“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.
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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”
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