Well, as mentioned, I wanted to talk about stuffing a doll. I like to try out different types of fiberfill/stuffing/filling/roving etc. for dolls but I have to keep coming back to the regular Poly-fil.
This bamboo one is 100% Bamboo, made by Fairfield and part of their Nature-fil line. It was too smooth, and when I really packed it in a doll the way I typically do, it made the doll feel slightly heavier than they regularly are, and when you squeezed the body or head, it didn't bounce back- it had to be manipulated back into shape. I really want this one to work out, but I think that for the types of dolls that I make I need to use something different.
This one is Mountain Mist EcoCraft Fibre, a fiberfill that's derived from corn which is turned into Ingeo™ or PLA. So far this one is a lot easier to use than the bamboo for the type of doll I make. It's soft, but still is lofty and maintains the springiness that I like. I bought it at my local Jo-Ann's, but haven't seen it as readily available. Fairfield, the same company that makes the rest of the fiberfills that I'm discussing, does have a PLA Corn product called Nature-Fil Corn Fiber, but I have yet to try that one.
This is Soft-Touch poly-fil Supreme, and according to the Fairfield website, the fibers are siliconized to make it feel softer and silkier. I use this type interchangeably with the regular Poly-fil (both are 100% polyester), and like them about the same for my dolls.
This Poly-fil is the one that I use the most, I like it's loftiness and springiness, and it's the one that I have the most bags of ;) I usually keep a bag in the trunk of both of our cars since I typically have a yarn project with me when I go places, but it gets unwieldy having to carry this in and out of the house every time I leave, and I don't have to keep stopping to get it when we take off on a whim.
I've yet to try wool roving/batting to stuff a doll because to be honest, I don't know exactly where to get it in bulk. I've been poking around Waldorf Doll making sites looking for info on making a doll for my niece & daughter for Christmas gifts, and also to find information about wool, and so far I read that West Earl Woolen Mill (717-859-2241- there's no website!) is the place to go for carded wool batting, but I haven't called them yet.
When I stuff a doll, to get the best looking doll I take my time. Most of the time I use the Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks when I crochet a doll, so I just use the handle to stretch and shape the doll limb or body to prep it before stuffing it.
I pull off very small amounts of the fiberfill and then pull it apart so that it's just barely held together and it's nice and fluffy before stuffing it into a doll part. Then, it just becomes a matter of layering it in. And it's important to not try to hurry and put clumps in, because then your doll is just lumpy and misshapen.
It is time consuming, especially because I try to get as much in as possible. In the picture above, I used the amount of fiberfill that's behind the doll head to stuff another head the exact same size as the one shown, and I needed a little more before I was finished.
For tighter spots, like the legs and feet of my dolls, I use the handle of my crochet hook to push the fiberfill in, and that way I can get it situated exactly where I want it. And then when it's time to seal off a head, or body I fill up that part as much as I can, and then decrease my stitches until there's just a tiny hole left, and then I stuff even more in. It really helps to retain the integrity of the shape if the doll is stuffed to the gills :)
I hope that helps, and if I've forgotten anything please feel free to add to this in the comments, the more shared information, the better!