This doll took me one day to sew entirely by hand. I did not use a machine. I'm not sure how long it would take anyone else. Don't be scared off by the instructions. The doll is actually very simple, I'm just very wordy and I tried to be very precise so no one would have trouble understanding. It looks long, but it took me twice as long to write the instructions as it took to make the doll :)
This doll is approximately the same size as a newborn baby, so you can use newborn-sized clothes on the doll.
This is a FREE pattern that you can copy and print to use for your own personal use or to make gifts. I do, however, ask for a small fee if you would like to use this pattern for profit. You may NOT sell the pattern, but you may use it to create and sell an unlimited number of dolls for $10. Please contact me at my shop located at http://www.amberskyfire.etsy.com
Shops that have purchased this pattern to make dolls for sale!
Nestled Under Rainbowse
Bright Life Toys
-1 very long, very sharp darning needle
-approximately 1 to 1.5 square yards fabric (I used a hemp knit - be sure your fabric does NOT stretch or your doll will be huge. I used a nice thick fabric)
-something to make your hair with (I needle-felted on some wool hair)
-some thick, strong string (kite string or crochet thread)
-thread to match your cloth
-a piece of any stretchy cloth (t-shirt material works fine) about 20x20 inches
-embroidery thread for eyes and mouth if you want one
-loads and loads of batting (about enough to fill one standard sized pillow)
-aspirin (or maybe a couple of glasses of wine will do it)
(extra: cloth for diapers and something - whatever you want - to use to close the diapers, ie: hook and eyes, velcro, snaps, whatever)
I apologize to anyone who has already printed this pattern and tried to use it. Apparently, ImageShack resized the image and it is not as large as it should be. You will need to resize it so that it is exactly 8 inches wide when you print it. Each pattern will fit onto one 8.5x11" sheet of printer paper.
Doll pattern 1
Doll pattern 2
1. Make body BEFORE making head. Print and cut out patterns exactly around the lines. Do not leave room for a hem. Cut exactly on the lines.
2. Fold fabric in half with the "good sides" facing in toward each other.
3. Trace exactly around all patterns onto one side of the fabric. Trace ONE body, TWO arms, TWO legs, TWO top feet and TWO bottom feet. Be sure to leave enough room around the edge (about 1/4 inch) for a hem; don't trace the patterns too close together. DO NOT CUT OUT PATTERNS. Use pins in a grid every three inches over the whole thing to hold both halves of the fabric together.
4. Double-up your thread (if hand-sewing) and sew along the lines for the body, arms, and legs ONLY. Do not sew foot pieces. Leave patterns open where indicated on paper pattern.
5. When both sides are sewn together for all pieces, carefully cut around all pieces leaving 1/4 extra cloth around the edge of each one. Cut out the individual 4 foot pieces leaving 1/8" edge around the outside of the tracing. Be very careful to cut the edge around all pieces the exact same thickness so they match up together. Set pieces aside.
THIS MARKS THE END OF ANY MACHINE SEWING YOU CAN DO ON THIS PROJECT
6.Take one "top of foot" piece and fold in half with the traced side on the inside and the "good" side on the outside. (See Fig. 1) Insert folded edge between leg pieces where the foot joins. Match the star in the center of the top of the foot with the star spot in the top corner of the ankle. Sew the center of folded edge into the top of the foot attachment area in the leg seam and tie with a few good knots. (See Fig. 2) Carefully (and with minimal cussing) line up the dotted "attach foot here" areas of the top of foot and leg pieces. Sew along the dotted lines to attach top of foot piece down one side of the ankle. When you reach the heel, turn it over and sew the other side exactly the same. (sorry if this step is a bit difficult to understand)
7. Once the top of the foot is sewn around the ankle, reach in and pull the foot piece out so it folds back. It should look somewhat like Fig. 3. And should make a round shape for a foot. Take one "bottom of foot" piece and lay it over this hole so that the traced side is facing you. (See Fig. 3) Secure the heel area of the foot piece to the heel area of the leg piece and tie a good sturdy knot. Sew around the outer edge so that the bottom of the foot is attached to the base of the foot area and try as much as possible to line up the tracings of the two patterns as you go. Sew as much on the traced lines as you possibly can. When you come back around to the heel area again, secure all pieces with a good strong knot. Repeat process with other foot.
8. Turn all pieces of the doll right-side out. Poke scissors into corners of thumbs to push them out.
9. Stuff foot full, but not too tightly with batting. Use strong string such as kite string or crochet thread to sew toes as in diagram below:
(step 1) Looking at bottom of foot, stick large needle with heavy string into the side of the big toe about 1/2 inch down from top of foot.
(step 2) Pull through other side and bring up over top of foot. Pull tightly to create indentation for toe. Tie ends together tightly in two or three knots at base of toe on bottom of foot. Snip end off.
(step 3) Push needle into base of second toe.
(step 4) Pull string out other side of second toe and bring over the top like the first toe. Thread string under itself at base of second toe, pull tightly to create indentations and hold with finger to keep string where you want it.
