Today I have a fun, free pattern to share with you: the Josephine Doll. I made 10 of these dolls last week for a members of my local artists group. We do a holiday art exchange each year. Everyone makes a series of tiny originals and we put them all out on a table and then walk around, choosing one from each group. It’s really amazing to walk away with 10 new pieces of art!
The Josephine Doll was my contribution this year. Last year I made bird ornaments which I also made into a free pattern.
Making these dolls meant pulling out my scrap bin and button box and having a wonderful time pairing up patterns and prints. Each doll has felt hair and some have felt balls as pigtails, too. I love an excuse to use all this fun stuff! I hope you have as much fun with this pattern as I did.
These dolls are pretty small. If you’d like to have an easier time turning them right side out and stuffing them, enlarge the pattern by 50%!
To make a Josephine Doll you’ll need:
- scraps of quilting cotton in flesh tone for the face and arms, in a print from the dress, and in a contrasting print for the tights
- wool-blend felt (I get mine from Wool Felt Central) for the hair
- fiberfill stuffing
- coordinating thread
- embroidery floss (I use black, peach, and pink)
- optional: 1.5 cm wool balls and buttons (find wool balls from various shops on Etsy), lipstick to blush the cheeks
First go ahead and print out the Josephine Doll Templates. Be sure your printer is set to “actual size” (or, like I noted above, enlarge the templates to make a larger doll). You’ll cut along the outer lines and sew along the inner lines.
The first step is to cut everything out.
From felt cut:
- 1 Back of Head
- 1 Hair
From flesh-toned quilting cotton cut:
- 1 Back of Head
- 4 Arms (reversing 2)
From the quilting cotton for the dress cut:
- 2 Dresses
From the quilting cotton for the tights cut:
- 4 Legs
Transfer all of the markings to the fabric with a disappearing fabric marker or chalk (or even a pencil will work).
Place the face on the dress, right sides together, matching up the markings. Pin. Stitch across, attaching the face to the dress. Place the felt back of the head on the other dress piece, right sides together, and stitch across in the same way. Press the seams open.
Match two leg pieces right sides together and stitch around, leaving the opening as marked. Repeat with the other two leg pieces. Match two arm pieces right sides together and stitch around, leaving the opening as marked. Repeat with the other two arm pieces.
Clip the seam allowances around the curves on the arms and legs and turn the arms and legs right side out. Press. Stuff the limbs, stuffing firmly at the tip and then only very lightly, leaving the last 3/4 inch unstuffed on each.
Place the arms on the front of the doll, as marked. Baste. Place the legs on the front of the doll as marked. (Note that the legs are placed straight up and down which means that a bit of the leg fabric hangs off the edge of the dress.) Baste.
Place the doll front on the doll back and pin around the sides and top. Leaving the legs hanging out for now, stitch around the sides and top of the doll, beginning at one bottom corner of the dress, going up around the head, and coming back down at the other corner of the dress, leaving the opening as marked. (The raw edges of the arms will be sewn into the seams.)
Now push the arms up into the head to keep them out of the way. Push the legs into the body. Stitch across the bottom of the dress. (The raw edges of the legs will be sewn into the seams.)
Clip the seam allowance at the curves, especially at the neck. Turn the doll right side out through the opening in the dress. Stuff the doll firmly, beginning with the head. Close the opening with ladder stitch.
To embroider the face, thread an embroidery needle with 3 strands from a length of 6-ply floss. Tie a knot in the end. Insert the needle through the seam between the front and back of the head, coming up at one eyelash. Pull on the floss to pop the knot inside the doll. Make two straight stitches for eyelashes. For open eyes use satin stitch and back stitch the nose and mouth. For closed eyes use back stitch for the eyes and mouth.
Embellish your Josephine Doll any way you like. I attached wool balls for hair and random buttons on the dress. If you’d like, dip your finger in lipstick, blot on a tissue, then rub in circles on the face to make blushed cheeks.
Aw, give your doll a kiss and hug!