This cuddle body has attached arms and legs. Not Jointed.
I was in need of a new project, and it was suggested by my cousin that I try making a pattern for a doll body with jointed arms. I did some research and used up a twin size sheet practicing the pattern, but I have not yet mastered the jointed doll. Instead, I have developed this pattern for an infant doll body. The pattern features a wide neck with a casing for a zip tie, and 3D feet that will fit regular booties and shoes. This pattern also contains two options for hands: fingers or mittens.
Sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Use a short stitch length (between 1.5 and 1.7 works best) and sew slowly, especially around fingers and thumbs.
You will need about 3/4yard of fabric. For this tutorial, I used flannel which can be sourced at fabric stores for around $4/yard and up. Alternatively, a flannel sheet or receiving blanket will also work just fine.
Stuffing – your choice. A bag of polyfil can be purchased at your local stores for around $10. A substitute could be an old throw pillow ($1 thrifted, washed and high-heat dry), or shredded fabric scraps.
Download and print the pattern. Depending on the size pattern, there may be assembly required. Simply tape the pieces together at the shaded area, matching notches. TIP: Trace the pattern pieces onto freezer paper. The shiny side of the paper can be ironed to the fabric, providing for a more accurate cut. Freezer paper patterns can be re-used indefinitely!
To assemble pattern:
Overlap matching pattern pieces at the shaded area. The triangle notches should relatively match up. Tap the pieces together.
Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut. Be sure to cut the notches for the best fit. When all the pieces are cut, prepare to sew by threading the machine with a complimentary color thread. Sew all seams with 1/4″ seam allowance (eyeball it on the fingers) and a short stitch length between 1.5 and 1.7, if possible.
Next, it’s time to sew:
Begin with the legs. Pin two legs together with right sides facing. Sew only the shin area. That will be from the edge to the black dot indicated on the pattern.
Open the shin seam and press with steam. with right sides facing, sew the foot top to the ankle. Match the notch on the foot top to the shin center seam. Slash the curves of the ankle, but not too close! Fold the leg pieces with right sides facing.
Match the ankle seams and pin. Position the leg pieces and pin. Sew the sides of the legs, leaving the top open.
Slash the seams at the curve of the knee, front and back. Don’t snip too close!
Place the soles right side up. There should be a left and a right. Pin the notch of the heel to the heel of the foot and move to machine. Slowly sew the sole to the foot top, ease the fabric as it is stitched. Slash the seams around the edge of the foot. Turn the leg and foot right side out and stuff.
Match the leg seams and pin the thigh in place. Set aside.
Arm Option 1: The Mitten
Pin two arms together, right sides facing and sew around the outside. Sew slowly around the thumb, pivoting as needed. Stop the machine, lift up the presser foot and adjust the angle of the fabric with the needle in place. This will prevent the fabric puckering that can be caused by pulling the fabric under the presser foot. Pulling the fabric will also weaken the integrity, causing it to fray in the thumb area.
Slash the curves of the hand and the elbow, inside and out.
Turn the arm right side out, gently pressing out the thumb area with a blunt object: I recommend using a 5.5m crochet hook handle. Be very gentle, as the tip of the thumb is easily breached with force. If the area is torn, use a hand needle and thread to repair it later.
Match the arm seams and pin. Set aside.
Arm Option 2: The Hand
For the hand, cut around the fingers in a wide mitt. Cut more than you see in this photo… as it turns out, it wasn’t enough. Trace the handprint on the mitt of two pieces, on the wrong side. Make sure you have a left and a right. Pin two arms together, right sides facing and sew around the outside. Leave the top open. Be very careful sewing the fingers. Sew inside the pencil lines, but less than 1/4″ from from the lines. At the tops and bottoms of the fingers, stop the machine and lift the presser foot. Pivot the fabric underneath and continue sewing. Do this every 2-3 stitches to keep the rounded parts even.
Trim the fabric around the fingers, but not too close! If there is too much fabric, the finger will not turn. If there is too little, the fabric will split along the seam. Slash the seams along the curves of the elbow, inside and out. Be careful not to cut the seam!
Carefully turn the arm right side out using a blunt object on the fingers. I recommend using a 5.5m crochet hook handle. Press very gently, as the handle may poke through the fingertip. That’s a bummer, but it can be repaired with a hand needle later, if needed. It’s not ruined!
Match the arm seams and pin. Set aside.
Sew the Body
Sew the belly.
Open the seam and press. Place right side up and pin back to front at shoulders. Sew.
Open the neck hole and create a casing for a zip tie. You may want to adjust the length of the neck for the head you intend to use. I recommend folding down 1/2″ to start and baste. If the length needs adjusting later, it will be easier. to do.
Place a string our length of yarn under the folded casing. This will make it easier to install a zip tie. Just tie the string or yarn around the head of the zip tie and pull it through!
Line up the back pieces. Pin into place and sew. Do not sew the yarn or the casing at the top of the neck. Press the seam open.
Fold the front onto the back with right sides facing. You will notice the front is bigger than the back. It’s supposed to be like this. Line up the pieces on one side, then pin. Flip the piece over and match the other sides. Pin. The front is bigger to accommodate the tummy, but he pieces still fit nicely. Sew from the armpit to the hip, leaving the armholes, and bottom open.
Slash the curves.
Place the body with belly up.
Insert the arms into the armholes. Position the arm so the thumb is pointing to the neck, and the hand is raised upward. Make room for it by poking it through the neck hole. Sew the arms into place.
Examine the legs. Make sure the left and right soles are in the correct position. Place the legs into the body with the toes pointing up (the body should be belly up).
Pin the middle seam first, then position the thighs in place. Pin and sew.
Turn right side out.
Attach the head and it’s Playtime!
Get the pattern. See the video tutorial here:
The doll used for this tutorial has the following measurements:
Shoulders to feet 19″
Neck to Crotch 10″
Shoulder Width 6″
Foot length 3″, width 1 1/2″
Shoulder to Wrist 5″
Upper Arm 5″
Neck Hole 12″ Casing size adjustable