“Beautiful Ugly Dolls” is a Design project I did with 6th graders in which they designed their own ugly dolls. The students had to investigate the question “what makes a beautiful design?”
They began by researching existing Ugly Dolls
for inspiration. Then, they drew a range of possible designs; evaluated the designs based on peer feedback; then chose their best design and wrote a design spec with common essential criteria and personal desirable criteria that their dolls had to fulfill.
They drew a life-size full color design with a one centimeter outline to give room for the stitch. Then, they traced onto tracing paper including parts for all face details. They investigated how to thread a needle; how to stitch three types of stitching; how to tie off the thread so that they could sew their dolls with confidence. We used only felt, thread, synthetic cotton stuffing on the doll.
Some designs had to be simplified to fit the criteria. One essential critera was that there are no sewn appendages; the body must come from a solid piece of fabric. Any other color must be sewn on as a “decorative element”