Introduction: Embroidered Kokeshi Doll

Great little item to give as a gift. Some alternate stuffing could be: potpourri, flax seed with lavender or mint for a wonderful drawer sachet or as I used in this instructable, quilters batting to make a sweet little doll. 

In this Instructable, I used what I had on hand...regular blanket batting.  

So get crafting and as always, I hope you enjoy!!

Step 1: What You Need....

Batting [or again, filling of your choice]
Tracing Paper
Card Board
Pen [optional]
Embroidery Floss [I used 6 strand divisible & cotton non-divisible for french knots]

***Tape: not shown but you will see it in a later photo.

Step 2: Find Your Design & Cut It Out on Card Board

I was inspired by the Kokeshi doll. What I did was found a simple image on the web and tweeked it, useing tracking paper and traced around the main lines of the design. 

Details can be added later by eye or drawn onto the felt with the pen or water soluble transfer pencil.

Then I used the tape to hold down my tracing paper figure to the card board [cereal box]

I then cut the patterns head from the body. In the image below, it is taped together again. However you will be cutting a few pieces for this project so you can cut a few pieces of card board or do like I did and just use some tape when you need the full body for the backing. 

Step 3: Cut Pieces of Felt

FIRST CUT: one piece from the full pattern of the doll before you cut the head from body. [ITEM B for Back in photo below]

SECOND CUT: the face for the front of the doll. [HEAD/FACE is in white for this example]

THIRD CUT: Two [2] pieces of body [or skirt] for the doll. We are cutting two [2] body pieces so we can layer the felt and give the design more character [YELLOW BODY & GREEN BODY]

FORTH CUT: Cut part of one of your body pieces in the shape you desire. I opted for a crescent shape. You will see how this works in a further step. *smiles*  [GREEN BODY CUT FOR LAYER EFFECT]

Step 4: Now Start to Embroider the Details of the Face

I used 3 stands of embroidery floss and some very basic stitches.

Back Stitch
Satin Stitch
Stem Stitch
French Knot

Step 5: Piecing Together Your Kokeshi Doll

Step 1: Place your green body piece over your yellow body piece and use the stitch of your choice to hold them together. I used a stem  stitch but some other choices are: running stitch, back stitch, chain stitch. Really the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. Any stitch you use will be visible and give the dolls dress more character.

Step 2: Continue to embellish your doll body/dress. Here I used some french knots and a few more lines of stem stitch for the collar detail. 

Step 3: Attach the head of the doll to the body/dress of the doll. [In this doll I used a contrasting thread *orange* so you could see this step more clearly but if you want to hide this then just use a similar thread color to the felt you choose for the head] have a fully embroidered Kokeshi Doll front. *smiles*

Step 6: Getting Ready to Sew Your Pieces

Line up the front of your Kokeshi Doll to the back piece that you cut earlier.

[FYI: you can decorate the back of the doll as well, it is totally up to you. I did not do so for this instructable.]

Step 7: Sew Your Pieces Together: Blanket Stitch

Depending on the choice of your filling, I suggest using a strong stitch to hold your doll front and doll back together. 

I used a blanket stitch. It is one of the strongest stitches originally used by quilters but a lot of embroiders use this stitch today. It also makes a great decorative stitch.

Again, I used a contrasting color on my doll so that it would stand out and you could see it. 
A matter of taste, if you wish your doll to look more polished use colors that blend or match your felt. For a more rustic and homemade fell, use a contrasting color. *smiles*

**Note remember to try to keep your stitches evenly spaced to give both a cohesive look but more importantly strength to the edge of your doll.  

Step 8:

Here you can see the inside of the doll that will shortly be stuffed. This is one full side of the doll blanket stitched. 

***NOTE: Do NOT blanket stitch the bottom of the doll till the very end. You want to leave that open to really make sure the doll is stuffed well. 

Step 9: Stuffing Your Doll

If you use batting [like I have done in this example]...

STEP 1: Stuff the head of your doll after you stitch one full side of the front and back piece. Finish blanket stitching around the head. Leave the body open on one side and move the batting around until you get the desired 'fill' of your doll head.

STEP 2: Stuff the body of the doll. Again, continue your blanket stitch down the other side of the body.

***NOTE: pull your batting apart and fluff it up. Don't just use your batting straight from the roll. It doesn't have the kind of body you want for the doll and would only make your doll look flat. Think of your doll filling like a pillow. 

***SUGGESTION: if you don't have quilting batting on hand, you could also probably use cotton balls. Again, just tear them apart and stuff them in to get the desired fullness. 

Step 10: Final Fill

Once all sides of the doll are stitched, you will have the bottom open and can insert more batting [or fill of your choice] until you achieve the desired fullness for your doll [or sachet]. 

Step 11: Finished Kokeshi Doll

There you have it. An adorable little handmade doll.

I really do plan on using this for sachet's and giving them as Christmas gifts. I plan on using some potpourri from the dollar store and adding a few drops of essential oil so that the smell will last longer. 

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and my little Kokeshi Doll. <3

Please feel free to show me your Kokeshi Doll if you get around to making one. *smile*