How to Make Patterns for Cloth Dolls

Written by kristen porter
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How to Make Patterns for Cloth Dolls
Create your own patterns for cloth dolls. (straw doll sitting on hay bale image by David Smith from

Making a cloth doll at home can save you money, but you will need to create a pattern before making your first stitch. With a few tools, you will be able to create patterns for any kind of cloth doll.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Large sheets of paper (craft, butcher or art paper on rolls)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Pen or marker
  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Create your main pattern by first determining how large you want your doll to be, then making a sketch of a human figure on the paper with your pencil. Once your shape is the way you want it, add 1/4 inch all around the edges for a seam allowance. Draw this part in pen or marker.

  2. 2

    Cut out your pattern, then cut another one out with the same dimensions. Use your first pattern to create the second one. Label one "FRONT" and the other one "BACK."

  3. 3

    Add embellishments to the pattern to remind you of where you wish to add doll details. On the pattern labelled FRONT, draw in the eyes, nose and mouth and how you would like to sew them (buttons, embroidery, etc.). On both patterns, determine how you will add hair to the doll. If you are using yarn, draw dots where your yarn strands will go.

Tips and warnings

  • If you want your doll arms and legs to move, you can either sew a line from the armpit to the shoulder of the doll after stuffing or make arms and legs separately and attach them with a needle and thread. These steps should be marked on your pattern.
  • Make sure the arms and legs are wide enough for turning right-side out and for stuffing.

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