Traditional Rag Doll DIY

DIY Rag Doll (with free printable pattern)Grandparents are such a special thing. Growing up, my grandma would take me shopping, play ANYTHING I wanted (sorry, Grama!), and teach me little sewing projects. I remember making my first doll with her. She didn't really look like the one pictured above, but even with all her little quirks I loved her to pieces. 
In honor of my grandma, I fully intend to do these kinds of projects with my own kiddos. I thought a pattern for a traditional style rag doll would be a good place to start! Rag Doll DIY (click through for free printable patternSupplies:
-muslin or medium weight cotton fabric
-fusible interfacing (optional)
-patterned cotton fabric (for clothing)
-polyfill or any kind of stuffing
-yarn
-buttons
-felt scrap
-craft glue
-needle + thread
-free printable pattern  Download Rag Doll Pattern   Download Rag Doll Body   Download Rag Doll Dress PatternStep 1- cut out pattern and stitch on faceStep 2- Stitch around edges and clip the curvesSteps One and Two: print out your pattern (download above) and cut out the pieces for your doll. If you are going to iron on interfacing, this is the time to do it. With the arms and legs inside out, stitch around the edges and clip the curves. Step 3- flip right side out and stuffStep Three: Flip the arms and legs right-side out and stuff. You want them to be firm, but not so firm they aren't bendable. Step 4- pin the arms and legs to the body and stitch closedStep Four: Turn the body pieces so they are inside out. Pin the arms and legs inside of the body (with the open portions of the arms and legs attached to the body). Stitch around the perimeter, starting at the shoulder and continuing around to the other shoulder (leaving the neck open). Be sure to only stitch the arms and legs only at their joining points—this is a little tricky to keep the arms and legs inside the body, but you can do it!Step 5- flip right side out and stuff the bodyStep Five: Flip the body right-side out and stuff. Your body should now look like this! Step 6- pin the hair to the inside of the head and stitch around the perimeterStep Six: Stitch the face onto your doll head (you can see the beginning of mine in the Step One photo). I used yarn and two french knots for the eyes, and I cut a heart from a scrap piece of felt for the mouth. After your doll has a face, turn your head pieces inside out (the face cannot be seen at this point). Pin the yarn along the top of the head. It should run INSIDE the pieces as you sew. Stitch around the head, leaving the neck open. This is also a little tricky, so go slow and pay special attention to keeping the yarn in place. Step 7- flip right side out and stuffStep 8- stitch the head to the body with an invisible stitchSteps Seven and Eight: Flip the head right-side out and stuff. Attach the head to the body by sewing together with a blind stitch. Make sure the neck of the head and body are stuffed particularly full at the meet-up point; that way your doll doesn't end up having a droopy head. Step 9- glue the hair to the doll's headSteps Nine and Ten: Your doll should look like the photo above (left). Glue the doll's hair to her head using craft glue or fabric glue (optional).Step 11- clip the curves and stitch downStep Eleven: Now it's time to make your doll's dress! Print out the pattern for the dress and cut out the top portion. Your bottom section will be an 8" x 20" rectangle. Once your fabric is cut out, clip around the neck and arm holes (as shown above or the lines on the paper pattern). Iron these pieces down and then stitch on your sewing machine. Since we are not lining this dress, it's a good idea to use some tacky glue or fray check on the cut pieces. Roll the bottom portion and hem that now as well. Step 12- stitch the edges togetherStep Twelve: Fold your top in half and stitch the edges together (I've marked where in the photo above). Now is also a good time to hem the edges of the opening in the back of your top piece. Step 13- run a basting stitch and cinchStep Thirteen: Hem the bottom of your 8" x 20" rectangle. Run a basting (or tack) stitch along the top and carefully cinch. Go as slow as you need to because if you break the thread you'll have to do it again. Tie off the ends when you get to your desired length. Attach the skirt portion to the top portion like the photo below: Darling doll dress (printable pattern)Step 14- add buttons to the backStep Fourteen: Add loops and buttons to the back, and you are all done. Yay! You can skip the buttons if you are giving this to a baby or toddler and add a zipper or velcro (or stitch it closed if you don't care about changing the dress). Traditional Rag Doll DIY (click through for printable pattern)DIY Traditional Rag DollTraditional rag doll (click through for printable pattern)Darling rag doll (just like the kind I use to make with my grandma)This particular DIY has quite a few steps, but if you just follow one after the other, you might find that it's easier than it seems! Plus the possibilities of customization are endless. I added rosy cheeks to my doll with a Q-tip and chalk pastel and decided to cut my girl's hair short. You can use thinner yarn, skip the gluing step to make the hair braidable, or whip up a whole closet full of dresses. Felt dresses are a simpler alternative to the one shown above, and I know little ones would be happy to have either! Happy sewing! xo. Katie

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