making rag dolls

This was such a fun & even relaxing project that was inspired while we read through some of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books together. Laura has a rag doll that her grandmother gave her named 'Charlotte' and it was a treasured gift that Laura loved with all her heart. There is something special about it being handmade!! Our girls love their unique dolls!!

This was my second doll - gifted to a little girl in town named Emma who was turning six.
Things I used around the house
  • an old pair of children's tights (light colors work best)
  • yarn for hair
  • embroidery thread
  • buttons for eyes?
  • cotton stuffing
  • old clothes or scrap material
  • a needle and lots of white thread
The foot of the tights becomes the head & body - the heel becomes the bum (on the backside of the doll). I first stuffed the head & body, shaping the head as I went - and making the doll pretty snugly stuffed. I sewed the neck by zig-zagging the stitches. Then I cut the legs, by splitting the tights up the leg in half. I stuffed each leg as I sewed them, trying to make them symmetrical. I made the arms with extra material from the tights, stuffing them as I went - and attaching them across their backs. I also double stitched each seam for strength. Then I added yarn for hair (the part/seam down the middle seemed to be the best for making braids or pigtails). The face can be done with colored embroidery thread, or buttons for eyes. I tried to match the hair/eye colors with each little girl, which made them extra special. The clothes were made from old clothing that the girls had grown out of, and some elastic hair bands for the elasticized skirts. You get creative when you can't leave the house (because of riots in your city).

Here is the third doll I made for our neighbor friend, Amina: for her fourth birthday!

Here are Eden & Sydney's dolls that they got for Christmas, with matching skirts for the girls & dolls! Someday I will get a sewing machine again...which will make these projects a bit faster. Each doll took about 2-3 days, after the girls were asleep. Maybe 9 hours total?? They were so fun to make. Next doll: for my niece Jordan's birthday. I already have some new ideas.