(step 5) Repeat process for next toe.
(step 6) Repeat process for next toe.
(step 7) Repeat process for last toe.
(step 8) Repeat process for last toe. When finished with last toe, tie string to itself very tightly with 2 or 3 knots. Snip end.
10. Repeat process with other foot, making sure to put big toe on opposite side or you'll have a baby with two left feet :)
You are now ready to stuff your doll. This is a good project to save for when you are having a fight with your loved one or when you've had enough of your boss.
11. Stuff batting into doll's feet until they are very very hard. I mean it. You stuff that doll like someone is going to pay you a million dollars for every ounce of stuffing you put in it. Stuff it 'till it won't take anymore. Use a single hand-sized piece of batting each time you stuff and just keep adding hand-sized pieces of batting. Stuff leg up to the thigh this way. STUFF STUFF STUFF the devil out of it! Once you get to the thigh, stuff doll tightly, but not *quite* as tight. You want the thigh area to have just a little give so it molds to the shape of the body. As you work your way up the leg, use your hands to firmly mold the leg so that it curves inward, just like a real baby's leg. If you've stuffed it tight, it will mold a little like clay and will stay how you mold it. Repeat with other leg.
12. When full, push the edges in and use a whip stitch to sew the hole in the legs closed. (See Fig. 4) It's a common mistake to sew the hole closed without stuffing the area beneath the hole enough, thus leaving a thin mushy spot. Stuff leg until stuffing is trying to come out, then close the hole over it to prevent this.
13. Hand-stitch the fingers onto the hands. You can used doubled-up thread or the heavy string. Be sure the stitches are strong and even.
14. Stuff nut-sized pieces of batting into hands. Use the point of your scissors to stuff the batting down into the fingers. Stuff the dickens out of it. The fingers should feel hard like pencils.
15. Stuff stuff stuff the hands and arms just the way you did the legs. Stuff the dickens out of it. This is a good time to exorcise any stress going on in your life. Just like you did with the legs, leave the shoulder area ever-so-slightly looser and not quite as tightly packed. You want it about 2/3 as hard as the rest of the arm. Firmly mold and shape the arms so that they will curve in slightly toward the body.
16. Sew holes in arms closed with a whip stitch like you did with the legs.
17. Stuff doll body. Do not stuff the body as tightly as the arms and legs. It will be too difficult to add the limbs if you do. About 1/2 as tight is good or make it as soft or hard as you like, but let it have a lot of give. (Just so you know, there should not be any holes for the arms and legs, just a hole for the head.)
18. To make the doll head, ball up batting very very tightly into a round shape. This is tricky. Don't let it poof out. Start over if you have to. It's easy to make the head too small. Measure the head to the body and arms and if you think it's just a little too big, it's probably perfect. Babies' heads are proportionately large for their bodies. If you make it too small, the baby will look like he took a visit to a head shrinker. (This website has great photos for making the head in this manner.)
19. Place batting ball inside of a square of stretchy fabric. Without letting go of the ball, try to wrap the fabric around the batting very tightly. Pull the ends tightly through your hand as you grip it. Look at the shape of the head. Some lumps can be hidden in the back. If you don't have a good even smooth surface for a face, try mushing it around a bit and see if you can fix it. If you can't, you may have to start over. it's worth it for a nice-looking doll. Tie string around the base of the head to secure it and tie in a few knots.
20. Wrap twine tightly around the head three or four times and pull it tight so that it creates an indentation. Tie securely in the back (3). Wrap twine around the head form again, this time vertically. Pull it as tight as you can to create an indentation in the head form. Using a large needle and some more twine, sew an X across the points where the twine intersects to keep it from slipping (4). Using a crochet hook, pull the twine down in the back of the head (5).
21. Make a nose for the doll by gathering a circular patch of the cloth in the front using a needle and thread. poke the needle through and under the fabric across back and forth in a circular shape and pull tightly. This will cause a small lump of fabric to bunch up in the front.
22. Place the face of the doll into the front of a piece of the flesh fabric and fold the sides around to the back of the head. Press the two sides of the fabric together in the back and sew them together with a running stitch along the back of the head. Use cotton twine, not sewing thread. Cut the excess fabric off of the back but leave the top and bottom.
23. Tie twine or yarn loosely around the base to keep the fabric from slipping up. You will cut this after this step. Next, Pull the top part of the fabric so that it conforms to the shape of the head. I used three triangles like so. Using twine, hand-sew along these spots so that your fabric conforms tightly to the head shape without any creases going down into the face area. Cut the excess fabric from the top leaving about 1/4 inch of fabric above where you have sewn. The top of the head should now be closed. Remove the tie from the bottom. (8)
24. Remove the doll's skin and turn it right-side out. Put the skin back over the head of the doll and pull it in to place. Gather the cloth tightly around the base of the head form so that no wrinkles appear in the front around the chin area. Wrinkles in the back will not be noticeable. Using twine, tie tightly and securely several times around the base of the head form. Use embroidery thread to sew the face on only AFTER you have secured the face to the head. Do not mark the placement of the features with a pencil or pen. If you must, use a pin stuck straight into the head form to mark eyes and mouth. (I decided I did not like the look of the mouth on the baby and pulled it out.) To keep it looking tidy, tie a knot in the end of your thread and go in through the back of the head and then out through the eye or nose to create the embroidery. When finishing, go back out the back of the head. This keeps your stitching looking neat so you can't see the ends.
