Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scrap Bag Doll Tutorial Part Two

Click here for the first part of the tutorial.

Carrying on...we'll give our bald doll some hair and a face, and make a pinafore for her to wear.

Step 1 - Make a doll wig (I used a process found here to make the wig and added a few helpful hints that I discovered as I went along.) This site has excellent diagrams. I couldn't find a way to contact the owner to give her credit, but she has done an excellent job. There are many different ways to make doll hair so choose whichever suits you.

1. Fasten a measuring tape (or use a long steady ruler) to a counter top. You will need to mark 20 inches for the length of the doll's hair. At the center (10 inches), place a 6 inch piece of tape, sticky side up. Tape this down to the table so it doesn't move around when you start laying the hair onto it. All this taping will save you no end of frustration in a few moments.

2.  Begin laying strands of yarn across the tape. Don't stretch the yarn too much and don't worry about cutting the ends now. They can be cut and evened out later. Stretching the yarn will result in a wig that might be shorter than you had planned. Keep the strands from crossing over each other. Lay down 5 inches of closely packed strands onto the tape.

3.  When you have finished, lay a strip of paper, about 2 inches wide over the tape (the center of the hair). Gently lift the taped yarn off the counter and turn over. The paper will help to support the yarn. Now the tape will be on top, with the sticky side down, against the paper (and the yarn).

4.  Stitch, with your machine, down the center of the tape.

5.  Remove the tape and the paper. I found it easier to fold the paper up against the stitching first, then to tear it gently off one side, then the other. The tape might come off in pieces and a pair of tweezers will help get it all off.

Step 2 - Stitch the hair to the doll's head.

1.  Draw a line, using a pencil, from about 3/4 inch in front of the head seam, down the back of the head almost to the neck.

2.  Lay the wig on this line and begin stitching the hair to the head. Use a back stitch and a doubled strand of sewing thread. Begin at the front and stitch down along the center, just to one side of the machine stitching, then back up the other side.

3.  Arrange the hair, not allowing the strands to cross, about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches away from the center part, and stitch another row of backstitch to fasten the hair on the sides of the head. Slightly angle the line of stitching towards the back center.

4.  Divide the hair into three strands and braid, tying the braided end with another strand of yarn in a double knot. You can add a decorative ribbon bow later.

5.  Trim the ends of the braid.

Step 3 - Paint the face.

Using acrylic paints and a fine permanent ink drawing pen, follow the photograph to paint the doll's face. I painted two circles for the eyes, then dotted them each with white. The eyebrow and nose line were drawn with a .3 micron pen. For the mouth, I placed three dots to form a heart-shape (two at the top and one below), then painted a line out from each side.

Step 4 - Stitch the doll's pinafore.

1.  Cut the following pieces from fabric:
        - one piece 22 x 8 inches for the pinafore skirt
        - 2 strips 2 x 13.5 inches for the pinafore band and facing
        - 1 - 10 inch x 1 1/2 inch piece for the straps (you will construct them in a single piece, then cut them in half.

2.  Press in 1/4 inch to the wrong side on each long side of the strap.

3.  Fold the pressed edges to the center and press.

4.  Stitch the edges closed, very close to the edge, then stitch along the fold on the other side of the strap. Cut the strap in half. You will have two 5 inch pieces.

5.  Press one long edge of one of the pinafore bands 1/4 inch to the wrong side. This will form the facing.

6. Measure to find the center front of the band. An easy way to do this is to just fold it in half. Mark the center with a pin.

7.  Pin the straps 1 1/2 inch to the right side of either side of the center front.

8.  Take the other end of the strap and pin it 2 1/2 inches from the front center. Make sure that the straps are not twisted. Stitch to hold in place.

9.  Pin the unpressed long edge of the second band (the facing) to the top edge of the band, over the straps. Stitch.

10.  Press the two short sides and one long side of the skirt 1/4 inch to the wrong side, then fold over and press another 1/4 inch to fully enclose the raw edges. Stitch.

11.  Set your machine to a long stitch length. I just turn my dial to the maximum length. Stitch two rows of stitching close together 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch along the top of the unfinished edge. Do not fasten your threads at the beginning or at the end and be sure to leave thread tails. Take care to not cross your stitching.

12.  Gather your fabric by pulling the two bobbin threads (the bottom threads) gently.  Pull threads until the skirt fits the band, leaving 1 inch of the band free at either end.

13.  Pin the right side of the skirt to the right side of the unpressed pinafore band, adjusting gathers to fit evenly, making sure that you leave 1 inch of the band free at either end.

14.  Stitch the gathered skirt to the band. Remove the basting (gathering) threads. Press the band and the seam allowance up towards the band.

15.  Stitch across the short ends of the band and band facing. Clip the corners diagonally.

16.  Turn the band facing to the wrong side. Press over the seam, enclosing the seam in the band.

17.  Pin the folded edge of the band facing over the skirt and band seam, enclosing the raw edges of the seam inside the band. Hand baste, then stitch with your machine from the right side. I find that basting helps to ensure that all the edges are properly caught.

18.  Fasten a dot of hook and loop fastener at the back edges of the band. Place the pinafore on the doll to mark the correct fit. Although I use self-adhesive dots, I find the self-adhesive is ineffective and so I use Velcro glue to ensure a firm adhesion.

You're finished! I hope you enjoy making your scrap bag doll. I'd love to have you link back to this post, or comment so that I can see your creation as well. If you have any questions, please email.


  1. Oh man... there have been all sorts of tutorials everywhere on the net, more than usual, and they are that many temptations that I must resist because I have things to finish and correct before the holidays !!!!!
    And this 10 day holiday is going to be filled to the brim with lots of other obligations that had been put off first... how am I going to manage it all ???

  2. So generous of you to share this bad doll pattern--with all the detailed instructions too. Thank you so much!


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