Making a Cloth Doll in 9 Steps
Cloth dolls are often a children’s favorite toy and they are very easy to make from spare pieces of fabric or unwanted older fabric that would otherwise be turned into rags. In putting a cloth doll together, a unique personality forms every single time.
Choose how you want your doll to look. Start with the fabric color. Any plain fabric will do, but you might want to choose something approximately skin-colored, such as cream, brown, tan, white, or pink.
Traditionally, cloth dolls were made from scraps of fabric (rags), so see if you can find enough fabric to recycle from a pillow case, an old shirt or clothes that don’t fit.
Draw the outline for your doll on a cloth. Add some extra width (half an inch to 5/8″) all around the outside of your outline for a seam allowance.
~Make the doll shape a little larger than you want the finished doll. When you stuff it, it will puff up and the sides will come in a little bit.
~You can practice the outline on paper until you get it about right.
~Make the head fairly large and round or oval.
Place a second layer of fabric underneath with the right sides of the fabric together. Cut out both on the outermost line.
Pin the fabric and stitch around the outline, leaving an opening for the stuffing.
Relieve the seams around curves and corners by cutting triangular notches in the seam allowance.
Turn the doll right side out, working the fabric through the opening.
Stuff the doll with any fiber stuffing you choose.
Turn the edges of the opening under, towards the inside, and stitch it closed by hand or machine.
If desired, stitch across the legs and arms to form joints.
~ This doll is your own, so have fun with it. If you want crazy colors or crazy hair, make your doll that way. Use textile paints or stitch face features (eyes, nose, mouth, eyelashes, spots…)
~ Make the doll a bit bigger, if the fabric permits. It will be that much easier to work with and stuff.
~ Use tailor’s chalk or washable pencil to mark the fabric if you don’t want leftover marks showing through.
~ One way to get your doll the same shape on both sides is to trace the outline on paper, fold this pattern in half down the middle, and cut it while it is folded in half.