Dolls are a child’s first best friend. They serve a purpose as friends, they teach nurturing and they are really a child’s first step to becoming social. Dolls can be found in almost any household in toy boxes, on shelves full of collectible dolls, on top of wedding cakes, movie star dolls in a teenagers room and sports dolls that reside in a manly sports room. You can even make your own doll.
Rag dolls were the special friend that rode with a child in the back of a covered wagon. Mothers, back then, had never heard of the words “thrift” or “recycle”, but that is exactly what they did to provide their children with a friend らぶどーる. They used scrap rags for the body and the clothes and weeds and straw for the stuffing. In today’s world, if you would like to make your own doll, your choices of supplies are not quite so limited. The basics for a rag doll would be a pattern, fabric and stuffing. Even those basics could be whittled down, somewhat, by using old linens and textiles from your closets and making your own pattern.
For a pattern, start by drawing a rectangle on paper for the body. Draw a circle sitting on one short end of the rectangle for the head. Round the outer corners of the body and the inner corners where the head meets the body in order to shape the pattern. Place the pattern on a doubled piece of chosen body fabric, with the right sides facing. Draw around the pattern. Sew on the drawn lines, leaving the bottom of the body unstitched. Cut the body out a 1/4 inch from the stitched lines. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Stuff the head and body firmly and close the open end.
Make your own doll as whimsical as you would like. The normal size for a leg pattern would be the measurement from the bottom of the body to almost the top of the head and slightly narrower than half the body width. The whimsy size could be quite a bit longer. Use fabric that will mimic stockings and cut two for each leg. Sew the legs the same as the body, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Turn and stuff the legs and close the ends. Attach the legs to the bottom seam on the doll’s body. Make the arms as long as the doll’s body and slightly narrower than the doll’s legs. Repeat the sewing used for the legs. Turn and stuff the arms and close the ends. Attach the arms to the shoulder seams of the body.