If you are just joining us now, we have already been in the process of creating our dolls! I will give you the links to the entire series, so you can catch up if needed. My suggestion is to start with a quick pocket doll, to work on your stitching and practice working with wool! Once you have completed that project, you can move on to getting your supplies, making your doll’s head, printing off your free pattern and sewing the body, and finally putting your blank doll together! Now comes the fun part, giving your doll a face!
You will start by drawing circles where you would like your eyes to be. Draw your circles smaller than you think you should, as embroidering them always tends to make them larger. You will need your long dollmaking needle, an embroidery needle and the floss for your eyes and mouth. You will need to get a length of floss (approximately 15 inches) and separate it into a single strand for the eyes. This is a huge tip, as many new makers try to use the entire 7 strands which makes the eyes very bulky and it is difficult to keep a nice shape with.
You will start by making a vertical stitch in the center of the eye, using the long needle, before starting any horizontal stitches. You do this to keep the eye from becoming too elongated, holding its circular shape better. Once you have tied off the vertical stitch at the top of the head, you will rethread your long needle, going back through the head, and start doing horizontal stitches.
I decided to do the rest of the eye embroidery as a video series. This is often the part of doll making that people find most intimidating and have the most trouble with. I uploaded three parts that I did while my kids were watching a cartoon on the computer so forgive the background noise! To view the tutorials, you will go to my youtube channel! Here is part 1, part 2 and part 3!
Once you have both eyes embroidered, it is time to move onto the mouth!
For this step, you will need approximately 8-10″ of your mouth colour, not separated. I chose a soft pink, since I decided this little one is a girl. There are so many shades of pink, red and nude that work great though!
Taking your embroidery floss, draw the floss up through the head (using your long needle) at one corner of the mouth.
Then remove your needle from the floss, and thread the opposite end of the floss. Now, draw the other side of the floss up through the opposite side of the mouth.
Tie your two ends of floss at the top of the head, pulling the thread taught to form a cute little mouth!
There! You now have an adorable face on your doll! Did you have any trouble? If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments! Or you can contact me through my faith & string facebook page!
The next step in our tutorial will be attaching your doll’s hair, which I hopefully will have available in the coming days! You will need to brainstorm what type of hair you would like. You can get some fairly inexpensive yarns at craft places such as Michaels, that will have a nice wool content. Or you can find some gorgeous handspun yarns at places like Rainbow Twist Shop run by an amazing handcrafter, Laura, on Etsy!
Can’t wait to see everyone again with the next step of my tutorial series!