Who's working last minute on handmade dolls for Christmas?! First of all, it's not last minute. We have days and days. Ok, 4 of them. But it's plenty! Please let me know if you have any questions on any ww patterns you're working on and I'll do my best to help you. Miss Christmas Elf and I are your cheerleaders! I made her last night from the tag-a-long pattern in my book, Wee Wonderfuls: 24 Dolls to Sew and Love, on a whim and was thinking, this can be done in a day. I realize I can whip out a doll faster than someone attempting it for the first time, but I'm here you reassure you, you can do it! I switched out felt hair for yarn hair but if you're in a hurry, the felt hair is awesome. Super cute, wears great and comes together quickly. If anyone wants to make a similar doll from that pattern, the other changes I made to the pattern for this elf were to make her body and legs longer. I wanted to see more of this awesome Christmas print.
For the yarn hair I used the method I do on my custom dolls which is to pin the hair in place and then sew it down to head where the pins are. So I assemble and stuff the body first and then do the hair. In the front I put pins at the part and along the edges by the ear, looping back in forth, laying one long continuous piece of yarn in place. Then I tack it down with matching color thread.
(sorry I didn't take in-progress photos. I wasn't planning a tutorial when I was making her)
For the hair that hangs down the back I pin the yarn at the crown of the head, let it fall the length I want, loop it back up to the next pin along the crown of the head. After I've sewn those down along the crown I'm left with long loops of hair hanging down. Now if you were to turn the doll upside down at this point you'd see that they fall away from the head and the back of the head is exposed. I don't love that. So I took the extra time to tack down a bottom layer of the loops along the back of the head, leaving the top layer free and loose to move around. Hope you can see how that works from these photos.
One thing to please keep in mind, CUT YOUR LOOPS when you're done. It's not safe for babies and toddlers to have loops to get caught up in. Even though the recommended age for handmade toys is 3 and up, it's safer to have those loops cut for all ages and for any little people that might get their hands on the toys.
My most helpful dollmaking suggestions:
Don't use fabrics with stretch and use fabrics with tight weaves. I like quilters cotton and wool suiting. I've also used wool felt and linen.
Use a small stitch setting on your machine. Smaller stitches will stand the stress of stuffing better.
And stuff until firm, very firm. Unless you like a floppy doll, which is cute too, but if you're trying to match one of my wee wonderfuls toys in the patterns, they are stuffed to the gills!
Use pins or pieces of felt to mark where your faces will go and if you feel your face isn't working check toys you like as samples and try to match (get those eyes as far apart as you can take it, it's cute!).
Good luck! And please send me any question if you're stuck... instagram message me, fb message me, leave a comment here or email me. I'll be out and about doing holiday festiveness (seeing star wars over and over!) but I always have my phone and am happy to send quick answers.