Category Archives: Studio stuff

Local Workshop Announcement

bamboletta babes_2013_11_20_7570 - Copy

I’m so excited to announce we will be holding a local workshop! It will be on Saturday July 5th right here in our studio at Whippletree Junction, near Duncan. This workshop will be a ‘Make A Piccolina’, so, you will be assembling a doll, choosing it’s hair and sewing it on, sewing on your dolls face and then choosing the outfit. This is not a ‘how to’ sort of thing – we would need DAYS to cover things like making heads and stuffing! We will spend the day together, it will be myself, Shauna and Brandi. We will have tea and cookies (obviously!) and a nice lunch (all provided). The workshop will be from 10am to 4 or 5pm. This is our first one so we aren’t exactly sure about times.

This workshop will be available to local people ONLY. I am saying this because, like I said previously, we aren’t exactly sure about timing and if there were ferry’s booked and such I’d hate for you to feel rushed. I am almost certain we will be holding more workshops in the future. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for YEARS! I just need a tad of flexibility with this one, hence, local only.

If you are interested please send us an email at I will take emails until 10pm PDT tonight. I will contact the ‘winners’ (for better lack of a word) on Saturday and then you will have until 10pm Sunday the 15th to pay. We have room for 10 people. Please do not comment on this blog that you are interested in a spot!

So – here are the details

Date: Saturday July 5th
Time: 10am – 4/5/6pm – keeping this sort of open
Where: Bamboletta Studio, Whippletree Junction, Duncan (we will give driving instructions in the email)
Cost: $250 Includes all materials (including a dress for your Piccolina) and snacks and a lunch made by Brandi (she is the best, really!)

So, we will see how this goes down, we have ideas to maybe one day make this workshop mobile and travel around and hold workshops in cities .. it’s a dream and I hope one day I can announce something like ‘NYC – Brandi and I are coming to see you!’. We’d be like traveling, doll making gypsy’s!




karen d'oliveira - June 13, 2014 - 11:06 am

Yeah a workshop…:)

"Casey - June 13, 2014 - 12:51 pm

NYC Yes please!!

Sheri - June 14, 2014 - 1:21 pm

Hi, have you drawn for the lucky ten that get to attend workshop? Fingers crossed!!!! Thanks 🙂

Liliam Macharet - June 14, 2014 - 2:51 pm

what a dream! hope one day you come to Brazil. Love Bamboletta dolls. a loving embrace!

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We *Love* Local

Many of you know sweet Leola, she is the lady that spins some of the yarns we use in our doll hair. This afternoon she brought in this wonderful yarn telling us that it reminded her tulips and daffodils. She also told us that this particular yarn came from Twilley, a sheep belonging to a friend in Qualicum, BC.

This is Twilley …


And after Twilley was sheared, her wool went into this carding machine…


In the carder it’s then combed out again and again and made into these lovely wool ropes, called roping. I don’t have any pics on hand, but after this, Leola dyes it and then spins it on a wheel to make the yarns. I’ll try to get a pic of her working on making yarn in the next bit of time.


Details like this about the making of the dolls make me swoon! There are so many hands that take part in making them – I love sharing little stories like this and I hope you enjoy them too.


Nicole D - February 19, 2014 - 9:14 pm

I love this! Amazing and Twilley is adorable. :0)

Ida - February 24, 2014 - 5:52 pm

Really neat to see! We live in California and have black faced sheep. We sheer them every year. It’s fun to see how you turn her wool into yarn! Really enjoyed this blog! Twilley is so cute! Glad to have seen her!!

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Our little clothing factory

My days are filled with drafting, cutting, sewing and pressing.

Here is a little peek in my world at Bamboletta….

I start with cutting the pattern pieces out. Front, back and the sleeves. I cut 4 dresses at the same time, the home sewers mostly will cut some more in one go but here in the studio I only make an average of 4 dresses at the time.

After cutting I move over to the serger, it’s my best buddy, I love how it finishes the edges and sews seams together so neatly.

I make sure the front polka dot is ruffled onto the denim yolk and serge this seam too.

When I have done most of the serging (shoulder seams, neckline) I move to the strait stitch sewing machine and topstitch and sew the sleeves in.  I move back to the serger and serge the sleeve and side seams. I finish it of with a nice serge on the hem and move back to my Juki (straight stitcher) and  sew the hem and centre back down. My last, but very important step is sewing on the Velcro.

Pressing and ironing are important steps throughout the process, it avoids creases and wrinkles who are impossible to get out after the dress is finished. When the dress is done, I  have to give it a last little bit of steam to make sure everything is nice and tidy.

Thanks for having a look in my little factory!

See you soon,


Kim Giovannini - August 2, 2013 - 11:18 am

Wow! What a great little blog post. Thamar, your attention to detail (as well as the other sewing mamas) is greatly loved – my DD and I enjoy dressing up all of the dolls here. Thank you so much! <3

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Our Favourite Songza Playlists

While we work away on the dolls a common conversation is about what our next playlist should be.  Our ages range from 27 to 42, so that is a lot of ground to cover music wise. Sometimes we will put on someone’s ipod or in the in the winter we sometimes listen to audio books or podcasts.  But on most days we dive into a playlist search on the playlist app  In this blog post I am listing a few of our favourite Songza playlists, enjoy!  And we would love any suggestions, we are always on the hunt.

