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How to Sew a Doll

1/2 day

Celebrate International Women’s Day with these adorable sewn dolls. Although the template stays the same, they’re completely customisable! Choose different skin tones, hair types and even add glasses.

With interchangeable clothing options, you can create a whole wardrobe for your doll to wear. In this tutorial, we’ve shown how to create a variety of looks, but anything is possible – why not have a go at personalising garments or creating a new hairstyle?

Project and instructions by Sew Jessalli

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How to Make

You Will Need

* 1m of Cotton Fabric

* Yarn - We've used Everyday Chunky, Soft and Chunky and Macrame Cord

* Fat Quarters (these are for the clothes)

* Embroidery Thread - We've used DMC 604, 310 and 5282 (for the glasses)

* Matching Thread for the Doll Body

* Thread for the Clothes - You could use matching or contrasting

* Toy Stuffing

* Fabric Scissors

* A Sewing Machine

* Pins

* Measuring Tape

* Masking Tape

* Fabric Glue

* Fabric Marker or Tracing Paper

* Embroidery Needle

* Sew-on Velcro

* Elastic

* PDF Patterns - Downloaded + Printed

* Paintbrush and Bleach (optional)

Free Templates

Finished doll is approximately 25cm long.

For this project, we've used a seam allowance of 6mm or 1/4".



RST - Right Sides Together

WS - Wrong Sides

Bleaching the Fabric (Optional)

Protect the surface you’re working on and make sure you’re in a well ventilated area. Cut a piece of your fabric to test first. Use a paintbrush and bleach to paint irregular rounded shapes all over the fabric.


Leave overnight and see how the colour looks, you may need to add more bleach if the colour hasn’t faded enough. Once you’re happy with the result and technique repeat on a larger piece of fabric.


Once the fabric has been left overnight and you’re happy. Rinse the fabric well with water and leave to dry. Then you can press and cut your fabric using the pattern pieces.

Doll Body: Step 1

Use the templates to draw and cut out two main body pieces, 4 legs and 4 arms from your chosen fabric. If using the bleached fabric, ‘fussy cut’ the pieces to where you want the lighter patches to be.


Sew the two body pieces RST, leaving the bottom straight side open. Use a smaller stitch length to sew all your pieces. Once sewn, add small cuts in the seam allowance towards your sewn line. You need to do this on all the curves to help the shape once turned inside out. Tip: The tighter the curve, the more cuts you’ll need.


Repeat this process on the legs and arms. Use a knitting needle or crochet hook to help turn your pieces the right way around.