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How to make a Lalaloopsy Rag Doll
Make a handmade doll for your little girl to cherish
Nothing says 'I Love You' more than a gift that is handmade. Dolls - in particular hand made dolls, are an art form and a personal expression from those who make them. Making a doll with your daughter is even more rewarding. She'll be hovering over your shoulder, eagerly awaiting the finished product. And she'll be especially pleased that she gets control over how her doll will look. At least that has been the case with me and my daughter.
The rag doll making process is relatively easy. It is pretty difficult to mess up. The best thing about a rag doll is that it does not have to be perfect. Little flaws here and there give the doll personality. So try your hand at making one, or several!
photos by chibikitty
Handmade vs. Storebought
Would you rather have a keepsake that was bought from a store, or was handmade by someone you love?
From the store! I want something that others will recognize the value.
To make this rag doll you will need:
Flesh colored four way stretch fabric - or whatever color fabric you feel like using
1/4" black ribbon
3/4" (19 mm) black buttons
My Supplier of buttons!
This is my button supplier of choice on ebay. Seller ships out very fast and you can pick different styles of buttons or request a smaller order. For a Lalaloopsy style doll, choose style 2C from the 3/4" black button selection.
Step One: Trace the Pattern
Start by downloading the pattern for a rag doll I have available here for free from my Deviant Art account. Click here for Pattern Lay out your fabric so that right sides are together. Cut out the pattern and trace it out onto the fabric using a fabric marker. (A fabric marker is specially designed for fabric so that it washes off with water or disappears depending on which type you get)
Hint: if your paper slides around too much when you try to trace it, you can either pin it in place or (even better) transfer the pattern to freezer paper and iron it on to the fabric.
Step Two: Sew the Edges
Using the marks that you made as an outline, sew around all the edges. Make sure to backstitch when you start and stop each piece. You will want to sew around each piece before cutting it out.
TIP: If you are making this for a young child, you can doublestitch around the curves for extra durability. (My toddlers tend to be quite rough when they play! LOL)
Step Three: Cut out the pieces
Cut out around each piece leaving about 1/4" - 1/2" around the stitching. Clip towards the sewing line around the curves - be very careful NOT to cut the stitching! Turn each piece right side out.
Step Four: Stuff the Head
Stuff the head with enough stuffing until it is the desired firmness. You want to stuff it enough so that it is well rounded and holds its shape.
Step Five: Make the Face
You can pin the cheeks, eyes, and outline of the mouth with pins to get a good idea of your face. I happen to adore Lalaloopsy so I made my face to resemble one. Feel free to experiment with whatever face style you like best. Once you are satisfied with the face, stitch in place. Start the stitching by entering the needle through the back of the head.
Making the faceClick thumbnail to view full-size
Step Six: Stuff the Body
Once the face has been sewn on, it is time to stuff the body. The body does not need to be stuffed as full as the head, but just enough to give the head some support.
TIP: If the head flops around too much, you can make an extra support for it by taking a couple of Q-tips and wrapping them together and then inserting it between the head and body.
Step Seven: Stuff the Arms and Legs
Now it's time to stuff the arms and legs. Be careful not to overstuff! Add enough stuffing to give the arms and legs some shape without making them super firm.
TIP: You can wrap together some pipe cleaners and stuff them in to give some poseability to your doll. Make sure to use white pipe cleaners as darker colored pipe cleaners will show through the fabric.
Step Eight: Attach the Arms and Legs
To attach the legs to the body, roll the edge of the body inside towards the stuffing. Start with one leg and sew the sides shut, hiding the open edge of the leg inside the body. Continue with the second leg.
To attach the arms, insert the needle where you want your arm to be as an anchor. Continue sewing the arm all the way around. Do the same for the other arm.
Attaching the arms and legsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Step Nine: Add the Hair
There are several methods that you can use to make hair. I went with the yarn hair method. I took a piece of fleece that matched the color of yarn I was using and draped it around the head with the wrong side facing out. I pinned it in place and then sewed darts in the fabric so that I had a fitted head cap. I then followed the tutorial on making yarn hair from this website: http://www.tantehilde.be/wrdprss/?page_id=80 The only extra step I took was flipping the head cap so it was now right side out and tacking it in place.
All Stitched up and ready to love!
When I don't feel like making a doll, I'll just buy one instead...
Feel free to leave a comment - I always love to hear from you!