Hip Hop/R&B Pool Party
Singing in the Shower: ’80’s Edition
Indie Morning
Girls: Marnie
Harvest Moon
Desert Sunset
On the Indie Dancefloor
Airplane Zen
David Byrne’s Record Collection
Simone Whyte - July 23, 2013 - 12:53 pm

I love “Fall Asleep” it is mellow but oh soooo good!!

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Doll Types

With the introduction of our newest style dolls, the Cuddle Doll and our Sitting Friend, we’ve been getting a lot of questions in regards to what the differences between the dolls are. So, I thought it would be good to do a blog post explaining the difference between the 4 styles.

The Little Buddy

These sweet dolls stand about 10 inches tall. We make them with cotton ‘skin’ and stuff them with wool from Western Canada. Their hair is made of natural materials such as wool, alpaca, mohair. This is a traditional Waldorf style doll with the body shape – arms outstretched for lots of hugs. This doll seems to be good for little ones, ages 1.5 – 2 ish, or for kids that love little things! These dolls take us about 6 hours to do from start to finish. They come with a simple outfit and underpants but no shoes. They cost $130.

The Classic Doll

This was the first style of doll I made over 10 years ago! This body type is based on traditional German dollmaking patterns (which is what the Waldorf Dolls are based on). The body is sewn with cotton for it’s ‘skin’ (which comes in all the way from the Netherlands – specially milled for dollmaking) and then the doll is stuffed with wool. It’s luscious hair is made with wool, mohair and alpaca yarns and can be styled in many different ways (here’s our YouTube channel for hair styling ideas) . She stands 15 inches tall and is good for 3 and up but this age range is debatable. Some wee kids LOVE the big dolls, the heft of it can be very comforting. These dolls take us about 10 – 12 hours to make. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes.  They cost $235 – $245 (depending on extra’s in hair or outfit)

Sitting Friends

This doll was created for children (and their moms) that wanted a softer, more bendable doll. They measure 15″ tall (and fit the Classic Doll clothing). We developed this pattern to mimic the traditional doll with it’s rounded feet and outstretched arms but with movable limbs, it’s perfect for tea parties. This doll would be good for ages 3 and up, but, again, it’s a personal preference for the child. Like the other dolls, the skin is made with that fantastic cotton ‘skin’ and stuffed with wool. Did you know that wool is absolutely amazing for children? It’s naturally antibacterial, warms to the touch and absorbs scent so the doll smells like ‘home’.  These dolls take us between 10 – 12 hours to create. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes. They cost $240 – $250 depending on the outfit and hair.

Cuddle Doll

This doll was inspired by our seamstress Nicki’s childhood doll Pippi. We loved Pippi because of her size and her long-ish floppy legs. So, we made a Bamboletta version.  She’s a bit like a small version of our Sitting Doll but there are some differences. She stands 13″ tall, is ‘thinner’ then our regular dolls and has longer legs (with FEET! I know this will delight many of our customers!). She is made with the same materials as all the other dolls. I think ages 2 and up would be good ,but, again, totally subjective. This doll takes about 7 – 8 hours to make. She comes with an outfit (2 piece), underpants and crocheted shoes. They cost $155.

One thing I do recommend for people with small children is that they tie the long hair back or braid it until the child is ready to play ‘hairdresser’. It’s made with natural materials and some shedding is to be expected but this will stop as the yarns age a bit and will ‘felt up’ a little. It’s kind of like natural hair when it’s freshly washed and is all fluffy, it takes a bit of time for your hair to calm down. Natural dolls have a feel of their own and will age with your child and hopefully will be passed along to their child! I feel VERY strongly about using natural materials hence the price point (as well as the labour put in between all of us sewing mama’s!). If you are interested in learning more about the philosophy and use of natural materials, I wrote a blog post here about it.

Couldn’t resist showing you an undies shot!
Thank you all so much!

Heather - June 5, 2013 - 5:04 pm

Feet!!!! I can not wait to check them out!!!

Lisa - June 5, 2013 - 5:19 pm

so excited – I love the cuddle dolls – my g’baby will be getting one for sure 🙂

Cassandra - June 5, 2013 - 5:39 pm

Delightful to see and read the differences!

Aubrey - June 5, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Please do not stop making the babies, they are really great!

Carolyn - June 5, 2013 - 7:03 pm

All perfect! Classic is still my fave <3

chreyl - June 6, 2013 - 4:22 am

Love them all….squishing them is the best part. You forgot to mention that. 🙂

Coco - January 3, 2014 - 4:27 pm

Hi! First of all, I LOVE these dolls, they are SO cute, and I am so glad to have accidentally stumbled across them. Although I do not have children yet (hopefully soon!), I have an idea in mind of which “look” I’d like to find and adopt for the future when I have children (or for myself if that day never comes!). I did read the blog, but just to clarify as I am still confused: the classic doll and the sitting doll are essentially the same, however the sitting dolls are poseable or jointed in places, while the classic dolls have a soft body that always retains the same shape? Is this correct? And sitting dolls do not always “sit,” they can just be positioned this way? I included my email above, if you could respond to my email as well as to my post I would greatly appreciate it as I am not sure I would be able to find this specific blog post again. Also, can the dolls be shipped abroad to Europe at an additional fee, as I may be moving to Italy? Thanks so much, and what a WONDERFUL product! Cannot wait to begin adopting a pair. 🙂

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