Step 1: Filling the limbs
You will start by using your wool and firmly stuffing the limbs. I only stuff the legs and the arms at this point. The arms will be stuffed until they are almost full with approximately 1″ of space at the end open.
Step 2: Attaching the arms
You will start by attaching the arm to the back of the muff of the doll. This makes the dolls arms more secure and holds them in place for you to get the body together.
Sew both arms on at an equal height, and distance. You can hold the arms or pin them when you do this, whichever is easier for you. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but does have to be secure.
Step 3: Attaching the body
You will now want to get your body ready to attach! Start by folding the top of the front of the body piece down 1/2-3/4 of an inch.
Then place this fold at the neck of the doll. Center it so that the legs are going to be centered when it is sewn (you can pull the arms out of the way to do this).
You will now need to use a ladder stitch to attach your body piece to the lower neck (right above the string you tied). Here is a great tutorial on how to make a nice clean ladder stitch!
Starting at one side of the neck, go around it to attach the body, using even ladder stitches. You will go around the entire neck two or three times (folding the back down, once you reach that part)
Go around two more times (for a total of three complete times around the head) to ensure the neck is firmly attached!
Step 4: Stuffing the body and closing the arms
Now you will take your wool, and stuff the remainder of the body until it is firm. You will do this by poking wool through the gaps at the arms using your fingers or a chopstick. Make sure you stuff very firmly, as the dolls will soften with time. One of the things that new doll makers tend to do is under stuff. You truly want them firm.
Once you have enough wool stuffed into your doll, you can fold the edges of the arms in slightly so you can begin stitching them closed.
Using your ladder stitch again, go around the arm (two to three times) and go up the shoulder to close it.
Repeat for the other arm!
Perfect! You now have a blank doll and are ready to begin finishing it!
Come back soon for the next part of my tutorial that will teach you how to embroider the eyes and the rest of the face. Perhaps you want to check out my Brambles & Blossoms facebook page for ideas! Until then, if you have any questions with this part of the tutorial (or previous parts) please feel free to comment on this blog post or head over to Faith & String on facebook and send me a message!