Make a weighted doll body with head! For this tutorial, a king sized cotton sheet was used (from the thrift store for $3.99), along with a throw pillow (from the thrift store for $1) to make nine complete dolls. I recommend using 1/3 yard for the smaller sizes, up to 1.25 yards for the largest. I strongly recommend using upcycled materials! This includes the weighted filling.
Print the pattern:
Once the pattern is downloaded (having trouble downloading?), use the chart to determine which pages are to be printed. Only print the pages you need when you need them. Save paper and ink!
Assemble pattern pieces (if needed):
For the larger sizes, attach the pattern pieces at the shaded area using tape. Notches will match.
Cut the pattern pieces out of fabric and get ready to sew.
Pin arms together with right sides facing. Sew the perimeter of the arm with 1/4″ seam allowance. Slash the curved seam areas, but not too close! Turn right side out and set aside.
Unfold the leg and press flat. Sew the foot top to the ankle portion of the leg (the smaller side). Slash the seam, but not too close!
Fold the leg in half and sew the back seam. Trim the heel area for uniformity.
Open the foot area. Pin the notch on the foot sole to the seam on the heel. Sew the sole to the foot top. Slash the curves around the sole, but not too close!
Fill the limbs:
There are a variety of ways and materials to fill weighted limbs. For this tutorial, I am using rice. My dolls will be used as dress forms and will not be exposed to elements or abuse, so this way a cheap and natural way to fill my dolls. Also available are plastic and glass beads at a higher cost of both money and to the environment. Choose what works best for you. I also used a gravy boat as a pouring receptacle and it worked better than a funnel.
For the arms, begin by filling the hand. Follow the filling with a small wad of cotton batting. I used a throw pillow from the thrift store for a dollar, and it worked very well. The cotton should only be as big as the “wrist joint.” Follow with more filling up to the elbow joint, followed by cotton. Fill the arm again, until almost full, and pad with some cotton. Pin the arms with the seams together and set aside.
For the legs, begin by filling the foot area with the weighted filling. Follow with a small wad of cotton for the “ankle joint.” Fill again will weighted filling to the knee and top with cotton. Fill again with weighted filling to the upper thigh and top with cotton. Pin the leg with the seam centered on the back of the leg.
Sew the Body:
Sew the darts on the bum. Place pieces side by side and fold up the bottom at the dart, matching the edges. Sew with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Sew the belly of the front body piece.
Open the front body piece and pin the shoulders of the back body to the front body shoulders. Sew and slash the curves.
Sew the head:
Rather than pin the curved edges of the head, ease the pieces together in the machine. The notch is located around the area of the nose; be sure to match notches for proper placement before sewing. Always sew with the side head on top and ease the pieces through the machine as it is stitching. See the video for guiding the pieces through the machine.
TIP: Sew head on as follows – begin with matching notches and sew with the side head on top; face toward the back of the head. Next, begin at the back of the head and sew on from the back of the head toward the face.
Slash the curved seams of the head- not too close!
Attach the head to the body:
Find the middle of the front neck and pin it to the belly seam, right sides facing.
Sew the side seams:
Pin and sew the neckline of the doll. Fold the doll with right sides facing and pin the side seams. Sew from the armpit to the hip. Slash the curved seam at the armpit.
Sew the bum from the bottom to the middle back. This will be the area where there is a tab on the pattern.
Attach the limbs:
Begin with the legs by placing the body on the table with the backside facing up. Place the legs in the body with the toes pointing down, toward the doll’s face. The heels of the doll will be poking through the neck hole.
Pin the crotch seam in the center, then position the legs. Make sure the leg seam is centered in the back of the leg. Pin and sew the legs into the body.
Turn the doll right side out and position the arms. Make sure the thumb is pointing up towards the doll’s face. Put the arm in the hole and pin and sew.
Sew the head dart:
Turn the head inside out again and match the neck seams. Sew the dart from the neck seam, up the back of the head.
Stuff the doll:
Create a couple of weighted pouches: one for the head and one for the bum. Put them into the doll torso and fill in with cotton batting or other filling. Shape the face, belly and bum as you fill. Pin up the hole in the back and hand sew it closed.
Keep scrolling for the video.