Find the doll face painting tutorial here.
I was a little surprised by the response from readers after I originally posted about swaddle babies. These 'swaddling dolls' have been around for a while, a few of you readers even mentioned having owned one as a child. I first learned how to make one during a Relief Society service project, but when I made some for my children at home I changed them up a bit to better fit my kids. The originals were made with fleece blankets, and were much smaller in size.
You asked me for a more in-depth tutorial on how to make my version of these sweet dolls, and here it is!
- materials -
two 19" squares of cotton fabric, can be contrasting designs
one circle cut of muslin about 8" in diameter
yarn for hair
bow / trim
First, gather your materials.
Lay the fabric squares with right sides together. Sew around three sides about 1/4" from edge. Cut the corners off of the two sewn corners.
Turn right side out. Fold the open edge in about 1/2" and sew it shut, about 1/4" inch from the edge. When you reach the end of that side continue sewing 1/4" inch away from the edge around the rest of the blanket sides.
You should end up with a pretty little blanket.
Fold the blanket diagonal-wise to create a triangle.
To create the little body you will be sewing a small rectangle at the base of the triangle. The body will be 4" wide and 6" high.
Fold the triangle once in half and make a mark 2" from the center.
Now measure up 6" from your first mark and make a second one directly above it.
Make both of these marks on both sides of your triangle.
Unfold and use these guides to sew two sides of your rectangle. Don't sew it shut yet, first we need to stuff it lightly.
Be careful to press the stuffing in enough so that it doesn't stick out after you sew the rectangle closed.
Sew the top of the rectangle closed.
Tada! Body is finished.
Now we will be working on the head. Sew a basting stitch about 1/2" away from the edge all around the circle. This means that you set your machine on it's longest stitch. Do not secure your threads by sewing back and forth at the beginning or end of your stitch. We want to be able to pull the threads and gather the material.
Alternately pull on both of the threads coming from the top of your material and gather the circle evenly. Stuff the head and pull the threads tight. Tie them so that they do not ungather.
This is what the back of the head should look like.
You will now be hand sewing the head to the body and blanket. Position it directly in the center of the triangle, at the top of the body. It is okay for the head to come down a little over the body so that it looks like it is attached.
Be careful to sew the head to only the top fold of the blanket. I held the head and blanket together as pictured above so that I could feel where the needle was at. I tried to actually only sew it to the very top piece of fabric, not even going through the entire top fold of the blanket.
This way you don't see the stitches if the blankets are separated during play. You can see a tiny bit of stuffing poking out above the body seam. Oops.
This is a loosened view of what my stitching looked like. Watch the head and blanket as you sew. You can pull and tighten where you are sewing so that the head takes on the desired shape.
Make sure to make the head secure.
Now for the hair. Wrap some yarn around a couple fingers to the desired thickness and length of curls. Don't worry about the loose ends, you can trim them later.
Sew your loops down securely. I went from under the fabric and back directly through the loops. Once I had done this a few times I made a few random stitches throughout to make sure it was secure. Now you can trim the loose ends.
If you have a little girl baby you may want to add a bow. To create a bow without actually tying it around the hair you simply make two bunny ears out of your ribbon...
... and tie those into a bow :)
Stitch the bow on securely with matching thread. I actually used the same yellow thread I had used for her hair, I just made sure to hide the thread under the knot.
Now here is a potentially dangerous trick. To keep ribbon from unraveling at the ends you can melt them. If you hold a match close to the ends of the ribbons you will see the edges melt and seal. Please be careful if you choose to do this. I did it over the sink. What I should have done was wait until my daughter was out of the room. She couldn't stop questioning why I was going to start the doll on fire. I felt pretty dumb for seemingly having taught her something completely dangerous.
You can't tell me that's not cute :)
If your heart so desires you can sew on a little lace under the chin. I folded this eyelet lace under at the sides and simply hand stitched in on.
And oh! You're baby is done!
What's that you say? It is without face? Ohhhh, well you'll have to come back tomorrow! I've gotten ahead of myself and made a doll-face painting tutorial to show you how to create the face I've made for these babies. Come back and see! It's not as hard as you would think :)