Thursday, February 13, 2020

Dollmaking techniques

Another Puddin' doll, by Sandy Nordwall Eggers on Ravelry.  Her outfit is the Spring Boho dress on Sandy's Ravelry site.  Her hair is also one of Sandy's pattern; Cute Hairstyles.

I love this adorable doll, but I also enjoy a little tweaking.  For example, legs that let the doll sit, and a move-able head.  I want to share with you the techniques I use to do this:

Move-able Head

Refer to the above image along with these instructions:

Puddin's pattern is particularly easy to adapt to a move-able head, and it also results in a very nice round head and no wobbles in the neck.
To make the head separate, begin at the bottom of the head and chain 12; join to form a ring, being careful not to twist the chain. Sc in each ch. This will be round 25 of Puddin's head and torso , just finish the head exactly as written, adding eyes and embroidering features as Sandy illustrates. Yes, you CAN stuff the head through this small opening! Hemostats help, but small pliers, or just your fingers will work.

Stuff the head smooth and round, then take your finger and create a cavity opening into the middle of the head. The neck stub will fit up into this.

Crochet the body exactly as written to round 25, then work five more rounds of 12sc. Decrease to eight sc in the sixth round, then stuff this stub firmly and close the top with four sc decrease stitches. This stub will fit into the cavity you made in the head.

Joint the head to the body using two 30 inch strands of strong craft thread (I use Dual Duty button and craft thread). Thread into a dollmaking needle, double and tie a knot in the end. Thread the needle from the top of the head out of the opening in the bottom of the head, making sure you do not catch any of the crochet stitches. Run the needle through the neck stub from shoulder to shoulder, then back into the head and out the top. Tie off the thread with a tight double knot and bury the ends. Now you have a doll with a head that will move and never wobble

Swing Legs

Refer to the above image with these instructions:

These are what I call 'swing legs,' which is an easy adaptation to let your doll sit.

Make the legs as per Sandy's pattern, but after you finish the last row, on both legs, sc in the next five sc. This will put you at the right side of the leg (as you are looking at the leg with the foot facing you). After both legs are finished and stuffed, pinch the top of the second leg together and crochet it closed with six sc, then (making sure the feet are pointing in the same direction!), pinch the top of the first leg you made and sc it closed with six more sc. Your legs are now connected in a line with 12 sc.

To continue with the torso, turn the doll so you are looking at the back side of the doll and single crochet in the front loops of each sc from one end of the back to the other. Turn the doll so you are now looking at the front, and continue to sc in the remaining loops. You will have 24 sc all around the doll, and this will be round 13 of Puddin's torso. Continue with the pattern as written.

Have a great day, and enjoy the crochet!

Update 2/14/2020:  I've created a .PDF file of the above tutorial that you can download:

Swing Legs and Move-able Heads


  1. Thank you for these clever tips. She is adorable

  2. I love this cute doll. Her hat is adorable.

  3. What a sweet doll! It's so nice to see your blog again. I don't know how I've missed it for so long.

    Big hugs,

    1. Thank you so much, Lois! It is good to be back!