Monday, January 7, 2013

A Softie Doll for Emma

For Christmas I decided to attempt to make a doll for Emma.  I found a tutorial online for a softie doll that seemed do-able from Seventy Piggies. I also Googled "softie dolls" and found a wide array of dolls.  I fell in love with the dolls by Charla Anne, especially her "Little Red Riding Hood Doll".  I decided to try to adapt the pattern and tutorial from Seventy Piggies to make something similar to Charla Anne's dolls.  The whole process I wondered if I would ever have a finished product that would resemble a doll.............and in the end everything came together, and Emma seems to like it!!!

I used the pattern from Seventy Piggies, modifying it a little.  I first cut out a circle for the face, two small circles for the cheeks, and hair all from felt:

Here's how the hair will look on the face:

I used fabric glue to attach the cheek circles and then used a back stitch to add a swirl design:

Here you can see the finished cheeks:

I then traced out the fabric for the hood, trying to account for the seam allowance:

Next I stitched eyes, a nose, and mouth:

I glued interfacing to the back of the face to provide stiffness to the face:

Then I glued the face to the hood fabric and back stitched around the perimeter of the face to secure it to the fabric.

I then glued the hair to the face and back stitched around the perimeter.  I hand stitched all the details of the face because I have a hard time controlling the sewing machine around curves.  So I figured the best approach for me was to hand stitch even though it took longer  :o)

I used the pattern from Seventy Piggies for the arms, hands, legs, and feet with modifications.  I made the sleeves of the dress shorter and the arms/hands longer and an even width the entire length.  For the legs/feet I made them narrower and the legs (stockings) longer with shorter boots.  For the dress I drew a narrower neck to match the narrower neck of the hood fabric.  I also made the dress have more of a flare.  For the picture below all the pieces are in pairs.

I then used my sewing machine to sew the head piece to the dress piece, placing right sides together for both the front and back sides of the doll.  And then I did a top stitch along the dress edge to hold the seam down.  Here's a picture after I sewed the head to the body.  You can also see the back side of the hood fabric after back-stitching the hair on.

I then sewed the arms to the sleeves and the legs to the boots with a top stitch on the sleeves and boots, respectively, to hold the seams down.  Here you can see that I did two seams (green) for reinforcement when sewing the two arm pieces together and the top stitch is also visible (pink):

Next I stuffed the arms with batting, tearing off little pieces and stuffing them down firmly into the arms.  Then things got a little tricky.  I don't have many pictures of this process because I was just making things up as I went along.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to turn the head right side out after I sewed the back and front of the hood together because of the narrow neck.  I decided to make things easier I would just sew the head first and then the rest of the body with the arms later for easier maneuvering.  Here I have everything laid out to see how I wanted things placed.

Once the the back and front pieces of the head were sewn together and the head flipped right side out, I sewed on the arms one side at a time.  This took me a few tries of sewing, flipping everything right side out and finding that an arm was too low or even folded back into the body at one point.  So I removed the stitches and tried again.  I also used a pin to scrunch the batting down into the arm I was working on below where I was stitching so I would have room to maneuver my sewing machine foot.  And eventually I had success!!!

I don't have pictures of this part because as I said before I was just making things up as I went and was in a zone :o)  For a more detailed order of things you can follow the Seventy Piggies tutorial.  When I attached the arms I continued sewing down the edge of the dress around the bottom corner and in towards the leg position a bit.  I left an open edge along the bottom where the legs would go to flip the arms and head right side out and to stuff the doll body and head with batting.  

As I did with the arms, I put small pieces of batting in one at a time packing them in with a pencil as I went.  Seventy Piggies said to use small pieces to prevent lumps in the body so that's what I did.  When the body was stuffed with batting I stuffed the legs and then pinned them in place and used an invisible stitch to sew the dress bottom together.  When I got to the legs I just stitched across the bottom of the dress with a leg sandwiched between.  I couldn't figure out how to make this stitch invisible, but that's ok, Emma will be able to tell it was hand-made by her mom (among other "details"!).

And in the end, somehow I had a doll!

I also added a little removable cape along the neck. 

And Emma approves, she really likes playing with the legs:

Hehe! Success!!! :o)


Eva said...

I love your little doll and also the tutorial. Thank you for sharing. Your baby is gorgeous.

Linda said...

Thank you!!! :o)

Post a Comment