Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy Doll Making Tips - Sewing how To's

The more and more I dive into cloth doll making the more I learn about different sewing techniques. I don't have a sewing machine just yet as I really enjoy hand sewing (so far). I'm sure I'll find a free cloth doll pattern that will force me to use the sewing machine sometimes soon, but for now I've been working on tons of different sewing techniques.

I figured for today's easy doll making tips I'd share some of my favorite tutorials that have helped me jump into making cloth dolls.

Here are my top 5 favorite "sewing how to" tutorials:

  • Blanket Stitch
    I used this on my very first doll. I chose it because it seemed to be a very strong stitch that would last with a little girls constant use. I also chose it because it seemed to really close the hem line so that the poly-fil stuffing wouldn't pop through. It worked great too! Once the project was complete I was very pleased with the outcome. My only adjustment was that future projects need to have each stitch much closer together.. spreading it apart like the video shows is too much space.

  • Back Stitch & Embroidery Back Stitch
    The first video here shows exactly how to sew a back stitch. On my second project I tested using the backstitch around the entire edge of the doll to keep the thread from showing once it was stuffed (one of the problems I had on a past doll). I was also using a MUCH thicker material - terry cloth. It worked out great... I feel very secure that the seems of the doll aren't going to get ripped apart as easily because of the added strength that the back stitch gives.

    The second video is actually for embroidery, but I felt gave a very clear look at how the back stitch works - where the first video just shows you what to do, the second gave you a clear "how to" visual.
  • Ladder Stitch (invisible stitch)
    This is a MUST learn stitch... one that I needed immediately. In this "Sewing how to" video you learn how to close the seem of the doll without seeing all the thread on the outside. It's also called the invisible stitch for this reason. I've used it to stitch up pillows that popped at the seems, but you'll use this to close up the last inch or two in the side of the doll once you've got it stuffed to your liking. It seemed a little difficult at first, but I suggest practicing on some scrap material a little to really get the hang of it.
  • My Favorite Knot
    The final Sewing how To Tip for today is "my favorite knot." I found this researching free cloth doll patterns, but it was such a simple tutorial for tying the knot on your thread that I just have to share. It really makes a decent knot and takes very little effort on you part. I've used it every time since I started sewing... never fails.

Hope you're moving along on your new sewing projects whether it's for cloth dolls or just hemming pants. If you have questions - I'll find the answers. Feel free to comment below :)

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Hey Ya'll!

I'm always looking for comments and feedback.
Let me know which patterns you love, and want
and I'll scour the internet for them :)