Now that we have the face embroidered, it is time to do the doll’s hair! This is a lot easier than you are envisioning it and actually a lot of fun!
To start you will need yarn for the hair, a 2.5 or 3″ doll makers needle, and embroidery floss matching your dolls hair colour. I chose a fun handspun yarn that has teeswater curls in it. Since the handspun was so chunky, I added in a soft wool roving in a matching coral pink hue. My lighting is a little dark as I am doing this at night when my kids are in bed! So please bare with me!
First of all, you will need your doll! Here is my bald little thing!
You will measure the doll’s hair to start off. I try to go from “hip to hip” and then measure and cut out a whole bundle of hair. I chose to cut 20 of each of my colours, and then bundle them into groups of 3, alternating which style of yarn was doubled. Now remember, my yarn is very chunky, if you are using a basic style of yarn like thick & quick, you will want to have double this amount at least.
You will start by threading your needle with the embroidery floss. Then begin sewing the hair down the center top of the head. Go from the forehead to just past the crown, making sure that the hair is sewn down very tightly and covers fairly well.
Once you have gotten just past the crown, you will put your needle in and bring it out at the nape of the neck. Begin sewing the hair down at the nape of the neck, following a natural hairline, around the side of the head.
Do you see how I’m moving the stitch upwards as the hairline would be higher at the midpoint?
Once you have reached the point you are happy with on the one side (where it will frame the face), go up through the head to the center again. From the center, go back through the head to come out on the other side at the same approximate location you stopped on the opposite side. This is hard to explain, but you basically want the hairline sewn at the same height on both sides.
Continue going around the head until the lower hairline is sewn. At this point, you can bring your thread back up to the starting point in the center front and tie your thread off.
Now your head of hair may not be as full as this, because of the different styles of yarn that can be used. If you are using a thinner yarn, most likely you will need 3 layers of hair on the doll’s head. For this doll, due to the chunky nature of this yarn I chose, she will only have 2 layers. You will need to decide how many layers your doll needs as you go. If you find this difficult or you want to see more detailed photos of hair being attached using a thinner yarn, you can find extensive tutorials in my smaller Sprout pattern on etsy.
At this point, for this two layer doll hair, I will be going back to the center front with a new strand of floss and my 3″ doll makers needle. Securing the floss, you will need to attach another batch of hair down the center to just past the crown. You will be needing to stitch this down very securely. When you pull on a strand it should not come out. As a beginner dollmaker I didn’t realize how secure the hair had to be, and unfortunately the first few dolls I made didn’t have their hair as secure as I wish they had. This is a common problem in newer doll makers, so I thought I would let you know to spare you this issue!
At this point, my doll’s hair is very full and does not need additional layers. If you do need more layers, you can continue to add them! You can do a little trim and make the ends neat and tidy!
We still have a little ways to go to be finished our dolls, we need a belly button, blush and clothing! Until the next step of my tutorial is available, if you have any questions please feel free to comment on this post (so everyone can benefit from your question!). You can also contact me through my facebook page Faith & String.