Things You'll Need
- Needle and thread
- Floss or yarn
Making dolls opens a world of creativity to children and adults alike. There is no right or wrong way to make a doll and it is up to the artist to design the doll they want to make. Making cloth dolls is a good way to make dolls quickly and to learn how to put a doll together so that its joints work the way you want. The most important tool you will need is an open mind and a vision for what's possible for your doll.
Select a fabric color that you like for the body of your doll. Pick a matching thread so that your stitches will not stand out in areas where you want to hide them.
Sketch the outline of your doll body on a piece of paper from the neck down. Keep in mind that your doll will be smaller than your sketched outline due to seams and stuffing.
Fold your fabric in half and pin your paper drawing pattern to the fabric. Make sure you have enough fabric left to make a round cloth head.
Cut out the doll body using the scissors. Place your doll body fabric pieces right sides together and hand sew around the body, leaving the top of the neck open.
Insert stuffing through the neck into the body. Use the eraser side of a pencil to help stuff the doll, legs and arms. Fill the body all the way up to the top of the neck. Stitch across the top of the neck to keep the stuffing inside. Add stitches to look like fingers and toes. Add stitches at elbows, shoulders, knees, hips and ankles to make joints.
Draw a circle on paper large enough to make the right-size head. Use a kitchen cup or saucer for circle shapes. Cut out your fabric circle. Sew a basting stitch 1/8-inch from the circle edge and with the needle still on the thread, pull on the needle until the opening is the size of your doll neck. Pre-fit your head on your doll to see if it is the right size.
Stuff your doll head with stuffing until it is nice and full. Turn the fabric under at the basting stitch and slip the head on the neck. Pull the needle to tighten and then use the same needle and do a back stitch connecting the head to the neck.
Make a 1/8-inch 45-degree angle stitch from the head to the neck fabric, bring your needle back up through the head fabric about half way along the side of the stitch on the head fabric. Pick up equal amounts of fabric (from the neck and head) on each stitch. Pull the thread through. Make a stitch 1/16-inch away from your first stitch on the neck fabric, bring your needle up through the head fabric about half way along the side of the head fabric stitch. Continue around the head. Knot and trim off any extra thread.
Attach floss or yarn hair and use stitches or a marker to draw on the face.
Create a hair style for your doll and make clothing or a costume for the doll to wear.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.