Captain Picard “Facepalm” Doll

Thank god for good friends and fun commissions. My friend Lindsay requested a tiny facepalming Captain Picard for the desk at her office and revived this dormant doll maker.

1 black felt square
1 cream felt square
1 ruby felt square
1 white felt square
Cranberry cotton embroidery floss
Black cotton embroidery floss
White cotton embroidery floss
Light pink cotton embroidery floss
100 percent cotton filler
Coffee stirrer
Sewing scissors
Sewing needle

Some things I learned working on this project: the polyfill I used for all of my other dolls was difficult to manage for small pieces — it’s unwieldy, difficult to stuff and easily overstuffed.

Fortunately, I forgot it one day when I took the project to work with me and a last minute run to the drug store helped me realize that cotton, when unrolled and fluffed out is much easier to separate and maneuver (not to mention cheaper).


My dolls usually have placid neutral expression illustrated by colored eyes without noses or mouths. With this design in mind, I found recreating the captain’s frustrate cringe surprisingly easy!

After a few years of struggling to sew on doll wigs, I also realized that — for some characters, at least, it’s actually much easier to sew the hair piece onto the head piece before the head is stuffed. For Picard (whose hair is essentially just a .5″ x 1″ strip of white felt) this was especially easy.

Working with small parts can be both good and bad. The fantastic Mimi Kirschner template I originally started with was for a 14″ doll. By continuously reducing and modifying and adjusting details to the size of your project (in my case, a 7″ doll), you learn what works and what doesn’t.

The original means of attaching the arm (sewing the open top of the arm on to the finished shoulder) works well for larger projects but has historically been problematic for my dolls (ask some of my workshop students how hard it was to attach Snape’s arms with only enough room for three or four stitches). Since the captain’s arm had to be positioned in a specific way, I decide to try something new: inserting the finished arm into the open shoulder and closing it. This allowed me to position the arm as I wanted and to use as many stitches as I needed to in the available space.

An there we have it! Engage. Make it so.

~ by blackmoodcraft on September 27, 2014.

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