Our long-limbed dolly is simply adorable with embroidered features, soft yarn hair and a bespoke wardrobe most girls could only wish for. Made using the new Tilda Country Escape fabric collection by Tonne Finnanger, there’s a choice of two covetable outfits little ladies will love dressing her up in.
- Fabric, cotton: Tilda Country Escape range, fat quarters, five prints; plain, pink; plain, white
- Fibre filling
- Thread, embroidery
- Ribbon, satin, narrow
- Elastic, narrow
- Yarn, DK
- Needle, darning
- Poppers, small, four Button, one
- 40cm tall
stitch a rag doll
Download the templates and print. Trace around the patterns, adding a 5mm seam allowance to each. Cut two body and four arms pieces from plain pink cotton. Pin the body pieces together and sew around the entire shape leaving a 5cm gap at one side for turning. Clip the curves and turn out using a blunt ended knitting needle if necessary.
Firmly stuff the body, beginning with the legs. Once they are well filled, sew a line of running stitch across the top of both thighs to enable the doll to sit properly. Stuff the head and torso. Ensure the neck is well filled or it may droop once the hair is added. Turn in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.
Pair up the arm pieces and sew together leaving a 4cm gap on one side of each for turning. Clip the curves, turn out and firmly stuff before closing the gap as before. Create a thumb on each hand by back stitching through the stuffed fabric.
Oversew the top of each arm to the centre of each shoulder, ensuring the thumbs are facing forward. Reinforce the join by sewing from arm to arm through the top of the torso with strong thread several times.
Use a chalk pencil to sketch features onto the face before embroidering with back and satin stitch. Make the front of the doll’s hairstyle in satin stitch using knitting wool and a darning needle. Fill the back of the head with long loops of wool sewn in rows. Secure each one with another small stitch before making the next loop.
Cut the loops to make hair. Create a layered style by holding the doll upside down and allowing the hair to fall naturally before trimming the ends level. Add decoration to the fringe by securing three folded lengths of yarn to the parting with small stitches. Plait the lengths, sweep across the brow and stitch the individual ends into the back of the head to hold in place.
Create a dress
Cut the bodice pieces from patterned fabric and lining as instructed on the pattern. Join the shoulder seams. Pin the lining to the bodice and sew around the back seams, neckline and arm openings. Clip the curves and turn right sides out by passing the back of the bodice through the shoulders. Sew the side seams of the bodice outer fabric together before stitching the lining seams to completely enclose all seams.
Cut a panel of contrast fabric 12cm x 42cm for the skirt, and two strips of bodice fabric 3cm x 50cm. Join the narrow pieces end to end and hem one long side. Gather up the other edge with running stitch to a width of 42cm.
Sew the frill to one long edge of the skirt panel. Fold the panel in half and sew down the back seam, leaving 2.5cm unsewn at the top end. Fold in the raw edges either side of this gap and hem.
Gather the top edge of the skirt panel with running stitch to a diameter of 20cm. Sew the top of the skirt to the bottom of the bodice outer fabric as you would a frill, matching the gap in the back seam to each side of the bodice back.
Turn under 5mm at the bottom of the lining and slip stitch over the inside of the gathers to hide the raw edges. Sew two small popper fastenings to each side of the bodice back.
Make a jacket
Cut the pieces from patterned fabric and lining as instructed on the pattern. Join the shoulder seams. Pin the lining to the jacket and sew around the front edges and neckline but not the arm openings. Clip the curves and turn right sides out.
Join the side seams of the jacket outer fabric together before stitching the lining, completely enclosing all raw edges. Keep the jacket facing with the lining side out.
Cut the sleeves and cuff linings as instructed on the pattern. For both sleeves, join the cuff lining to the end of the sleeve before folding the entire strip in half and sewing the long underarm seam. Fold the cuff lining back over the sleeve, wrong sides together, turn under a 5mm hem and slip stitch to the sleeve.
Turn the sleeve right side out, pin and sew to the armhole outer fabric only. Fold in the lining armhole and slip stitch over the raw seam to neaten. Turn the jacket right sides out and turn up 2cm of each cuff to reveal the lining.
Turn in a 5mm hem of the jacket outer and lining. Pin and slip stitch together to complete the hem.
Stitch ballet shoes
Cut the shoe pieces from two different fabrics and pair up so one print is the outer and the other the lining. Sew around the outline of the larger shoe shape, leaving the flat edge open to turn. Clip the curves and turn out.
Sew around the inner curve of the smaller shoe shapes, clip and turn right sides out. Sew running stitch around the outer curve and gently gather.
Place the shoe pieces outer sides together and stitch the gathered curve to the base of the shoe. Turn out and check the fit against the foot of the Tilda doll.
Double hem the top point of the shoe base and thread narrow ribbon through the channel that has been created. Place the shoes on the doll and wrap the ribbon around her legs. Tie neatly, trim, then slightly singe the ribbon end to prevent fraying.