SPECIAL GIFT: Kate Sengstock creates her own dolls to put a smile on the faces of children.
SPECIAL GIFT: Kate Sengstock creates her own dolls to put a smile on the faces of children. Elyse Wurm

Decades of experience in every stitch

WHEN her daughters were growing up, Kate Sengstock remembers they used to have a toy called a 'happy, sad' doll.

It was a doll with a happy face on one side and a sad one on the other.

A life-long creator and lover of sewing, Ms Sengstock thought the sad side was a little bit too downtrodden so she decided to make her own version.

She now creates her own two-sided dolls, with a happy face on one side and sleepy on the other so little children can have their companion by their side through all hours of the day and night.

The owner of Aunty Kate's Toys said her dolls are made to be held, carried around and loved by the small children who pick them up.

"I think there are people out there that do make them (dolls), a lot of them tend to go into a lot more fancy detail,” she said.

"I want mine to be enjoyed not just sat on a shelf so I keep things simple.”

Dolls are made to make children happy.
Dolls are made to make children happy. Contributed

Ms Sengstock has been making toys for over thirty years and keeping things simple still requires about three or four days of work.

The Pratten local cuts the pieces of fabric and paints the faces herself, before sewing the doll together and creating a handmade dress.

All the hours are thoroughly enjoyed and worth it to see the smiles she puts on the faces of children.

"It means I get to see the little people and talk to them and see how happy they are,” she said.

"I love seeing little kids happy.”

She believes there are still people out there who appreciate handmade toys, but learning how to create things through craft is not as common as it used to be.

"I feel a bit sad about younger generations that seem to be sat in front of computers and televisions all the time,” she said.

"I'd be quite happy to teach them to knit and crochet and sew.”

Dolls aren't the only thing in Kate Sengstock's repertoire.
Dolls aren't the only thing in Kate Sengstock's repertoire. Contributed

The joy she's able to bring to others through her skills is testament to the value of learning to harness a creative side.

"One dear little girl was telling her mum she'll take the whole lot,” Ms Sengstock said.

Ms Sengstock said she would like to start creating dolls for children who have been through hard times, so she can help give them comfort when it's most needed.

"I do feel a lot of little children do end up in bad places and it's something I feel horrible about,” she said.

"That is a special thing I would like to do, I believe some little kids have been through too much and they need something to hold onto.”

In the meantime, she will continue selling her creations at the Warwick Uber Markets and at the Warwick Town Hall.

The toys can also be found on the Aunty Kates Toys Facebook page.



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