they have become fast friends. elle calls her softie “frost” and totes her along just about everywhere.
want to make your own? here’s a basic tutorial…
felted wool (3 colors for skin, cheeks, and hair)
variety of fabric (printed cotton wovens, corduroy, etc)
variety of colored thread
dried beans, optional
fusing material, such as heat n bond [or bondaweb]
1. sketch and cut out the pattern. i use heavier stock
magazine/catalog pages for durability, but you may prefer tissue paper
for ease of pinning.
here’s the general pattern i’ve drawn up; feel free to use this one or alter as desired.
2. pin your pattern pieces on the fabric/felted wool and cut out each
piece (unless you’d prefer to go this route** in step 5, as i often
do). you’ll also need to cut out a wool piece for the hair, as well as
two cheek rounds. i like my rounds to be different sizes for a touch of
whimsy, but if the type-A in you brandishes a heavy stick at the thought
of this, feel free to make yours identical.
(note: seam allowances are included, so no need to add your own unless you’d like a slightly larger doll.)
you should end up with something like this:
3. pair a hand piece with a sleeve piece; pin right sides together and sew.
open, press the seam flat, and topstitch.
the right side should look like this:
and the underside like so:
repeat with the remaining arm pieces and the leg/sock pieces.
4. pair a hood and body piece, right sides together, and sew. open,
press, and topstitch. repeat with the remaining hood and body piece.
5. fuse one side of the heat n bond onto the backs of the felted wool
face, cheeks, and hair pieces. **instead of cutting out the wool pieces
separately (in step 2), i personally like to trace the pattern onto the
heat n bond, cut out the pieces with a slight margin, fuse them on to
felted wool, and then cut out the fusing and wool together.
peel off the waxed paper backing from the face, fuse to the doll’s
front piece, and topstitch around the perimeter. repeat with the hair
and cheek rounds; topstitch decoratively as desired. (on elle’s softie i
hand-stitched the cheeks; on penelope–below–i machine-stitched a
now you should have this:
6. pair up the arm pieces and sew right sides together. sew a second
seam to reinforce the stitching. trim seam allowances and flip
right-side out. repeat with the legs.
with cotton-ball size puffs, stuff the arms and legs with your
stuffing material. push each piece in with a pencil firmly to the end of
the appendage; if you try to stuff too many puffs at once or too large
of a piece of stuffing, you’ll end up with lumps.
7. baste stitch the arms and legs where you’d like them to attach on
the right side of the doll’s front piece. the appendages should all be
sewn facing inward at this point.
8. pin front and back pieces, right-sides together, with the
arms/legs sandwiched in between (the sandwiching is the tricky bit). sew
together along the outer edges, leaving about a 3 inch space to turn
the doll right side out. reinforce your stitching by sewing back over
9. turn the doll right side out and say hello to your almost-completed softie.
10. stuff body with small tufts of stuffing (if you want the softie
to be self-sitting, you can fill the bottom fourth with dried beans or a
similar weighted filling).
11. hand stitch the gap closed, and voila. meet penelope.
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