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Five Essential Rag Doll Features That You Can Try

How-To Inspiration

Sewing a raggy doll is a timeless and classic craft.

There are many types of rag doll sewing patterns to chose from, but what exactly makes a great cloth doll?

These are my top five ingredients for a great looking rag dolly.

1. Hinged joints. Your doll should bend at the knees, elbows and its (cough) bottom. It adds much needed animation to your doll which could otherwise look quite lifeless.

Our rag doll sewing pattern to make Dolly or Doug (our boy rag doll sewing pattern) feature all of these and are very easy to sew. There's even a video on how to get a professional result.

I demonstrate this technique often when I appear as a guest sewing presenter on Create and Craft TV.

2. Inward pointing feet.

Super cute and adorable, dolls feet should point inwards to me. This is usually achieved by tweaking the top of the legs when they join to the body. Just a little turn is enough – we're not talking 'full pigeon' here folks.

3. A cute face.

Your rag dolly needs a cute face. It's the law. Simple is good. Just a set of eyes, a smiling mouth and a touch of blush is enough for me. Less in more.

However, do change the features to suit your fabrics and the recipient.

For instance, are you making your rag doll to look like some one – your granddaughter or niece for example?

When I make a red head rag doll, I like to use a pale brown/fawn embroidery floss to make french knot freckles on her cheeks.

4. The right kind of eyes.

Eyes placed close together will give your rag doll a more babyish/innocent look. They can be made from felt and then sewn on or embroidered.

Safety toy eyes are my personal favourite and I have also seen iron on transfers for dolly faces!

5. Lots of hair.

Add drama and life to your cute raggy doll by adding hair to write home about! One of Dolly Pattern's most commented on features is her hair.

There's lots of it. 325 strands to be exact!

I use DK yarn in a variety of colours that is pre-cut for convenience.

Pre cut dolly hair yarn is available from us in Honey, Dark Brown, Black and Red shades. Spend less time cutting yarn and more time sewing!

6. Fun costumes to change in and out of.

Select a sewing pattern for a rag doll with costumes that will fit her.

There's three reasons for this that spring to mind immediately.

a) It adds huge play value and makes your dolly timeless.
b) You can personalise your Dolly to suit the recipients personality … into unicorns? There's a onesie pattern for that! Next week the craze might be pirates, mermaids or doctors! So ...
c) This adds huge play value and makes your dolly timeless. If you can change the costumes, you can keep her current.


In summary, any combination of these five factors will make your rag doll sewing project an instant hit.

For inspiration on how to get started, you might like to take a look at our Complete Dolly Making Kit. You'll love the sew-a-long too. Sheryl x


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