Well, not small faces exactly, but small facial features is perhaps more precise!
I've been having trouble with felt again, I find it REALLY hard to get decent felt in Sydney or Wollongong and my chasing it on the net hasn't exactly yielded the best results. As much as I actually loathe my local Spotlight, they had the best stuff, it was a poly-wool blend that stayed firm enough to embroider, and which was soft enough for soft toys... however they have stopped stocking it. The sheets they sell are too chunky and course, and the stuff they have by the metre isn't strong at all, it comes apart like polyfil... and there are pieces of small cardboard (or goodness knows what) blended in through it, which I find myself picking out with a needle and smoothing over.
I have been buying felt here, and it is lovely felt, but for my purpose it is too soft and flimsy. It is is hard to embroider and hard to sew onto the doll's bodies, either by hand, or by machine... however, yesterday I had a small breakthrough which makes using this beautiful feeling felt in this context, a little more workable.
I have some very fine double-sided-interfacing my cupboard, and when you iron it, it gets much firmer, not stiff, but it helps fabric hold it's shape as it's used for the inside of shirt collars. My breakthrough is that I've started attaching the faces to the fabric with this interfacing and it looks and holds so much better! You just need to cut the interfacing slightly smaller than the face, line them up on the doll body, and have them facing down on the ironing board so that you can iron the wrong side of the body fabric, and ta-da, the face is attached, and a more peaceful type of sewing can begin! I also pin the legs of the blinkies up at this point so that they are not dangling in my way.
As for the small facial features, they seem to be a necessity with such fine felt, anything too big looks silly and awkward, so I'm sticking with it as an aesthetic choice for the while, but I think it is working.
Happy Sewing! I'm hoping to release an add on blinky pattern soon-- with lots of extra faces and ears to work with, so stay tuned!