I am incredibly happy that you chose my rag doll pattern. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the process of creating your own rag doll as much as I did. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions on the process – I will be happy to help out!
Bellow is the tutorial. You can download the actual size pattern from my Etsy Patterns shop.
This is Luiza:
1. Necessary materials
Here is what you will need:
• fabric in a suitable color for the body of the doll
• different colorful fabrics for the dress, the underpants, the shirt, the shoes and the fluffy ribbon of the doll
• yarn for the hair (I used light brown natural wool)
• a needle and thread in colors suitable for the mouth and the eyes of the doll as well as thread in a color similar to the hair (yarn) color
• textile marker: for the eyes I usually prefer using textile marker instead of tread, as it will be easier to draw the eyes. After that you will probably have to iron the eyes (trough a piece of cloth) according to the instructions written on your textile marker.
• crayon for drawing the doll’s cheeks. I use red Stockmar beeswax crayon.
• different ribbons (and in this case also a thin rope) in matching colors (for the doll’s hairstyle, shoes and accessories)
• a bead or a tassel or something else, suitable for creating a necklace (if your doll will have one)
• elastic band for doll’s underpants
• a small piece of velcro (less than 1” or 2.5 cm cut in 4 identical pieces for the shirt)
• scissors, pins, needle and thread
• a tape measure will be helpful
• silicone granules or another type of filling material to fill the doll
• the printed pattern
• a sewing machine and an iron (that is not visible on the photo)
• any kind of stick that is not very sharp (a sushi chopstick is perfect) – it will help you for bringing out the right side of the stitched doll’s legs and arms
• *** 1” is 2.54 cm
2. Cut the body pattern pieces
Cut the pieces for the doll’s body. The final pattern has the seam allowances included. You need to cut the exact same pieces as the paper pattern. You need 2 pieces for the body (cut two layers of the fabric at once), 4 pieces for the legs and 4 pieces for the arms (again, please cut two layers from the fabric together). You can use pencil or tailoring chalk to draw the pattern shape on the fabric.
3. Sew alongside the doll’s arms and legs with your sewing machine.
Leave the top opening without stitching, as shown below. At this stage – do not sew the dolls’ body:
4. Bring out the right side of the arms and legs.
Use any kind of stick that is not very sharp (a sushi chopstick is perfect for the job!) for bringing out the right side of the arms and the legs.
5. Fill in the doll’s body, arms and legs with silicone granules or another fluffy filling material.
Fill the arms and the legs with your filler – I use silicone granules, but any other type of filling material will be just as good. Fill the arms and the legs firmly but leave around ¾” (around 2 cm) at the top of each without filling. We will close the arms and the legs with a stitch in this area.
6. Sew along the main part of the body of the doll, placing the arms between the fabric layers.
Place the doll’s stuffed arms between the two layers of the doll’s body. Use pins to fix the place of the doll’s arms. This is why we did not fill in the top ¾” (2 cm) of the arms and the legs in the previous step. This way stitching them to the doll’s body will be easier. Use your sewing machine to sew the doll’s body layers together, just leave the bottom without stitch.
Here is how the doll’s body looks like after we have sewn the body layers together with the arms placed and stitched in between.
7. Bring out the right side of the body and fill it.
Bring out the right side of the body and fill it with your filler. Fill it firmly but leave around ¾” (around 2 cm) at the bottom of the body with no filling, as we will need to sew the feet there.
8. Sew the legs to the body.
Place the legs at the bottom of the body. Use pins to fix their place, if you need to. Make a firm stitch with your sewing machine along the opening, sewing the legs’ top 3/4″ (2 cm) between the body layers, like so:
9. Draw the face, i.e. the mouth and the eyes.
Use pencil and draw the lines carefully.
10. Finish the doll’s mouth and eyes.
Use needle and thread to make a stitch for the mouth. And use the textile marker in a suitable color (in this case it is brown or black) to draw the eyes. After that, you may need to iron the face (through a piece of cloth), according to the instructions written on your textile marker.
I use beeswax crayons for drawing the doll’s cheeks.
11. Attach the hair.
Place the hair and sew tightly with needle and thread. It’s best if the wool you have is on the skeins, not balls, so you don’t have to unroll it. Use thread color that is similar to the color of the hair. Make many stitches at the middle of the hair on top of the doll’s head, as well as on both sides of the doll’s head and in between, so that the hair stays firmly in place.
Here is the doll with her hair firmly stitched.
You can now style the doll’s hair. I made two side braids.
12. Cut the pieces for the underpants, the shoes and the ribbon.
The underpants pattern is just half of it! Please cut another identical piece and attach them together. Then cut two layers of fabric with this pattern (you need two pieces).
For the shoes: you will need 2 pieces of each shape for every shoe.
The fluffy ribbon is the rectangular piece, you need two of them as well.
