My grandmother made a Raggedy Ann doll for me when I was little, and I'll never forget the details she put into it. I always appreciated the layering of clothing, which made it fun to dress.
Since the craft contest is sponsored by Singer and Lion Brand, I wanted to make something that incorporated sewing and yarn.
Step 1: Making the Body
Making the doll involves a lot of steps, but none of them are difficult. I made my own pattern using geometric shapes of rectangles, circles, and ovals.
You will need about a yard of whatever color material you wish to use for the body.
I suggest a lower thread-count fabric, since muslin makes it difficult to get the yarn/hair through.
Pin the pattern to the fabric, trace around the edges, and cut about 1/2 inch further out than the traced line.
Cut 4 arms, 4 legs, and 2 head/bodies.
(Whenever you see my pen pointing at the fabric, it means to sew that area.)
Sew 2pieces of the arm to make one. Do the same for the other arm, and for the legs.
TIP: When rounding a corner, leave the needle of the sewing machine down, lift the foot, turn the fabric, lower the foot, and turn.
Sew the head and body, leaving open two holes in the sides for the arms to fit in, and the bottom open.
Once the pieces are finished, notch the corners to keep it from gathering around the curves when you turn it inside out.
Step 2: Putting the Body Together
Once you have the separate body pieces sewn together, turn them inside out, and iron them flat. Turn the bottom of the body inward and iron. Turn the arm-holes inward,and iron.
Stuff the head and neck tightly, but leave some room in the torso until you have finished sewing on the arms. Stuff the legs and arms until stiff.
Pin the arms to the body, and carefully sew them on. It takes a few passes to get them on tightly, and the seams will be showing.
Step 3: Hair
I used the Vanna's Choice Cranberry for the main hair. For the highlights, I used Lion's Suede Scarlet.
You'll need a needle with a large eye to get the yarn threaded. Don't double thread. If you can't get the needle and yarn through, use a flat, rubber jar opener to yank it through.
Pull the yarn almost to the end, leaving about 2.5 inches of length or longer. Cut the yarn, and tie it in a knot.
I made this doll's hair thick, but you don't really need to. Work your way in a circle around the back of her head until it's filled in. Once finished, take the suede yarn and pull through some highlights.
Step 4: Face
Using a pencil and white eraser, draw geometric shapes for the face. The eyes and cheeks can be the same size. The nose is a simple triangle. I used a large jar lid to trace the smile from one cheek to the other. If you mess up, erase with the white eraser.
Use embroidery thread and the most basic stitch to go around your shapes.
I hid the knot of the thread in the hair, and pulled the thread through to the face. I tied the end in the hair when I was finished.
Step 5: Clothing
Ok, I admidt, this is really overkill when it comes to the clothes.
To save time, you can always make the legs out of striped material. I decided to make socks, bloomers, a petticoat, dress, and apron.
I really have trouble reading patterns, so for the clothing, I used pieces from several doll dress patterns, and stuffed animal patterns. I took out the complicated pieces and used the basic ones.
Socks: Use the same pattern you used on the legs, but add a little more to the sides.
Step 6: Lay Out the Pieces
Layer your pieces to see if the materials look good together. If not, cut new pieces.
Step 7: Socks
SOCKS: Sew the straight sides of the socks together, open up, and iron the edge of the top. Sew it in place. Fold it back up, and sew the rest of the socks. Turn inside out, and put on the doll.
Step 8: Bloomers
These are a little tricky to make. Look for the pen to show where the seams should be.
Sew two of the 4 pieces together like the picture shows. This will be the upper part of the pants. Do the same to the other 2 pieces.
Iron the top edges, leaving enough room to pull elastic through.
With both pieces facing inside-out, sew the sides together.
Turn the pants sideways; iron the bottoms of the legs, and sew lace on the outside edge.
Now turn the pants back to the normal position, and sew the inner parts of the legs.
Using a safety pin, pull elastic through the folded top edge. Pull to make it snug, and sew the elastic ends together.
Step 9: Petticoat
The petticoat, bottom of the dress, and apron all have the same basic pattern. This pattern is placed on the fold, and then cut. It makes 1 front or back piece.
Cut 2 pieces, iron a fold on the bottom, and a larger fold on the top for elastic to go through.
Sew lace along the bottom of the front and back. (Right sides)
Sew the pieces together, wrong sides facing toward you.
Sew the fold on the top, and pull the elastic through. Sew the ends of the elastic and put it on the doll.
Step 10: The Dress
Follow the pictures and the yellow boxes to help with this portion.
The shirt has a front and back. Both sections will need to be sewn around the neck. Normally, there is another piece to sew on called the yoke. I were making a dress for me, I'd try to use it, but this is a doll, so just folding the neck a little, ironing it, and sewing it is enough.
The back piece needs to be cut in the middle so the doll's head can fit through. Those edges will be turned inward, ironed, and sewn. Sew on a small piece of velcro to both sides, or use a hook clasp.
Sew the shoulders together, and the sides. Leave the bottom edge raw for now.
Take one of the sleeves, and sew lace to the bottom of it before sewing up the side.
Match up the top of the sleeve to the top of the shirt and sew it enough to hold it together. Do the same for the armpit area. Once it looks straight, sew all the way around.
Prepare the skirt the same way you did the petticoat, except for the top fold. Do not iron a fold. BASTE (use the largest stitch on the sewing machine) across the top of the skirt. Go all the way around. Carefully pull one end of the thread, and gather the material evenly. Tie off the ends.
Sew (right sides facing each other) the shirt to the skirt, being careful not to sew folds in to the material. I've had to take a seam ripper and undo this before. You may want to try it on a scrap piece first.
Turn the dress right side out.
Step 11: Apron
The pattern for the apron is the same as the skirt and petticoat, except that it has a curved notch cut on the top sides.
Prepare the apron the same way as you did the petticoat.
Iron the curved notches, and sew the fold, but don't sew the notches to each other.
Take one of the four 6"x 2" pieces, iron thre of the edges, and sew around the edges. Sew lace to the top edge.
Cut a 6" piece of elastic.
Sew the end to the skirt, hold it securely in the sewing machine, and stetch it as far as it will go. Pull on the portion that has already been sewn so the elastic is stretched.
Sew the 6" piece to the newly gathered skirt, right sides together.
Repete this process for the back of the skirt, or just leave the 6" piece off. You could sew elastic to it, and cover the seams with lace if you didn't want to mess with the top of the apron.
Take the remaining 2 pieces of 6" x 2" material, fold in thirds, and iron. Sew a zig-zag stitch down the middle to secure it.
Sew a piece of lace in the middle to cover the stitching.
Sew the straps to the top sections on the front and back of the apron.
Turn right-side out.
You can glue a wooden sunflower on the front, embroider a design, or use an iron-on patch for decorations.
Step 12: Shoes
The shoes are optional. I used black felt because it sews easily and can be decorated with embroidery, buttons, or fabric paint.
Cut 2 soles (ovals, and 4 of the side of the shoe.
Sew the back sides together, then along the top of the toe, down to the bottom.
Tack the sole to the back of the shoe, and the front. If it's straight, sew around the edge.
Turn inside out, and sew on fake laces with embroidery thread.
Sorry for these photos. The camera wasn't cooperating with me.
Step 13: Finished
Give her hair an even trim, glue on the flower, prop her up, and hope the camera will take a good picture.
I made another doll with a snoopy outfit and a much more complicated outfit. She has a Snoopy embroidered on her apron.