Tips on Doll Making

So, after introducing you to Eve I was asked by quite a few readers to share the pattern.

Eve

Unfortunately I did not write down a pattern, for several reasons.
I was actually just playing around, trying to design a doll to see if I could really do it and I really didn’t feel like writing the pattern down.
I also primarily made Eve for my daughter, who loves her to bits.

However, since so many of you asked for the pattern, I have decided to give you some pointers on how to design a doll.

So, where does one begin when designing a doll?
I guess, the first part would be to make some sketches, notes or do planning of some sort.
I must say that my planning generally happens in my head. Even at school and university, during art class I really struggled to produce enough sketches to satisfy my teachers and lecturers.
For Eve I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted her to look like in my head. The head-shape, hair and cape were crystal clear in my head and the rest fell into place as I created her.

As you may know, crochet is quite a mathematical craft. Please don’t let that scare you off!
It may be mathematical but it’s all pretty simple multiplication. If you do battle figuring patterns out spend some time reading patterns designed by reputable crochet designers. Some patterns may create articles that look good but they are actually not mathematically sound.

With regards to doll making you really only need to know the rule of increasing used for hats and circles.
Since we’re making a doll we’re going to be using SCs and we’re going to start from the head down creating the entire body and legs in one piece. The arms will be separate and will be attached after stuffing.

It doesn’t matter how big your doll will be, what shape you plan on making it or what yarn you will be using, the principle is always the same.
Start with a magic ring and 6SC into the magic ring.
Now you will work with multiples of 6, so in the second round you will double the number of SCs (6×2=12). That means you need to place two SC in each ST.
In the next round you need to end up with 18 stitches, so you need to add six stitches. To do this evenly you want to make 2SC in every second stitch.
You will continue this pattern of adding six stitches every round. That means 2SC in every third, fourth, fifth etc. SC of the following rounds. Continue until you are satisfied with the circumference of the head.

Eve

Now add a number of rounds without increasing to give the head length and better shape. You need to decide how round (less rounds without increases) or oval (more rounds without increases) you want your doll’s head.

Once you are satisfied with the shape of the head you need to start decreasing using the same principle but this time you need to subtract six stitches in each round. I use the invisible decrease because it really IS invisible.

I think I deceased until I was left with 12 or 18 stitches. You want to decrease quite a bit in order to create definition between the head and body and in order to give your doll a chin.

Body shape is up to you, in order to shape the body you will need to increase, again using multiples of six. If you want a slender doll you want to increase more gradually, which means you might increase two or three rounds in a row (to create a sense of shoulders) followed by several rounds without increases.
Add a round of increases now and again, until you have the desired length and shape.
With a rounder doll you will have to increase more often.
To finish the body off properly you will want to decrease by a few rounds to give the impression of hips and also just to add a bit more interest to the body shape.

Eve
For the legs count the number of stitches in the last round and divide it by two. So, if you have 24 stitches your legs will each have 12 stitches to begin with.
Start the first leg by crocheting 12 stitches, then join the last stitch to the first of that round. Now continue with the leg until it is the desired length.
I did not add a foot so I decreased the stitches down to six and closed the bottom off with a bit of sewing.

I think at this point I think I stuffed the body because once the second leg is  added there’s only a tiny hole for stuffing, so it’s easier.

To make the second leg crochet 12 SCs into the remaining SCs from the body and duplicate the first leg.
You could make the legs a bit thinner towards the bottom by decreasing by one stitch for one or two rounds.
Stuff the remaining leg and sew up the hole.

To make the arms I suggest starting with less stitches. So for this example I would begin with 5SC into a magic ring. The arms are worked from the hand up.
Increase to 10SC and then crochet to the desired length. Stuff the arms and sew to the top of the body. The placement is really up to you.

In terms of proportions there aren’t really any hard and fast rules but a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio is probably best for a doll. For Eve I think I used a 1:2 ratio, so her body and legs are about twice as long as her head.

Right, I hope this gives you some ideas in terms of creating your own doll.
You’ll notice that I haven’t touched on hair and clothing. Firstly, I think this post is quite long enough already and I don’t want to keep you much longer.
Secondly, with regards to hair there are many, many blogs with different ideas out there (you can find some on one of my Pinterest boards) and I also think that hair is a very personal thing too. You will need to experiment and find which method works best for you.
Lastly, with regards to clothes, again it’s up to you how to dress your doll. I must say that making doll clothes is much easier than designing human clothes 😉

So, have fun designing your dolls and please do send me (stephanie@radiate.co.za) photographs of your completed dolls so I can showcase them in a future post.

One side note:
When you send me photographs of items that you have crocheted please make sure that your photographs are well lit and clear. Unfortunately I cannot showcase items that are not clearly visible in the photographs on my blog.
Also, if you could give me your name and tell me a bit about yourself and the item that would be great 😉

17. April 2013 by Stephanie Davies
Categories: Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Thank you for the tips!! I do afghans, many queen-sized, but have always been intimidated by the “creature crochet or dolls, animals, etc.” You actually make it sound do-able! Thank you. I will have to give it a try when I finish the current afghan I’m working on.

  2. Pingback: Tips on Doll Making | A bag full of Crochet

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