Tea-Themed Crafts

Includes needlecrafts, papercrafts and a bit of construction.

Sew A Doll Twin

This is not recommended for a beginning sewer to try alone. It requires some sewing skill and is easier to make with a sewing machine and adult help. But it is great fun for an adult and child to make together so that the child can have a private teatime with a “twin”.

 

In the 60’s there was a popular pattern published by one of the sewing pattern companies to make a 3-dimensional doll about the size of a 5-year-old child. There were many children who received this beloved handmade gift and dressed it up in their hand-me-downs or shared look alike dresses. These wonderful, full-sized dolls inspired wonderful imaginary playtime and fostered the delight of being alone with your own imagination.

This version is a similar idea but we’ve simplified the process and made it possible for almost anyone with some sewing experience to make. Based on the familiar Kindergarten project where children help each other outline of their bodies on paper, we’ve taken it to the next level.

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What you need:

  • A sheet of paper large enough to trace the child’s body
  • Enough fabric (2-3 yards) to make a front and back of the traced body
  • Permanent markers or fabric paints
  • Sewing machine, thread and needles
  • Polyester pillow stuffing (2-3 bags depending on the size of the doll)

Draw your doll outline:

Have the child lie down on the paper with arms and legs stretched out to the sides to trace his/her twin. Trace a rough outline, making it slightly larger than the actual body outline. Have the child turn both feet to the sides to draw them.

When you have the basic outline, cut the arms and legs off of the torso.

Double the fabric and trace the body pattern onto the top layer. At the connections where the arms and legs will be sewn back into the body, add an extra 1″ seam allowance that will be inserted into the doll torso.

Draw in the features with permanent marker and color in the details with markers or paint.

Cutting:

Cut the pieces of doubled fabric so that you have a front and back for each one.

Sewing:

With right sides together, sew the pieces together. For the torso, sew the sides and around the head but not the bottom, and leave openings to insert the arms. For the legs and arms, leave the tops open that will be stuffed and then inserted into the torso.

Stuffing:

Begin with the arms and legs. Fill them tightly with polyester stuffing and pen closed leaving a 1″ seam allowance for inserting into the torso. Then stitch the arms and legs closed so that they remain tightly packed. Insert the arms into place inside the torso, topstitch through the four layers of fabric, completely closing the armholes. It is recommended that you stitch over this seam at least twice for reinforcement.

Stitch the legs to the backside of the torso, holding them in place but leaving the space open for stuffing.

Next, stuff the torso, first filling the head and working down to the legs. When the body is tightly filled, pin the top down with the seam allowance folded inside and topstitch to close and finish the doll. It’s easier to do this in two steps: sew from both sides to the middle, leaving a 2-3″ space to add the last bit of stuffing. When the stuffing is tightly packed, stitch the final closure by hand.

Dressing:

The dolls easily wear regular clothes but ready-made shoes don’t stay on the soft feet very well. One suggestion is to draw shoes on permanently with markers, to use a darker, sturdier fabric for shoes or to make some simple sock-like shoes out of felt that can slip on.