or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › HELP!- Floppy neck solutions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HELP!- Floppy neck solutions

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi mamas,


My doll is done and super cute, but her neck is too floppy for all the hair she has piled on top :(

I have an idea of how to fix it, but wanted to ask those of you with more experience your thoughts.


Basically I did the inner head just like the DRD instructions, but I think where I failed is that perhaps the neck wasn't stuffed large enough (neck needed more stuffing/wider).  It never was very stiff.  Kind of floppy inner neck.  Also, I do think it could be stuffed tighter around the neck, but I had difficulty since the DRD pattern has the body and head sewn together.  I struggled to get enough stuffing and still close the head off at the top.


I had two ideas on how to remedy:

1.  DRD has you do a strip of tricot sewn around the neck and pulled taut to strengthen the neck.  I thought if I did a much larger piece of tricot and really pulled tight it would help.


2.  That got me thinking that if I'm going to put a larger piece of tricot around the neck anyhow, why not rip the seam out at the neck just a bit and stuff more stuffing in there with a chop stick.  Then hand sew close.  After that, if I put the tricot over, it won't be seen anyhow.


What do you think?  I love this doll so much, I'm terrified to mess her up, but the floppy neck does need correcting.  Its scary to think of taking a seam ripper to her though.....




updated pics of her can be seen on my facebook album:








post #2 of 19

I came to this thread to get help with my doll's floppy neck and there are no replies!  I looked at your photos and the neck looks absolutely beautiful and perfect!  What did you do?

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 



Nothing yet :(  Its still floppy.  Its not super extreme, but its enough movement that it bugs me.  Was waiting for some replies before making a final decision, but at this point, I think I might just put a bigger strip of tricot around the neck and pull it tight and see if that doesn't remedy it some.  The pattern I used (dancing rain) has the head, neck, and body as all one continuous piece, so my friends don't understand why its a problem to have a slightly floppy neck (as its securely together, just moves some), but it bugs me.  I just can't over the idea of tearing into the seam of an otherwise "perfect" little fairy doll ;)




post #4 of 19

Oh, so the strip is already there but it's still floppy, I see!


So how do you do the strip? I thought I'd take a strip of the skin fabric, fold the raw edges under and ladder stitch it onto the 'neck' or under the chin.  I don't see how you could pull it tight.  Could you explain that to me?

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

You take the strip and fold the edges under just as you described.  sew it on one end, then wrap tightly and sew down the other end.




post #6 of 19

keep us posted on how your neck turns out...I'm undertaking my first doll soon so any tips are helpful! winky.gif

post #7 of 19

I will try this strip thing for the neck, but now I'm not sure it will help.  It sounds like you pull it tight around an existing neck.  My doll has NO neck!  When I made the head, I didn't leave any stuffing hanging down.  It's just a head, then tied off.  So there's nothing to pull the strip tightly around!  But it's the only idea I have so I'll try it!

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

no, you definetly need a neck.  now I understand.  I think you will have to redo it??




post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

to clarify- are you talking about the inner head not having a neck?  

post #10 of 19

Inner head, outer head, it's just a ball of wool tied off, then with the skin fabric on it and tied off as well.  The head looks beautiful, eyeline molded, face done, hair done, just no neck. I think it looks good, it just flops.  I could try and post a photo.


I think if I took it apart and tried to restuff it, it would wreck the face and hair! Wouldn't it shift things around with all that messing with it?

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

hmmm.  my pattern is different so its hard for me to compare.  Mine calls for an inner head with stockinette, and then the head is joined to the body in all one piece of skin fabric.  the inner head is just stuck inside of that fabric body and sewn closed at the top of the head.  so its a different situation.


Is there any fabric left hanging from the head right now?  Could you stuff that as the neck? Look at the tumbleberry dolls and how their head are attached.  It looks like there's hardly a neck at all.  Like the head is sewn directly to the shoulders almost.


