Free Sewing Patterns: Sew A Homemade Doll Toy

With the proper supplies and a little guidance, you can make handmade dolls with their own unique designs.

Doll supplies are basically the same: something to use for the head, something to use for the body, some type of hair, clothing, etc. But, the way you assemble the parts can make all the difference between two dolls. Usually when making handmade dolls, no two are exactly alike, and that's what makes them so unique. It may seem like it would be hard to make a doll, but start off with a simple pattern, then work up to more difficult creations.

When choosing supplies, think of how you would like the doll to look. If you're making a primitive doll, choose gingham fabrics, rope-type hair and so forth. For a modernized doll, you can purchase porcelain or ceramic doll heads which are already facially painted with attached hair.

An easy doll to begin with is a peek-a-boo doll which requires some pantyhose or knee- hi's and a small child's long sleeved shirt and pants outfit, including shoes and hat. In place of the shirt and pants, you can use a long sleeved dress and thick leotards. These articles can be purchased at a second hand store in like-new condition. Stuff a knee-hi stocking with purchased stuffing or old pantyhose and other soft materials. Shape into a circular appearance. This will be the head of the doll. Tie closed at neck, inserting 8" dowel rod, half in and half out, before tying. Stuff a baby's shirt, inserting the other half of the dowel rod through the middle of the shirt. Stuff well, so that you do not feel the rod when squeezing the body of the doll. Sew the cuff shut, using a whip stitch, then stuff arms of shirt. Sew the knee-hi into the neck opening of the shirt, again using a whip stitch.

Stuff a pair of shoes, inserting 8" dowel rod into each shoe opening, then slide pant leg over each rod. Hot glue the cuff of the pants into the shoe opening. Stuff pants well, shaping legs, rear, and waist. Now, tuck the stuffed shirt into the waist of the pants and sew shut, using a blind stitch.

This doll does not require eyes and such, since you will be covering the doll's "face" with its "hands" by sewing the cuff of each sleeve where the eyes would be. Make sure that when you bring the arms of the shirt up, you align them to where you cannot see the panty hose from the side view. Finish by attaching the hat to where the panty hose isn't visible from the rear view. If the hat can't be sewn, hot glue in place. Straw hats work great or you can put a baseball cap on backwards. Optionally, you can add baby doll hair by gluing it onto the inside of the hat, before attaching the cap.

If you do not have a purchased hat, you can cut a 12" diameter circle of fabric and center it over the head. Trim to appropriate size. Position the hat on the doll head and attach a ribbon from forehead area, around the back of the head, and back to the forehead area, to hold the hat in place. Before attaching permanently, sew a 1/4" wide piece of lace around the edge.

Your doll is completed and will stand in a corner and "pout" or you can toss it face down on a bed in a child's room. These dolls can also be made quickly with a one-piece baby sleeper outfit and some small slippers and bonnet.

For a miniature version of this doll, choose a baby doll outfit, stuff the pants loosely and attach small socks and shoes at the pant cuffs. Do not include the dowel rods. Follow above steps for head, but instead of making this a peek-a-boo doll, use a cotton sock for the head and draw on a face or sew buttons for eyes, stitches for nose and mouth. You can also purchase stitch-on facial features. Attach hair to this doll along with a small, cute hat. For the hands, use baby socks and cut in the shape of mittens. Place right sides together and sew around mitten shape, leaving "wrist" open for turning. Stuff slightly and sew shut, then stitch to cuffs of sleeves.

To get additional ideas for doll making, search online for free doll patterns, draw your own patterns, or check your local craft store for supplies and ideas to add more dolls to your collection.

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