Rag Doll | Basic Sewing
My daughter turned 2 recently, and I wracked my brain over her gift. She has tons of clothes and the relatives get her even more clothes and all the latest name-brand toys. Plastic toys, with whirring sounds and automated coos, flashing lights and sound effects are all very exciting for her. But, a couple of months (days?) later she has set them off to the side and is playing with a cardboard box or something. We got her a few gifts, but I wanted to make something for her. Something that she would keep for years. I made her a little girl doll and she loves it! Hugging it and giving it kisses are a big part of her day. It’s a pretty wacky looking doll, but at least she can say that no-one else has one like it. I’m envisioning it sitting on her bed at 16, as she says to everyone who comes into her room, “Look at the weird doll my Mom made me when I was a kid.”
Time Required: A few hours, depending on how quick of a sewer you are.
Materials and Tools:
– sewing machine
– sewing needle
– sewing pins
– material (at least 3 different styles/colours)
– polyester stuffing
Project Costs: I already had everything at home, but the polyester stuffing is $3.97 for an 8oz bag at Walmart, and the amount of material needed all depends on the size of your doll. Thus, you could probably buy 3 different metres of material for less than $10.
- Make a paper cut-out, or just eye the shape of a doll, giving consideration to seam allowance. Put two pieces of material together (same, or different patterns for a funkier look), pin together and cut out
- On one, I cut out two of the same circles, and two smaller circles for the eyes and pupils, which I just hand stitched on. I cut out a mouth shape and hand-sewed on. I stitched the nose and eyelashes with black thread.
- Get material for skirt – one for the front and one for the back. I hemmed each piece and did some cheating pleats on the top of each, so the material would end up just slightly wider than the doll body. I then sewed these “pleats” with the sewing machine for each piece, and then sewed the front skirt onto the front body piece and the back skirt onto the back body piece, making sure to put them at the same point on the body, front and back.
- Do the same as above for a top.
- Cut even pieces of wool for hair and sew straight across.
- Sew to wrong side of doll.
- Sew pieces together back to back, up to where hair starts, on both sides. Make sure to tuck and pin any skirt material into the middle of the doll pattern, so as not to accidentally sew a seam over a piece of clothing. And add one more zigzag stitch around, to make sure the material doesn’t fray.
- On the last step, you sewed with the hair outside so as to not catch the hair in your seams. Now, tuck the hair in and sew a bit further, on both sides, leaving a large enough space to be able to reach in and stuff your doll.
- Turn the doll right-side out and stuff with stuffing. I used the afore-mentioned polyester.
- Sew sides of skirt and sides of top together.
- Straighten the hair out and trim ends so they’re somewhat even. I put pigtails in mine.
- I added an extra step because I realized I sewed my skirt a bit low onto the body and it looked too long and droopy, so I hand-sewed the skirt material between the legs and made them into little blowsy shorts.