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By Susan Kramer
12 Inch Anneke Cloth Doll Body
Anneke and Floppy, (our dollhouse mascot)
Here is my pattern for Anneke,
a 12 inch (30cm) fabric doll body. (To buy patterns for outfits click here.) I have
traced the pattern pieces onto 1 inch (2.5cm) square paper. One quarter inch
seam allowance is included on all pieces.
This pattern is my original design and may not be used commercially.
The pattern pieces are on the following picture.†
To make your 1 inch square grid graph paper
First, take an 8.5x11 inch piece of plain paper and draw 1 inch squares - I do this by drawing horizontal lines 1 inch apart down the page, and then vertical lines 1 inch apart across the page.
Next, looking at the .jpg image you want to enlarge, copy what is in each of my squares into your larger squares.
I embroider the eyes, nose and mouth in 6-strand floss before sewing doll together.
Here are sewing instructions to make Anneke, my 12 inch (30cm) fabric doll.
You'll need one quarter yard plain material for body, arms and legs. I use 6-strand embroidery floss for facial features, which I embroider on doll before I begin sewing doll body together.
If you know who is going to be the lucky recipient of your handmade doll it is fun to match the eye and hair color while making the doll.
For the doll wig allow 1 ounce of acrylic or wool yarn.
Be sure to examine photo carefully for help in construction.
- Cut 4 arm pieces from pattern and use two pieces for each arm.
- Sew seams leaving shoulder edge open for turning.
- Turn pieces right side out and stuff loosely with fiberfill.
- Stitch across arm, seams matching as in photo, halfway between wrist and shoulder, to create elbow.
If you wish to create a wrist - here is a technique I use with a long hand sewing needle: Knot a few stitches on wrist back seam and insert needle through to front of wrist. Then take one stitch and pull slightly to form crease and carefully make a few knotted stitches to hold crease securely.
- At shoulder edge of arm bring arm seams together to match at centers and baste across opening. See photo of doll.
- Cut 2 legs on fold. Very important - the back of the leg is on the fold and the back of foot seam begins just up the fold edge at the top of the heel and continues down around the foot and back up to top of leg.
- Clip curves and turn inside out.
- Stuff each leg loosely using the eraser end of a pencil to nudge stuffing into toe and foot.
- You'll have just one long leg seam and this is aligned in the center front of the leg.
- Top stitch across leg to form knee joint at the half way point, between top of foot and top of leg.
- Baste across top of legs keeping seam at center front of legs.
If you wish to create an ankle - here is a technique I use with a long hand sewing needle: Knot a few stitches on ankle back seam and insert needle through to front of ankle. Then take one stitch and pull slightly to form crease and carefully make a few knotted stitches to hold crease securely.
- With extremities folded in toward center of doll front, sew stuffed arms and legs to right side of fabric on doll front, at side of body at shoulder, and across lower body, right next to each other.
Place doll bodies right sides together, and stitch around perimeter leaving a space for turning right side out between one armpit, and side of body down to top of leg.
Turn right side out and stuff; blind stitch opening.
Design and Embroider Facial Features on Dolls
Design your doll's face first on a sheet of notebook paper. To make symmetrical features, crease your paper lengthwise and using a ballpoint pen draw the features alongside one half of the face, (halfway through the forehead, nose and mouth). Then open the paper and from the impression left by the ballpoint pen, draw in the features on the other side of the face.
Use transfer paper to lay on the good side of the doll body head.
Align the pattern piece carefully over top of the cut out fabric body.
Use a ballpoint pen to transfer markings through the paper pattern and through the transfer paper to the front of the doll body. I have found through experience that ballpoint pen does not accidentally punch through the pattern as easily as a pencil could.
I embroider the eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth in 6-strand floss before sewing doll together.
I use a small round hoop to hold the material smooth and stretched.
For the nose and eyebrows I use brown in an outline stitch.
For the mouth I use red in an outline stitch. If you'd like to close the lips use a satin stitch.
If you know the eye color of the recipient of your doll, try to pick a color thread to match. I use an outline stitch and fill in with a satin stitch.
I recommend sewing doll bodies and their clothes by hand for ease of manipulating the small pieces and for a finished quality look.
I hand sew all most of my dolls and their clothing using either one strand of quilting or buttonhole thread. If the doll is not going to have much rough use you could also use cotton / polyester thread which is less expensive. Be sure to double your strand of yarn when sewing with it, though.
I knot the thread on the underside of seams where it will not be seen. When at the end of a thread and have made my knot I cut the thread leaving one quarter inch hanging just in case the knots loosen.
I keep in mind that my grandkids will be putting these clothes on and off their dolls and stuffed animals, so make the sewing as strong as possible.
Another hint for your hand sewn items is keep an outfit all together in a half gallon size clear zip lock bag.
For embroidering features on doll faces and for embellishing clothing I use either 6-strand floss, or for a small design I separate a sewing length of floss in half so it is just 3 strands.
To knot on yarn wigs I use either 4-ply wool or acrylic yarn. My recommendation here is to make sure your choice of yarn for wigs washes nicely, so you can use the washing machine to launder the whole doll.
How to Knot on Yarn Doll Wigs
Knotting the yarn wigs on dolls is a fun and creative task in doll
For the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls in the photo I use 2-foot lengths of yarn threaded through a large eye metal needle.
Just use a single strand - not a double strand and no knot at the end.
Pattern: Beginning at the dollís right jaw line I work up around the face line to the left jaw line. The next arc of stitches goes in a row one quarter inch behind the front row beginning at the dollís left jaw line this time.
Continue sewing rows moving back over head and side to side. I make the hairline across the lower head even with the jaw line.
Now - hereís how to attach the locks of yarn hair
Study the photo for a minute. I begin at the lower right front jaw and
work up and over to the left front jaw. I then add rows behind it to fill in
Beginning with your long thread:
1. Take a stitch, pull it tight, leaving a 2 inch tail hanging.
2. Take the 2nd stitch and rather than pulling it tight, leave it as a 2 inch long loop.
3. Take a stitch and pull it tight. (Being careful not to pull so hard that the loop of the previous stitch is disturbed.)
4. Take a stitch and rather than pulling it tight, leave it as a 2 inch long loop.
5. Take a stitch and pull it tight. (Being careful not to pull so hard that the loop of the previous stitch is disturbed.)
Continue repeating the sequence of alternating one loose loop with one tight stitch.
Believe me, it holds up - my grandkids play with their dolls and their hair is still holding on tightly!
I like to use both acrylic and worsted wool. The dolls in the photo have acrylic wigs. Be sure your choice is washable, though! Enjoy your doll making projects!
Here is a pattern book that includes the full-size pattern to trace
and several sets of full-size clothes patterns:
More than 20 cloth doll and costume sewing tutorials, including embroidering facial features on cloth dolls and knotting on yarn wigs. The 2nd part of the book includes traceable patterns for the 12 inch Anneke fabric doll, and choice of 4 views of dresses, a pantaloons pattern and apron instructions. For beginning to advanced sewers. Email included for sewing questions.
Fully illustrated in 80 pages. Table of Contents
Sew Cloth Dolls & Costumes by Susan Kramer
80 pages; perfect bound; 8.5 by 11 inch paperback, or PDF ebook
Copyright 2009-2015 Susan Kramer
Links to Buy: Paperback or PDF Ebook
Article and photo credits Susan
page updated April 6, 2015; June 13, 2020
Dolls sitemap with many patterns