Making the face is difficult for some. If you make a mistake, simply pull stitches out going backwards and then redo it to correct it. You are not using a permanent marker. Sewing is easy to undo and redo. You can do it over again a hundred times until it's perfect if you have to. To make sure the features are straight, face the doll in a mirror and look at the reflection. Sometimes you may not notice it's crooked until you do this.
If you would like to add blush to your doll, you can use some light pink lipstick, blush, or very watered down acrylic paint. Start with the barest tiny amount. It's less than you think. You can always dab more on as you go if you want it darker. ALWAYS test this on a scrap of fabric a few times before trying it on your doll's face.
Add any type of hair any way you want. You can check online to find the style and method you'd like. I simply felted wool roving directly into the head of the doll. You can also crochet a long string of yarn and sew it onto the doll's head. I have heard of others knitting a little cap of hair and sewing it on.
25. Insert the head into the body of the doll. Once the head is in, stuff more batting into the doll body around the base of the head until it is stuffed as firm as you like it. You don't want a flat neck on a floppy-headed doll. Fold the edge of the neck down inside the doll in front and back of the neck. Secure it by sewing with string through the neck and head (over the wrapped-around string) back and forth around the top of the body so that it cannot be pulled out, even with great force. Then fold the edges of the shoulders in and whip-stitch the shoulders closed starting from the outside and going in toward the neck.
26. Now let the cussing begin. If you were like me and stuffed the body a little more tightly than you should have, you'll need to choose a good swear word. My swear word of choice for this project was "m***er f***er!" but you choose the one that works best for you. Having someone help you with this part is highly advised, but it's possible to do it by yourself. I did.
Start with the arms. They are easier and won't flop around as much as you work. Thread your biggest, longest, sharpest embroidery needle with heavy string. Double the string and tie a knot in the end. Push the needle in the doll's right arm through the underside of the center of the shoulder area. Bring it out through the outside of the arm, move over about half an inch, then go back in (this is half of an X shape that will be on the outside of the arm once it's attached) and have the needle come out about 1/8 inch from where the original hole was.
27. Squeeze the arm dots on the front of the body together and push the needle through the one on the doll's right so it comes out through the one on the doll's left. Then thread the needle through the inside of the doll's left arm. Push it out through the other side.
28. You should now have a double-string going through one arm, all the way through the body, out the other side, and through the other arm. Pull the string very tightly while squeezing the arms into the doll. Tight. No, tighter. Tighter. TIGHTER! That's right.
29. Hold the doll squeezed together with one hand and thread pulled tight with your other. Now take your third arm and push the needle back into the doll's left arm about 1/2 inch from where it came out (this will be half of an X on the other shoulder) and then back through the body as closely as possible as you can get to where you pulled it through the last time. Too far and the joints won't work. Push the needle through the body (don't wake up the sleeping baby with the cussing!) and out the other side and into and out of the doll's right arm again. Push the needle through the outside of the shoulder and then go back in again to make the X joint.
30. Push the needle back through the doll one more time and out the other side and through the other arm. Finish the X joint on this doll as well. Hope to all that is good that you kept the string pulled tightly enough the whole time you were sewing. Push the needle through the shoulder until it comes out in the left armpit. Tie a huge and very tight knot
31. Repeat process with the legs.
32. To make a belly button and bottom for the doll, push a needle with doubled-up string into the doll where you want the belly button of the doll to be and out through the crotch of the doll, leaving a few inches of string hanging out the belly button. Pull it up around the butt of the doll and push the needle back into the doll where you want the top of the butt crack to be and push it through the doll and back out about 1-2mm from where the thread first went in. Pull the twine tightly to create the indentations for the bottom and the belly button, then tie two tight knots in the center of the belly button and clip the thread ends.
ALL DONE! :D
If you want to make diapers for the doll, cut out the pattern exactly along the lines. Lay one piece of fabric over another and then fold them in half. Lay the dotted edge of the pattern against the fold in the fabric. Draw around pattern and open the cloth. Flip the pattern over and draw the other side so you have a mirror image. Pin the two pieces of fabric together and sew all around the traced portion, leaving a hole in the top of the back of the diaper so you can turn it inside out.
Once it's all sewn, cut the diaper out leaving about 1/8" around the edges of your stitching. Turn the diaper right-side-out and iron it flat. Sew on buttons, hooks, snaps, velcro, or whatever you want to use for closures.