June 24, 2016

Sewing Tutorial: Scrappy Happy Doll

Hello!

I have a sewing tutorial for you today. A scrappy happy doll :)

Download your pattern to print here. Make sure you print your file at 100%.

Skill level: intermediate

You will need:

-Some plain calico fabric
-A few small pieces of pretty/ colourful fabrics
-Sewing thread/ cotton
-Sewing needle, scissors, pencil, pins, small safety pin, sewing machine
-Embroidery thread in various colours
-Wool for hair
-Felt in similar colour to chosen hair colour
-Stuffing

Now, we made three dolls at the one time, as Miss 5 and Miss 7 saw what I was doing and had to join in. So photos may not always show the same fabric/ colours! Even though this is intermediate sewing level; I always find the kids can help out with cutting and sewing straight lines. Mummy takes over for the tricky parts, but having them choose their own fabrics and help me with parts here and there, they are still proud of their finished creation and feel that they have made it themselves :)

Instructions:

Print your pattern out at 100%.

Cut your paper pattern templates out along the lines. The lines will be where you sew, so the fabric will be cut larger than the shape you draw. You will use the templates to trace around your pieces onto your fabric.

You only need to draw the body outline once. Cut the fabric around it like shown, and then cut a second piece of calico the same size as the first one. When tracing, mark your hairline, leg guides and opening as well. Your markings are on the wrong side of the fabric. Turn this same piece of fabric over and carefully trace the facial features onto the right side of the fabric.

Using the hairline guide, place your piece of felt on the plain fabric piece lining up as shown.

Sew it on in matching thread close to the edge in matching colour, as shown in the second photo. (So messy! No matter.)
Use your pattern to draw a faint line on the felt. This will act as a guide for when we sew on our hair. 
Next, just below our hair, we are going to sew on some patterned fabric. Fold the raw edge over and sew it close to the folded edge. Do the same for both pieces, making sure they are lined up to each other. Note that the sewing outline is on the other side of the fabric here. Our sewing outline needs to be on the wrong side of our fabric.
Trace around your arm and leg shapes two times and then cut out adding seam allowance. Add a second piece of fabric to each piece and sew them together like shown, back stitching at the ends. Trim shape about .7cm (1/4") from the stitching. I like to use a small stitch length when sewing toys for extra security.
Turn legs and arms inside out. I used a chopstick to poke the ends in. (A tip is to lick your fingers to grab hold of the fabric above the chopstick to grip it and start pulling it down over the chopstick.)
Stuff arms and legs using your chopstick or similar leaving 1cm (3/8") empty at the ends. Turn the ends of the ARMS ONLY in, making sure both arms end up the same length.
Take some wool and lay it across the centre of your felt as shown. I drew a little line at the top so I could see where the middle was for sewing. I cut lengths that were 25cm (10") long and lined them up and sewed them down. (I went over them twice to make sure they were all nicely secured in.)
Now you need to move the sewn hair out of the way and sew pieces of hair around the edge of the hairline. Loop pieces over measuring to match the length of the hair already sewn.You do not want to sew the hair on the hairline but a fraction outside of the hairline you drew earlier. It may help you to have your wool lengths ready to go and place and sew them gradually at the sewing machine.
Embroider your face using coloured embroidery thread in your chosen colours.
Now we are going to pin everything together. 

Place your two body pieces right sides together, positioning all the hair as best you can into the centre of the shapes. Matching up the sides of your patterned fabric as best you can and use your hand to flatten everything down and then pin everything into place. The pattern is very forgiving, so just do your best :) It feels very awkward. Your legs need to be placed inside of the shape with about 1cm poking out past the bottom sewing line. You can feel inside of your body shape to check if they are at the same length. You don't want one leg longer than the other. You may need to adjust if not. (Ignore my sewing lines on my pinned doll, they are slightly different to the final pattern.)
Carefully sew around the shape, making sure you don't catch any loose pieces of hair/ wool in the sides. You will, of course, be sewing over the loops of hair at the top of your doll (just inside where you sewed the loops of wool down). Leave the side open, backstitching at the start and end. Trim your fabric around the edges, snipping close to the stitching at the corners to reduce bulk. Once again, I have used quite a small stitch length for this, around 2.6- 2.8.
Now for the fun part! The big reveal! Turn her in the right way, add some stuffing, and hand stitch up the opening you left folding the raw edges in as you go.
Hand stitch the opening of the arm holes together using small neat stitches, then hand stitch them to the sides of her body.
Then you get to play hairdresser! Give her a hairstyle and trim. 

You can make a scarf by cutting two pieces of fabric (use a stretchy type fabric like a knit or jersey (t-shirt type fabric) or felt so that it doesn't fray. I cut two pieces 37 x 2cm (14 1/2" x 3/4"), blanket stitched around them in contrasting embroidery thread and then hooked small pieces of colourful embroidery thread through the end stitches with a small crochet hook, and looped them through themselves.

Make a skirt by cutting two pieces of fabric 15cm x 10.5cm (6" x 4 1/8"). Place right sides together and sew side seams with a 1cm (3/8") allowance, zigzagging raw edges. Zigzag raw edges at the top and bottom, then fold top and bottom edges in 1cm (3/8") and sew down with straight stitch, leaving an opening at the top seam to add some elastic. I cut a 17cm (6 5/8") piece of elastic. Pop your elastic in using a small safety pin, sew the ends together overlapping 1cm (3/8") and finish sewing your top seam. You can get creative and add an extra different coloured hem like I did, or sew on a fancy ribbon around the bottom edge, or even add some contrasting pockets. The more you add, the more scrappy and unique she becomes :)

I also made some socks out of some stretchy material by tracing around her legs and hand stitching them on the wrong side of the fabric, then turning them out the right way.

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and please show me a photo if you make one of your own! 
Happy sewing!

Jules :)

ps. Please let me know if there's anything unclear in this tutorial so I may rectify it, thank you!

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