Sew A Toddler’s Baby-Doll-In-A-Blanket

Yay, the baby in a blanket fits in the doll cradle just right, but her face still needs tweaking.  I can't send an alien in the cradle!
Yay, the baby in a blanket fits in the doll cradle just right, but her face still needs tweaking. I can't send an alien in the cradle! | Source

Make An Amazing Baby Doll


If you saw my doll cradle hub then you are expecting this hub on making a baby doll for our second granddaughter's second birthday.


What you couldn’t know, though, is that this baby doll in a blanket is a fast and easy sewing project.


Deciding To Sew A Birthday Doll Was An Accident


When we first planned the toy cradle project I hadn’t thought of making a doll to go in it. My mind was on the dolls she already has, but really, how could we send an empty cradle as a gift?

Looking online for available patterns turned up a new-to-me idea that seemed perfect for a toddler. I decided to alter the examples of an all-in-one blanket baby to fit a 2 year old’s little hands.

As you look over the following step-by-step and photos, keep in mind that you could make one of these larger or smaller. I designed this one to be something that a 2 year old could easily manage during play time.

After putting this project together I have to score it with a 9.999. My only regret is that I did not allow more time to practice making the doll’s head and face.

That's okay, though, because it wasn’t designed to be an heirloom. It is just something she can drag around, use as a pillow, and just generally toss about.

Then there's always next time. Little girls can never have too many baby dolls--just ask them. :) As a Christmas gift, or no special reason at all--I can make her another anytime!

If you make an heirloom baby doll in a blanket consider doing a hub so we can all see it and glean ideas for our own from it. Below, you'll find the method I used to make this one.


Project Description And Supplies


This doll is formed in a triangular shaped blanket. The body of the doll is inside the blanket and the head is attached to the outside. The step-by-step directions following this supply list show how easily the project goes together.

Before beginning a similar project it would be good for you to read through all of the directions and have the basics of what you will need on hand. Here is the supply list with some tips:

Simple supplies for this blanket-doll.
Simple supplies for this blanket-doll. | Source

• A small bag of fiber fill--this project requires very little filling.

• Up to 1 yard of printed fabric for the blanket--you will initially cut 1 large square from the amount of fabric you use.

• Approximately 3 yards of ruffled trim--the length will be taken from the final cut of the blanket’s shape.

• A square of flesh colored fabric, approximately 10”--this will be cut down to a circle. I used a knit fabric to create my baby face and have some tips to share as a result:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering.  The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving.FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face.  :)One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader!
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering.  The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving.
I should have used interfacing on the back to stabilize the knit fabric for machine embroidering. The fabric stretched and kept the mouth from curving. | Source
FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face.  :)
FabricMate dye pins do a great job, but they can't tell me how to make the best face. :) | Source
One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader!
One big scary face with no chin space--take me to your leader! | Source

First, I tried embroidering a face. That did not turn out so well on knit fabric. I’ll need to do more research and experimenting before I try that again. It would have worked well on woven fabric like muslin.

In my second attempt to make the face I used fabric dye markers, but that revealed another problem with the knit fabric. It surprised me and stretched into a big scary face. I tried hand sewing shaping into the facial features but they were just too big, too much of an alien look.

The third attempt was more successful because I designed the features with stretch in mind and I did more shaping of the face with needle and thread. I wound up with a sendable doll in a blanket from this try.

There are some great doll making tutorials out there, but I thought I had this wrapped up. After all, I only wanted to make a simple baby doll head! By the time I was on my third attempt I would have saved time to study the tutorials.

I’ll be using muslin the next time I try this, but I’ll be doing a little more research on the topic of creating baby doll's faces and forming the heads before I start.

• Transfer paper, embroidery thread, and/or fabric dye markers--there are several options for creating the doll’s face.

The approximate measures are not what you would normally see in a sewing project, but this is a work of art in progress and you can follow the guidelines to make any size doll-in-a-blanket that you desire.


How To Make A Baby-Doll-In-A-Blanket (with Photos and More Tips)

Refer to photos for extra tips on these directions:

1. Cut a square from your fabric. 1 yard of fabric will generally yield a 34” square. My project fo a toddler began with a square that was approximately 25” x 25”.

