The internet is an amazing source of ideas and inspiration for dollmakers, not to mention a great place to find free patterns! The three dolls above were all made from patterns made freely available by their creators.
I got turned on to fabric dolls (again) by a friend from the Hitty's Knittys Yahoo group, and went searching for dolls with sewn on felt hair. One great place to look is Pinterest, where I found the links to these three dolls.
Josephine, the doll with blue hair, from the blog While She Naps.
Pepper, with the brown braids, from the blog Paisley Roots
Lily with the red jacket, from the blog Make It, Love It.
In the beginning...
I love picking out the fabrics and trims for each doll I make, spreading it out over the kitchen table and trying to keep my cat from 'helping.'
Putting it together, in a rather messy workroom!
Then we move everything back to my workroom, where the sewing machine and ironing table live. I found it easier when making these dolls, to:
1. leave openings for the arms and legs when sewing the body,
2. stuff the limbs, then,
3. ladder stitch the arms to the body,
4. stuff the body,
5. then ladder stitch the legs to the body.
This was much easier than trying to fit the limbs inside the body, then stitch the body and turn it all right side out.
Also, I reduced the pattern sizes for these dolls. One of the nice things about patterns online is that you can easily alter the size of the doll when you print the pieces out. Josephine and Pepper were both reduced to 50%, and Lily to 75%.
The face is the soul of the doll
Once the face is added to the doll, they come alive! They tell us their story, whether they are shy or outgoing, adventurous or bookworms, or both!
These dolls were very easy to make, and made up fast. After they were done, I found one more free pattern, which I liked best of all!
Molly is about 10 inches tall, from the Rita pattern on Mimin Dolls blog. There are no instructions for the doll, just the pattern, but these dolls are so simple that they are pretty self explanitory. I increased this pattern to 115% when I printed it out.
Maybe you will give one of these dolls a try, and delight the child in your life, or yourself :-)