Remember when you were younger and you had that little companion that kept your days occupied and your nights warm and secure? Bring back the comfort of old fashioned cloth baby dolls and share it with kids of today’s generation. Today’s toys are so hi-tech and precise that your child may find a cloth baby doll quite a change, but it would be nice to share with her your favored toys as a child. You can even make your own cloth baby doll with some basic sewing skills!
- Materials. For this project, you’ll need soft fabric in a realistic hue for the skin. Embroidery floss, a sewing machine or needle and thread if you don’t have a machine, poly-fill or natural fiber stuffing, fabric for the cloth doll’s clothes, fine yarn that will serve as the hair, paper, pencil and a tapestry needle.
- Making your pattern. On the paper, draw a two dimensional figure of the human body. Measure a half inch outside of this first line and draw a second line following the first, with half an inch in between the two lines. Get your scissors and cut along the second line.
- Preparing your cloth. Take your skin-toned cloth and fold it in half. Put the pattern on top, pin it on the cloth then cut the cloth using the paper as a guide. Make sure to follow the second line and not the first.
- Putting in your doll’s face. Before you continue with the rest of the doll, start on the face. You can use eyes that can be bought at the crafts store, or simply sew an “X” for each eye. You can use different colored felt to make the eyes. Two oval white pieces for the sclera and two brown, blue, black or green circles for the pupils. Then glue it on to the face. You can use a small black circle felt piece for the nose and a red, black or white semi-circle for the lips.
- Piece your doll together. Lay the two pieces together, with the right sides touching each other and the wrong sides exposed. Sew all around at the first line until you sew up the whole doll. Before you reach the place where you started sewing, leave an inch open for the stuffing. Carefully pull the doll inside out, take the stuffing and fill the doll completely. Don’t leave too much space inside. Once fully stuffed, go back to the gap you left and push the edges in to close it neatly. Use invisible stitches to sew it close.
- Add the hair. Take your yarn and cut it twice the length of how long you want your doll’s hair to be. With your tapestry needle, insert the yarn through the scalp and pull it halfway through. Then, knot the two ends together. Repeat this process throughout the scalp until you’ve covered the whole scalp with hair in the volume that you desire.
- Clothing your doll. You can make clothes for your doll using the paper pattern you used to make the body. Pin this to the cloth you’ll be using for your clothes, mark an extra inch, which is where you’ll be cutting. Do the same as you did for the body, except leave the neckhole, armholes and the bottom of the shirt open.
Take your child aside, tell her a little story about your childhood and
how much fun you had with these dolls, and present to her your cloth
baby doll made with so much love and care.