Remember my felt babies? I hardly do myself. Well, when I first started making dolls, I used to make wool blend felt babies like these ones in the photos below.
Even though I think they were super cute, I fell in love with soft sculpting and my babies took a whole different style. However, I can’t help to think that it is a shame that these babies are not being made anymore. It is an original pattern and there are no other babies like them. They are special and one of a kind, so I thought that if I am not making them for sale anymore, maybe I can just sell their patterns at an affordable price.
Now, I have never made a tutorial before, so before I jump into the pattern selling business, I decided to make a free pattern just to test the waters, and see what I need to improve. I made this little swaddled baby as a traveling friend for one of my newborn size dolls and thought it made be a good pattern to start out with. So here it is:
The Tiny Swaddled Baby Free Pattern by La Chulona.
- 4″x 8″ piece of woven fabric or felt in a skin color (I used a beige wool fabric)
- 8″ X 9″ of fabric for the body ( I used baby cotton flannel)
- Piece of felt that can go around the head for the hat
- Embroidery thread in colors for the mouth, eyes, nose, and eyebrows
- Mercerized Cotton thread
- Polyester Fiberfill
- Airasable pen or pencil
- tinyswaddledbaby Pattern
- Sewing Machine
- Thread in matching colors to sew in the machine
Hints: 100% wool felt or wool blend felts are the best options if you are using felt for this project. Pinking shears make my life easier when I cut the excess fabric before I turn the sewn piece. If you don’ have them make sure you at least clip the sharp corners.
1. Mark with an airasable pen and cut your pattern pieces with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The only piece that you will cut without the seam allowance is the pointy side of the over layer of the swaddle.
2. Fold that pointy side of the over layer about a 1/4 inch into the wrong side, pin and sew in place.
3. Place the the wrong side of the over layer of the swaddle piece over the right side of one of the main swaddle pieces. I usually make sure it is in the right place by placing it agains the light so I can see the marks I made on the other side. Pin in place and top stitch.
4. Put right sides together of the main swaddled, pin, and sew. Turn it and you have your body ready.
I hemmed the top of the swaddled because I live in a constant fear of things fraying. The top part is going to be folded when attached to the head of the doll anyway, this is an extra step that is not strictly necessary.
5.With right sides together, pin and sew your head pieces together.
6. Turn and fill both the head and body. Leave room in the body for the neck of the doll.
7. Close the neck of the head with a running stitch. Fold the top of the swaddle body to fit the neck of the baby. This is really to your liking. I like my baby to have the swaddle close to the mouth, so I fold it twice to make it go lower. Once you have the placing you can make a little mark on the head and then either hand drew your face or use the template in the pattern.
To use the template, put it over the head and with an airasable marker or pencil mark where the dots are. You can then connect the dots with the marker. Make sure you make a slight curve down when making the eyes. I rarely use a template when making such small faces. I do mark everything before I embroider though.
Hint: The lower you place the face the more babyish your doll will look.
8. Take 1 or 2 strands of embroidery thread (I don’t recommend using more because it will look bulky) and thread a needle making a knot at the end. Insert the needle either in the back of the head or the neck and come out in the inner corner of the eye. Use either a back stitch or a stem stitch to make the eye. If you want to make the eyelashes, once you finish the eye, insert the needle in the corner of the eye and come out at the corner of the eyelash. I make each eyelash with just one stitch, you can make as many eyelashes as you’d like. Once you are done take the thread to the back of the head or neck and secure it there.
9. To make the mouth insert the needle in the back, come out in one corner then reinsert it on the other corner but this time come out in the center of the mouth just slightly lower (don’t go to low or it will look like a “V”) . Don’t pull the thread complete, leave a loop. Then take your needle and go up and under the loop. Gently pull the thread down to make a curve, then reinsert the needle at the bottom of the mouth and come out at the back of the head and secure.
10. To make the nose and eyelashes I just take a long piece of thread, insert it in the back (no knot) but leaving a tail. Come out at one end, then make a line by going in the other end and then I tie the ends together in the back. Don’t tie it too strong so the thread doesn’t sink in the fabric.
11. Take a piece of felt big enough to cover the head and place the wrong side on the doll where you think it looks good. Pin it in place and then pin the back close like in the second image. Take it off and sew where the pins are. Cut the extra fabric and turn.
12. Pin the body and head in place and sew them together with a ladder stitch. I use mercerized cotton thread for this, since it is stronger. I also recommend doing two rounds to make sure it holds up strong.
13. Place hat where you want it, pin and starting in the back sew it in place with your favorite stitch. I used a back stitch, but this is really up to you because different stitches will give different finishes and that can customize your doll. Secure the thread under the hat in the back.
14. That’s it! You finished your little dolly!
I hope you love it!
This is my very first pattern and tutorial and I want to use it as a try out for making patterns for sale in the future. Any feedback would be appreciated. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. If you make a dolly using this pattern I would love to see it. You can post it on my Facebook page La Chulona Handmade dolls or tag me on IG @lachulonadolls.
You are free to use this pattern to make dolls for sale, I just ask you give me credit for any dolls made with it.
Please, don’t sell the pattern, I think it’s obvious, but nowadays you never know, LOL!!
I hope to start making more patterns soon.
Read you soon!