Raggedy Construction Zone

Over the weekend I made this great Annie Doll. She's a wonderful doll for beginners. You can click on any of the pictures to make them larger.

Click here to purchase one.  You'll have to scroll down 3/4 of the page.

I don't want to get into any debate here. But if you use someone's design, even if you change the face, clothing or anything, it is common courtesy to credit the designer.

That said, I hope you will enjoy how this doll went together.

First, READ the instructions. They come with the pattern for a reason. And you wouldn't want to be classified in the male persona of dumping it all out of the box, because he knows how to put it together and doesn't need directions.

Now these patterns do not come in e-form so you can't keep printing out the pieces. So, to save the original pattern, trace your pieces onto freezer paper shiny side down. They can be ironed onto poster board or cut apart and ironed onto cheap cardstock. Cut to size.

I also like to add a sketch for the parts with measurement on the pattern part that does not have a pattern. (the skirt, bloomers, etc.) The doll body fits on a 1/2 yard of muslin.

Lay your cut pieces onto muslin, and draw around them with a pencil.

Since this is a post on how I make a doll, I will deviate from some of the

instructions. The small doll is cut from the back to turn and stuff, but I hate doing that, so I add a tab to the side of the pattern to leave open for stuffing. Makes it easier to stitch the side seam.

We are going to sew on our pencil lines. Cut your pieces into easy to handle sections. I also have penciled in my facial features.

Since my face will be on the wrong side I lay over the doll and trace on my pencil lines for the right side of the face. (Not all patterns faces will fit on your pieces, but this one is very well drawn for you)

Excited. We are going to sew each piece together. Sew on your pencil lines. I like to use a notch smaller stitch than standard. Leave open where appropriate for stuffing.
To keep the head round, sew from bottom to center of top of head, and then repeat for the other side. This will help so you won't pull and stretch your fabric out of shape and keep the roundness of the head.
Cut each piece 1/4 inch away from stitching line. Clipping necks and curves carefully.

I like a square bottom on my dolls. I have stitched one inch on either side of the big dolls opening. Place bottom seam against side seams and stitch across about 3/4 inch from point. Sorry this pic is fuzzy. Cut off excess fabric point.

Turn all pieces right side out and stuff. Wait a minute, check those directions, the legs and arms have special stuffing instructions.

There is a line on the arms and legs that you should have transferred onto your part. Stuff to within 1 inch of that line. Machine stitch across. Here I like to leave long tails on the ends of my stitching line so that I can hand tie knots. This looks neater than backstitching.

The small doll's legs are stuffed to the tops and then sewn across, again I leave long tails to hand knot on either side.

We're stuffed.

It's a matter of preference, but I like to make a triangle at the opening of  the arms before I hand stitch them to the shoulders. With the legs I turn in the raw edge opening and stitch to doll. But I won't add the legs till I paint their leg stripes.

This is a matter of preference, but I like to paint and stitch before I stain.
I used perle cotton for my floss. I also used a 1 inch button for the large dolls eye circle and will use a 3/4 inch button for the eye.

Mark your leg stripes on your leg on the back and front. I lay mine down on the quilt pad and mark every inch. Pour a puddle of barn red paint. I dry brush the stripes. Wet the brush bristles in water and blot out on a paper towel. Dip brush in puddle and then swirl on paper towel to remove excess paint. Dry brushing uses hardly any paint. Use short quick back and forth strokes to paint on the stripes.

For the tiny heart on the little doll, I use the top end of a small paint brush. Dip the end in paint, dab two dots next to each other on the fabric and then drag the paint to a point. You may want to practice on some scrap muslin first. Let the paint dry and lightly sand. Those sponge nail files from Sally's make great sanders.

Let's stain our dollys. I use walnut crystals, 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of warm water. You can add some vanilla extract, I added some cinnamon oil too.
These dolls are still wet, as they dry, they will lighten. I use a large craft paint brush to paint on my stain, then I blot it with paper towels to make it even.
The big dolls will be dressed, so I am not concerned about even stains on parts not seen. Besides, they are supposed to look like they've aged over the years.

Adding the button eyes. Use a long doll needle and strong thread. I used black upholstery, but button or carpet thread will work too. Thread your needle with a long long thread and double the thread. It isn't necessary to knot it. Place your button where you want it on the face and push the threaded needle through a hole. Come out through the back leaving a long tail on the front. Push the needle in the back of the head the same place you came out. Guiding it through the opposite hole, pull the threads tight. Hand knot and tie the button tight to the doll's face. Push the needle half way into a button hole, thread the loose tails into the needle and push it through to the back of the head. Cut off excess. You will have a tight eye and no stitching on the doll's head back.

The little dolls don't have clothes. So true, if you have little girls, their dolls hair is always a mess and more often than not naked. I wanted to put bloomers on these girls. To do this measure the widest part of their bottoms  and add an inch. Measure how long. Cut double square. Mine measured 5 inches wide by 4 inches long. Sew the sides rst. Find center and measure 2 inches from bottom. Sew 1/4 inch from center up to 2 inch mark across about 1/2 inch and down the other side of center. Cut between the stitching lines to form pant legs, turn rso and dress the doll.

I also want to tell you about gathering the big doll's dress. Machine baste two rows of stitches about 1/4 inch apart at the top of the dress leaving long tails on either side. (I like long tails) Tie the two bobbin threads together on both sides. This way you will find the baste rows with ease after you sew the dress to the bodice. Gather the dress smaller than the bodice. Pin raw edges to bodice on both sides, then adjust the gathers to the length of the bodice and pin in place. Machine stitch between the basted stitches and clip one knotted side and pull the knot of the other and your basting thread should pull out of the dress with ease.

Sweet Raggedy Love

These girls will be in my Etsy shop.

Again I want to say it's common courtesy to mention the designer when selling your creation.
You can find more of Ms. Mills of Sweet Meadows Farms on Etsy, Patternmart, Cloth Doll Supply, ebay, and Here.

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