2. Fold the square into a triangle and cut the fold. You will have two triangles. Set one triangle aside.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fold ends of trim.Line trim up on triangle for pinning.Pin trim to triangle for sewing.In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines.Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges.If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once.Machine stitch the trim.Pin the second triangle over the trim.Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll.Opening neatly pressed.Pear/oval shaped-patternPattern pinned above opening.Sewn on outside edge of pattern.Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern.View of pattern sewn above the opening.Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll.Pin opening closed and machine stitch.Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body.  :)
Fold ends of trim.
Fold ends of trim. | Source
Line trim up on triangle for pinning.
Line trim up on triangle for pinning. | Source
Pin trim to triangle for sewing.
Pin trim to triangle for sewing. | Source
In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines.
In the corners take care to pin trim out of the way of seam lines. | Source
Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges.
Finish the end of trim by folding it as at the beginning to hide raw edges. | Source
If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once.
If experienced with machine sewing, you may want to pin the trim on, then pin the second triangle on, and sew the three layers together all at once. | Source
Machine stitch the trim.
Machine stitch the trim. | Source
Pin the second triangle over the trim.
Pin the second triangle over the trim. | Source
Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll.
Leave an open for turning the blanket and stuffing the body of the baby doll. | Source
Opening neatly pressed.
Opening neatly pressed. | Source
Pear/oval shaped-pattern
Pear/oval shaped-pattern | Source
Pattern pinned above opening.
Pattern pinned above opening. | Source
Sewn on outside edge of pattern.
Sewn on outside edge of pattern. | Source
Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern.
Second view of body sewn on outside of edge of pattern. | Source
View of pattern sewn above the opening.
View of pattern sewn above the opening. | Source
Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll.
Remove pattern, stuff body of baby doll. | Source
Pin opening closed and machine stitch.
Pin opening closed and machine stitch. | Source
Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body.  :)
Remove pins and envision the head attached to the soft body. :) | Source

3. Fold and pin one end of the trim to hide raw edge.

4. Pin trim to one triangle on the right side of the fabric. (Corners can be tricky and you might want to round yours off so you do not have to turn stitches on an angle. If you want to round the corners off, do it before separating the triangles--see step #2.) Fold the end of the trim as in step #3.

5. Sew trim and triangle together with a machine basting stitch.

6. On the long side of the triangle mark an opening 6” wide by finding the center and measuring 3” out to put your mark on the wrong side of the fabric.

7. Pin the second triangle to the first one, right sides together.

8. Seam the triangles together beginning on one side of the the opening, stopping at the other side of the opening.

9. Turn blanket right sides out and press seams, folding the opening’s edges inward to match the seam.

10. Using a simple pear shape (or flat bottomed oval) cut from an 8.5’ x 11” sheet of paper as a pattern, line up the wide end of the pear shape on the opening.

11. Machine stitch around the outside edge of the pattern.

12. Stuff fiber fill into the opening.

13. Pin the opening shut and stitch it closed.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing.Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body.  I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's.  Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle.  Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point.The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby.Tucked into her handmade cradle.
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing.
Gather the head piece to prepare it for stuffing. | Source
Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body.  I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's.
Stuff and sew the head closed before attaching it to the shoulders of the pear shaped body. I attached mine firmly to the blanket because the head is floppy, just like a real newborn's. | Source
Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle.  Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point.
Begin forming facial features by hand sewing with heavy thread on a large needle. Attach bonnet and/or hair at this point. | Source
The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby.
The triangular blanket is perfect for teaching little ones how to swaddle a baby. | Source
Tucked into her handmade cradle.
Tucked into her handmade cradle. | Source

Have you ever sewn a doll or stuffed toy?

See results without voting

14. Round off the corners of the flesh colored fabric and create a doll’s baby face in the center of the flesh colored fabric.

15. Hand sew a loose running stitch around the doll’s face then gather it up with the face side out. Pull it reasonably tight and stuff with fiber fill. Sew the opening closed over the fiber fill. You will have a round dolls head.

16. Give some shape the head by pushing the fiber fill around to form a bit of a chin and cheek bones.

17. Hand sew indentions into the corners of the facial features. I only put a hint of a nose on my doll.

18. If you wish, sew some of the trim onto the head to form a bonnet, or eve add yarn hair to the head.

19. Sew the dolls head to the top of the pear shaped doll body and to the the blanket. The head will be floppy--a great tool for showing a little one how to hold a newborn.

20. Swaddle the baby doll in its own little blanket. Pat its tiny tummy and say, “There you go!” :)

If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


Sewing
Sewing | Source

Hand Sewn Fabric Doll

More by this Author


What do you think of this doll making project? 28 comments

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I enjoyed learning about this project. You have so much talent. The video's are useful. Voting up on this one!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey Author

vocalcoach:

Thanks kindly! I appreciate that you stopped by and let me hear from you on this sewing project.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I have sewn a stuffed toy only once and I did enjoy it much. I love this little doll idea and I am sure it would make great gifts to toddlers. It would be so soft to cuddle and safe for them too.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey Author

teaches12345:

Thanks bunches for your comments on this doll project. I like the idea that it could be a pillow if they got tired during play time. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This is another of your unique projects. You are certainly creative in your sewing. I never made a doll as I had 3 boys, but I did do a lot of sewing when they were young. The videos really show all of the different types of things you can create. Awesome hub.


    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working