo-yo to gather.

4. Pull the thread to gather the fabric into the center of the yo-yo.

5. Pull the thread tightly and tie a knot in the center.

6. To make the top “fabric button”, make another Yo-yo with a smaller diameter. Place the smaller Yo-yo face up on top of the bigger yo-yo, and sew them together in the center. You can stitch a bead or a button on top of the smaller Yo-yo.  You can also place the smaller Yo-yo face down (see the lowest image).

7. Attach the finished Yo-yo to a hair pin or a hair band with a strong thread.

Have fun!

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Is organic clothing really healthier for children?

September is the month to celebrate all things green and organic.
But does organic really matter? Is organic clothing really healthier for children? – These are the most common questions I’m asked by people who hear about my business.

Let me give you just the facts, and you will be able to answer these questions yourself.

Did you know that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies? And what we put on this skin is just as important as what we eat. The skin easily absorbs the everyday chemicals it comes into contact with, allowing them to go into bloodstream.

A baby’s skin is very sensitive and is thinner and more porous than an adult’s. It’s less resistant to the harmful substances and bacteria in the environment. This means that babies are at a greater risk for health problems related to the absorption of pesticides. When these harmful substances are found in clothing or bedding which come into contact with a baby’s skin for extended periods of time, the possibility that these toxins make their way into your baby’s body greatly increases.




Conventional cotton is probably the most widespread carrier of toxins and is thus, the most dangerous. Each year cotton producers all over the world use more than $2.6 billion in pesticides, which is more than 10% of all agricultural chemicals. Since it is not a food crop, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals used on it are not regulated. According to the EPA, seven of the top 15 pesticides used on U.S. cotton crops are potential or known human carcinogens. It takes over a third of a pound of pesticides to produce one cotton T-shirt!

Not only do these highly toxic chemicals contaminate the soil, but they also pollute the air and the water, as well as destroy the farmers’ health. According to the World Health Organization, about 20,000 deaths occur each year from poisoning by agricultural pesticides.

It doesn’t stop here. During processing, fabrics undergo chlorine bleaching and are dyed with products containing heavy metals. Children’s bedding and clothes are usually treated with flame retardants which most likely contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s) known to be endocrine disruptor. No amount of washing gets all of the chemicals out!

It is true that organic baby bedding and clothes are more expensive. But more and more companies are beginning to offer organic fabrics and children’s clothes, making them more affordable.
Additionally, products made from organic cotton last about five times longer than those made from conventional cotton. This probably has to due with the great number of processes that conventional cotton has to go through, which result in the breakdown of the fibers even before the fabric is sewn!

So, in the long run, buying organic seems to be a more financially-profitable option, and organic clothing and bedding bring so many healthy benefits that they’re worth the money!




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Apple and Orange Muffin Recipe

My son’s birthday was on Sunday. So with the help of my older children I made these delicious Apple and Orange Muffins for breakfast. They’re vegan and have lots of nutrients, protein, and omega-6 from the hazelnuts. I have found these muffins also to be a wonderful mid-day snack with tea. Enjoy!

2 large peeled tart apples, cut in small cubes
3 plums, halved, pitted and each half cut into 4 slices
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups organic all purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the flour with chopped hazelnuts,  brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon.

Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, and melted coconut oil until blended.
Add the juice mixture to the flour mix, stirring just until all the ingredients are no longer dry. Stir in a little more orange juice if necessary. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Fold the apples into the mixture. Fill the batter into the muffin cups, not more than three-quarters full. Put a slice of a plum on the top of each muffin and bake them for about 40 minutes. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.