Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Little House Stocking: Homemade Doll

"...Laura was the happiest of all. Laura had a rag doll. She was a beautiful doll. She had a face of white cloth with black button eyes. A black pencil had made her eyebrows, and her cheeks and her mouth were red with the ink made from pokeberries. Her hair was black yarn that had been knit and raveled, so that it was curly.

She had little red flannel stockings and little black cloth gaiters for shoes, and her dress was pretty pink and blue calico.

She was so beautiful that Laura could not say a word." ~ Little House in the Big Woods
I decided to start the stocking process with a homemade doll - like Laura's Charlotte doll! So, Sunday afternoon - here is what I came up with. I used all materials I already had - so the total spent was ZERO! I will need to buy one more piece of felt to finish Rachel's doll - but, Emily's is already done.

My disclaimer: I am NOT a good seamstress - so you will find that I probably did not do this the way I should have or could have if I was better at sewing. But, I did take what I knew how to do and use it to create this little doll.

Here is what I did:

Draw a doll body onto a piece of plain fabric. Cut out two pieces.

Stitch around the entire body going through both pieces of fabric.

Cut a slit being careful to go through only one layer of fabric.

Turn doll right side out and stuff with cotton filling. Use a pencil eraser to help press the filling into the arms, legs and head. Stitch up the back opening.

Lay doll on a piece of felt. Note: I used felt instead of cotton fabric because I knew that with my sewing skills, I could not successfully make doll clothes that were sturdy enough to be taken on and off. So, I sewed these clothes right onto the doll.

Cut a dress using the doll as a pattern.

Now use the one piece of the dress to cut a second piece.
Stitch the dress around the doll using a buttonhole stitch. Cut an apron that is double the width of her waist and run a thread across the top pulling to gather. Sew a small pocket onto the front of the apron and cut the bottom edge with pinking shears. Stitch to the doll. Cut a thin strip of felt and sew that around the gathers to form a finished edge.
Cut small strips with pinking shears and form into a bow for the back of the apron. Stitch to the back.

For her hair, cut small strips of felt with pinking shears and stitch on in bunches all over. I know, I went wild with the hair. Stitch on buttons or beads for the eyes and dab cheeks with blush. I had some crocheted flowers left from this and decided to stitch one onto the front of the dress. Isn't she cute?

I don't think I'm going to do a mouth or shoes - I just love her just like she is. Also, I thought of taking a fine pen and writing on her leg, "Made with love for Emily by Mama - 2007"


Amy said...

That is SO precious! I love her hair and I think she looks perfect just the way she is. Why mess with perfection?

I do not sew so I would never comment on technique :) You are a far finer seamstress than me ;)

Timalee said...

This is so cute! I just love all your crafting ideas.

Susan P. said...

Oh my goodness, she is just as precious as can be! You truly are so gifted with your crafting and so kind to share your ideas with all of us. I think it is a perfect idea to write that on the doll's leg ~ what a wonderful keepsake to pass down!

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...


carrie said...


This turned out so cute--great job! Is this the felt I got you at BF? I have a few sheets I bought "hoping" I'd make something, but I can send some to you if you want.

Grace said...

monica she is adorable!! I can't wait to make my own!! So simple yet cute!! enough explanation marks for ya!! ;o)

mamasimpson said...

She is soooo cute! I do a lot of crafts, too, and I never would have thought of using felt for her hair. It is just adorable! Did you know that they now make the Little house books for little girls? They are really neat. I just bought 2 from Amazon for my little girl for Christmas and hope to make a rag doll to go with them.

Anonymous said...

Well, this little doll sure turned out cute -- and homespun! :) I'm sure the little ladies will love these dolls made with love by Mama.

Love you, Mom

Angela said...

Such a cute idea...I just wish I had a little girl to make one for. :)

Anonymous said...

How cute!! I really love her hair too. You're so creative! The colors you chose all look great together.

Andrea L.

Tracy said...

She's so precious! You'll hae very happy girls come Christmas morning!

Christy said...

Oh, Monica!! I love this doll. How much do you charge? :-) Only partially kidding there.

Carrie said...

She is SOOOO cute! I'm way impressed with your doll making abilities! She's perfect just like she is.
Hope you're having a good week!
God bless :)

Paula said...

OH THIS IS SOOOOO CUTE!!! You did a FANTABULOUS job! I agree, you could sell these in your store (do you have an Etsy store? I think I saw somewhere you do, but it has been one of those mornings). :D Thank you for sharing this! I am linking it up on my blog!!! :D

Anonymous said...

Monica! This doll is adorable--I love it!

Want to take an order to create one more? As the entire bloggy world now knows, I don't know how to sew. But I sure do love your little doll. Your daughters are blessed!

-Rebecca T.

It's a Mom Thing said...

That is such a sweet little doll. I bet Emily will be thrilled come Christmas. You could sell those...they are too cute!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! I love the idea of writing on the leg too. My daughter is a bit older - i think I might help her make this herself this fall!

Tessa said...

That is darling!!!!!

And as the proud owner of one of your bags, I must beg to differ and say that you *are* a good seamstress!!!

Joy@Joy in the Journey said...

Oh she is SO cute!! Thank you for sharing...now I know how I want to make mine! Monica, you always have the best ideas! I could never share my craft projects on my blog, because they are all your ideas!! :) Blessings,

Jammy said...

She is so very sweet! I LOVE your ideas!