*For best results, print as actual size. To adjust the sizes of the pattern see this blog.
*For this tutorial, I used natural, unbleached muslin. One yard, 90″ wide made all six of these dolls, with a small swatch left over. I recommend using 1/3 yard for the micro, up to 2/3 yard for the XLarge. I highly recommend using a walking foot.
*Sew all seams on all sizes with 1/4″ seam allowance; including the bottom darts.
*For the pattern with the long torso, make a casing for the zip tie by cutting a strip of fabric. A pattern piece is not included, but the general rule is to cut a strip double the width of your zip tie, and add 1/2 inch (for the seam allowance).
*The doll bodies will require some type of stuffing. I bought a throw pillow from the thrift store, ran it through a hot wash and dry, then cut it open and used the stuffing. For all six of these dolls, I utilized 1/3 of the pillow stuffing.
*To weight the dolls, see this video. The weighted stuffing can include poly pellets, glass beads, or other natural weight, such as rice or buckwheat. It’s up to you!
Print the pattern:
These are the measurements for the pattern that includes 6 sizes. This one has a shorter torso, and is great for dolls such as baby Yoda, or other animal style doll. It will fit doll clothes designed for dolls with a shorter torso. For a longer torso, scroll down.
The chart below gives the measurements for cuddle bodies that will fit commercial infant clothing.
The zip tie casing:
Cut a strip of fabric 15 inches long and 1.5-2″ wide. The five size cuddle body pattern does not include a pattern piece for the zip tie casing, because it is easy to cut one the exact size and length needed for the neck.
Iron the strip in half, the long way. At this point, measure the yarn or zip tie intended to be used and trim the strip width as needed. Be sure to leave 1/4″ seam allowance, plus the width of the tie. Set aside.
Place arms, right sides together and pin. Sew carefully around the perimeter with 1/4″ seam allowance. Slash the seam allowance around the curves of the hand.
Turn the arms right side out and stuff. To make the limbs posable, fill with weighted pouches wrapped in batting. I recommend using one for the hand, one for the forearm, and one for the bicep area. Set aside.
Sew the darts on the bottom, right sides facing. Sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Sew the belly with 1/4″ seam allowance, right sides facing.
Unfold and match with the back at the shoulders, right sides facing. Sew the shoulder area with 1/4″ seam allowance. Slash the curves in the neck/shoulder area.
Unfold the neckline and press. Create a casing for the ligature by cutting a strip the length of the neck area that is 1.5″ wide (for a .5″ casing). Fold in half length way for a strip that is .75″ wide. Press.
Prepare the zip tie casing by folding in one end and pressing, to create a neat entrance for the zip tie. Pin to the neckline.
Attach the zip tie casing to the neckline, raw edges together. Right sides facing. Leave a 1/4″ space between the end of the casing the raw edge of the center back. This will allow the back seam to be sewn without sewing the casing closed.
Pin the casing to the neckline. Adjust the length and pin as before by folding the fabric and leaving 1/4″ gap at the center back edge. Press the casing flat.
Match the center back seam and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Match the sides and sew from the armpits to the hips. Leave the arm holes open, and the bottom open for limb attachment. slash the underarms curves. Set aside.
Press the legs flat. Attach the foot top to the ankle as shown:
Slash the curves at the ankles. Fold the leg in half with right sides facing and sew the back seam of the leg.
Attach the Sole:
Match the heel seam with the notch on the sole. Using 1/4″ seam allowance, ease the foot top and the sole together. Slash the curves of the sole.
Turn the leg right side out and stuff. For directions to weight limbs, see this link.
Attach the limbs:
Place the body belly side up. Insert the legs, poking the feet through the neck hole, toes pointing up. Pin the center seam at the crotch before adjusting legs.
Pin the legs to the bottom, making sure the leg seam is in the middle, as shown:
Sew the bottom of the doll with 1/4″ seam allowance and turn right side out.
Insert the arms to the armholes. Hold the arm up to the arm hole and make sure the thumb is facing upward.
The seams should be positioned as pictured:
Sew in the arms using 1/4″ seam allowance and turn right side out.
Stuff and attach head with zip tie or string closure.