Last fall I made my first Waldorf Doll from a kit by Amy of Dancing Rain Dolls. I made a purple mermaid doll. A guaranteed hit as my daughter loves all things mermaid and all things purple.
The kit was a great way to make a first doll. Almost everything you need is included and step by step instructions. I found the instructions easy enough to follow and Amy was great at answering questions via email. It was easier than I expected and I'm very happy with the results. The most challenging part was teaching myself to crochet to make the cap for the hair. The pattern didn't have instructions for this. With the help of YouTube, I managed to firgure it out, but mohair is probably not the best material to learn to crochet with!
Ever since I finished, I've been wanting to make another, this time with legs. I am finally getting around to it and I am planning to make two. One for my daughter and one for my son. My son is almost a year and a half and is at that age were he loves to tote around 'his' baby. Luckily his big sister is tolerant and good at sharing but I think it is time for him to have a baby of his own.
This time, I decided to source the materials locally. I found some skin tone cotton knit at a fabric shop and stockinette from a medical supply store. I have some wool left in my stash, but will need to buy more soon. Christina of Bamboletta, makes beautiful dolls and recommends the romeny lamb wool from Birkeland Brothers Wool and Bear Dance Crafts for skin tone fabric and other supplies you can't find locally. Dancing Rain Dolls also sells supplies but the cost of shipping across the border to Canada is just too much.
I am going to design my own pattern as well. I plan to change the neck detail and try a different type of joint for the arms. My daughter didn't like the bulk of the button joint shoulders on the mermaid and she is now arm-less by request. The mermaid was played with and well loved through all stages of construction and my daughter wanted her returned to the pre-arm stage.
Here are a few links I have found.
http://crunchyparent.com/?p=118 a post with several links to resources, patterns, and tutorials
http://stardustshoes.blogspot.com/2009/04/baseball-stitch.html a tutorial for the hand stitching to close the stuff hole (a step I find challenging)
http://www.purlbee.com/hand-sewn-felt-dolls/ not Waldorf dolls, but a free pattern for some great handmade felt dolls
A few more links added May 5, 2009:
http://www.vimeo.com/3382618 crochet tutorial
http://starrysheep.com/crafty/?p=103 an alternate hair tutorial for a different style of wig