13. Sewing the underpants.
First step is to sew the upper part of the underpants. You have to sew the two layers together (with the wrong side of the fabric facing), as sown below. This is the crotch seam.
14. Attach the elastic band to the leg openings.
The first seam that we made is the middle crotch seam of the underpants. Now, we have to attach the elastic band to the leg openings, before making the inner stitch. Stretch the elastic band to create some tension while sewing it to the leg opening.
Here is how the underpants look after the elastic band is attached at the bottom leg openings.
15. Make the underpants inseam.
After the leg openings are ready and the elastic band is attached, make the inseam, so that the legs of the pants are closed and finished.
16. Attach the elastic band to the top of the pants.
Finally, finish the pants by attaching the elastic band to the top of the pants.
Now you can put the underpants on the doll.
17. Sew the shoes.
Sew the side seams of each shoe. Pair each two pieces for each side of the shoes with the right side of the fabric facing and make a stitch, as shown below.
Bring the right side of the pieces out and iron them, like so:
Then, attach every two pairs together in order to create one longer piece from each two pairs. Attach them by the wider side, making a stitch from the opposite side of the fabric.
These are the pieces that you will have at this stage for each shoe:
Then attach the wider side piece of each shoe to the sole using pins to fix it into place. The narrower front part of the shoe overlaps.
Then make a stitch to sew the side part of the shoe to the sole.
Then you can attach a ribbon or a thin rope in my case to the back of the shoe and put the shoes on the doll.
18. Sew the doll’s ribbon.
This particular ribbon is filled with silicon granules as well and looks more like a small bow tie. First, cut 2 rectangle pieces from the pattern. Sew along the rectangle, leaving around ¾” or 2 cm without stitching.
19. Bring out the right side of the ribbon and fill it.
Bring the right side of the ribbon and fill it with your stuffing material. Stitch the opening that was left with a needle and thread. Add several stitches through the fluffy part in order to make the filled in rectangle look like a ribbon/bow tie.
After you are ready, you can either sew the ribbon to the doll’s hair directly or attach a ribbon or rope-like ribbon (in the example below) so that it can be placed on doll’s hair and tightened with it.
I made a necklace for the doll with a tassel in pink and the same thin rope.
20. Cut the shirt pieces.
You will need to cut:
• 2 pieces for the shirt sleeve (identical)
• 2 pieces for the shirt front (left and right front pieces) – when cutting the front pieces, please keep in mind to place the two fabric layers with the right side facing together, as you need to have mirror pieces
• 2 pieces for the shirt collar (identical)
• 1 piece for the shirt back
21. Prepare the collar.
Make a stitch along the collar, as shown on the photo. The two layers of the collar should face their right sides together.
Then bring out the right side of the collar and iron it.
22. Attach the front pieces to the back piece of the shirt.
Attach the front piece to the back pieces of the shirt – make the shoulder seams.
23. Attach sleeves to the shirt.
Attach both sleeves to the shirt, attaching only the parts in red and blue, as shown on the picture below. This is the armhole seam:
This is how the shirt looks with the sleeves attached.
24. Sew elastic band to the bottom of the sleeves.
Sew elastic band to the bottom of the sleeves, folding the fabric at the bottom twice before that. You can just hem the bottom of the sleeves instead without attaching elastic band, if you prefer:
25. Sew the inner side seam of the shirt.
Sew the inner side seam of the shirt, starting from the shirt bottom area and finishing at the shirt side bottom area, like so:
26. Attach the collar to the shirt.
There are three steps for attaching the collar of the shirt. First, hem the left and the right front part of the shirt, so that the shirt neckline after hemming is the same length as the collar. Then, attach one of the collar sides to the outer part of the shirt. Finally, fold the inner bottom part of the collar piece and stitch it to the shirt.
Here is how the shirt looks with the collar attached.
Then, hem the bottom of the shirt and sew several velcro pieces from the correct side of the front of the shirt.
Now you can put on the the shirt on the doll.
27. Cut the dress pattern pieces.
For the dress you will need:
– 1 part for the skirt
– 2 strap pieces
– 2 upper top pieces
28. Sew the top pieces together.
Sew the top pieces along three of the sides as shown on the picture below, with the right sides of the pieces facing together.
You can sew the straps first and attach them to the top piece before sewing the top pieces as well. In this case, I did the opposite.
Then bring out the right side of the piece and iron it.
Sew the straps along the long side, folding them, like so:
Attach the straps to the top front piece.
29. Prepare the skirt for attaching.
Hem the top of the skirt piece. The hem should be wide enough so that you can insert elastic band in it, using a safety pin.
Insert elastic band in the top hem of the skirt.
Hem the bottom of the skirt.
Attach the skirt to the top piece.
30. Put the clothes on the doll.
You can put the clothes on the doll and you are ready.
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them, feel free to email me.
Thank you for creating with me!