I'd be tempted to stuff that piece of fabric hanging down if there is one, and then sort of nest that into the body then sew the body to the chin and see what happens.  




post #12 of 19

Your doll looks great! My first doll had floppy neck, too, you really have to stuff it much more than you think for it to be right. and they really don't need much in the way of a neck anyway, I'm thinking like this doll; http://www.etsy.com/listing/62902011/waldorf-doll-16-inch-with-polka-dots-and?ref=sr_gallery_24&ga_search_query=waldorf+doll&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=2&order=&includes%5B0%5D=tags&includes%5B1%5D=title&filter%5B0%5D=handmade (I didn't make her, it's just a good pic of the neck)

See how it's almost sewn body right to head? That's the way I like them. My first doll, I did rip out the seem in the back to add more stuffin', but it didn't make it perfect, but it's not meant to be perfect! It's handmade with love and my daughter really loves it.


Good luck!


post #13 of 19

I took pictures of mine and put them on Flickr. 


Doll with bad neck



Second doll with good neck



This is basically how I did my head.  http://moonchildhandworkstudio.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-i-make-waldorf-doll-head.html


Mine is slightly different, I used the skin fabric instead of the gauze.  And instead of making a ball first, I just stuffed the wool into the tube.  My problem on the first doll is that when I went to tie the string around the 'neck', I left absolutely no wool there.  Then I stuffed a 'muff' below that string!  If I opened up that string, the head would explode into a pile of wool I think.  Maybe though, I could stuff between the inner and outer skin fabric like a pp said.....Still need to think about that.


Is your head done differently than this BethSLP?



Edited by Plarka - 12/12/10 at 2:51am
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

My head is done similarly with the stockinette tubing and the wool ball.  This link kind of describes it best:  



Essentially the same as your directions.  Except with the neck or "muff" my directions instruct you to wrap the string up and down the muff and it makes a bit like a spinal cord looking thing.  They say to make it 4 inches or so.  Then you nest that down into the body for stability.  Where I goofed is my spinal cord (for lack of a better explanation) is less thick than it should be, so it wasn't super straight and strong.  


The way the DRD pattern is the torso and the head are all one piece.  so you stuff the torso, and nest the neck down into the torso, and then pull the face up over the head and stitch at the top (which is covered with hair).  I probably could have stuffed tighter around my "spinal cord" as well.  Its not totally floppy, it just moves some, and I'd prefer it not to.  


DRD directs you to then add that strip of tricot around the neck to further reinforce.  I think going thicker with that will help.  


In your case, the head is separate, so I think simply sewing it close to the body should suffice.  I've seen some Tumbleberry dolls that look similar to the first pic you posted.  head on body with not much neck.  How is it floppy if its sewn all the way around?  


I am no expert (only have made two dolls), but it seems like if you stick around the head enough it will be ok??  I've no experience with sewing dolls with a head separate from the body, so I'm not much help.  I don't see how that strip of tricot around the neck would work in your case though.




post #15 of 19

Well I sewed around the head a bit further out and it worked and looks great!  Have you tried fixing yours? I feel so relieved, it was really stressing me out for a few weeks, wondering what I was going to do!  I hope you figure yours out too!

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 



I just did mine.  I did the thicker band of tricot around the neck.  It helped a lot.  The neck is a bit longer than I'd like but I prefer that over the floppiness.  If it bugs me, I'll consider doing surgery to stuff more later.  But for now ,I'm happy with the result.  


I updated my pics for the last time.  She's now wrapped and under the tree.


Finished doll:




I didn't take a close up of the neck, but the strip is much wider now. 




post #17 of 19


Those are really beautiful!  I love the hair, and the faces are so sweet.  Way to go!

post #18 of 19
I had this problem too. You have to stuff the belly mUch ore firmly than you would think. If you can open uP a seam and stuff her belly more, I think you will fix the problem.
post #19 of 19

Yay! I'm so glad you fixed it!! She looks beautiful!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Arts & Crafts
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Arts & Crafts › HELP!- Floppy neck solutions