I am excited to finally share the pattern pieces and instructions for the doll making activity that we did at Olivia’s 7th birthday party! This activity is perfect for a small group of children (we had 7 total, 3 of which were mine). Constructing the dolls is a pretty simple process.
Cut fabric corresponding to pattern pieces for head, hair, and pigtails.
Sew hair (bangs) onto head (face piece) along bang line; baste around edge, too, if you wish.
With face right side up, place pigtails on each side approximately 1/2″ up from neck edge. Or place a cluster of yarn if you prefer. Align the edges so that the pigtails lie in toward the center of the face. Baste in place.
Lay head (felt hair) on right side of head (face piece). Stitch together leaving neck open. Be sure your hair/pigtails remain in the center of the head. Turn right side out.
Cut fabric corresponding to pattern pieces for arms and body.
Sew two arm pieces together leaving the straight edge (where they connect to the body) open. Turn and stuff with fiberfill. (A chopstick works great as a stuffing tool!) Repeat for other arm.
Lay one body piece right side up and place stuffed arms on each side, aligning raw edges and setting the arms toward the center.
Lay other body piece right side down on top of arms and body. Stitch down each side, leaving neck and bottom open.
Serge or zigzag stitch around bottom of body. Sew ric rac around the bottom hem; be sure your stitch line is above the serger stitches. Turn ric rac under along seam line all the way around. (You will topstitch when you finish the doll.) For further instructions on this hemming method, go here.
Cut fabric corresponding to pattern pieces for legs.
Sew two leg pieces together leaving the straight edge (where they connect to the body) open. Turn and stuff with fiberfill. (A chopstick works great as a stuffing tool!) Repeat for other leg.
For the Party:
I prepared the heads, bodies, and legs for all of the dolls and set them in piles for the party. Just before dinner, I had each girl pick out a head, body, and set of legs for their doll. I had a few extra on hand and anticipated a little arguing, but it went remarkably well – no “I want what she has” at all! After the girls chose their parts, I sent them to the dinner table and while they ate, I took the dolls and sewed all of the heads to the bodies (turn body inside out, place head inside, align side seams and neck edges and stitch around the neck). When the girls finished dinner, they came over to the table and stuffed their dolls. Some girls stuffed A LOT!! They absolutely LOVES this. Then, I helped each girl draw their doll’s face. The fabric markers are really tricky and bleed easily. I pre-marked the faces with a colored pencil and did the cheeks in advance. Then, depending on the girl’s age, I helped them quickly draw lines for the eyes and mouth. I sort of felt like making the face on your doll is an important component, but I also knew there was a high likelihood that the markers would bleed and the girls would be disappointed (and I sure didn’t want to resew dolls); I think the way we did it was a nice compromise. If you’re going to allow your party people to draw their own faces, I’d highly recommend you provide fabric for practicing. Then the girls had all kinds of fun cutting pieces of ribbon and twine to wrap around their doll’s hair, non-existent waistline, and legs. When they were satisfied, they delivered their doll and leg set to me in the sewing room. I tucked the legs into the body, readjusted some stuffing if needed (I tried not to adjust them too much), and stitched along the hemline to close the doll up. Done!
You can find the fabrics I used for these dolls by clicking on the Fabric.com link below and searching for “Michael Miller It’s a Girl Thing”:
You should be able to click on the images below to access the patterns pieces. Print to size as is and have fun!!