Monday, 28 February 2011

Cuddly Russian Doll Tutorial

Hello lovelies ,
here we go with the aformentioned tutorial :0)

This project as is sort of a cross between a soft toy and a cushion. Rather like the owls I made for my boys last about that HERE.
To make mine I started with some Inspiration HERE.
Then I made a paper template by sketching out a design. To ensure the pattern was even I folded it in half lenghways before cutting it out. I made mine as big a 2 sheets of A4 ...coz that's what I was using and it ended up 41cm tall , 28cm across the widest part of the body and 20cm across the widest part of the head....

Next I cut out 2 fabric shapes to make the front and back...adding a seam allowance of 1.2 cm (or 5/8th of an inch )....

As you can see my fabric is from some thrifted curtains that have some pretty embroidered daisies .

Next I made her headscarf by cutting out 2 heads in a pretty floral fabric. I pinked the bottom edge to prevent fraying but you could turn under and hem. I machined these pieces to right side of the front and back parts ,stitching close to the edge.

Next I drew around a small bowl for the face ......

I cut out some brown felt for the hair . I cut around a penny for the cheeks and a shirt button for the eyes , and made a little smiley mouth....

I hand sewed these in place using embroidery thread and a small running stitch , adding some extra ,larger stitches to the hair for texture. Once I was happy with the face I used the same stitch to attach it to the head section of one piece...

I also added some Ric rac at this stage using a straight machine stitch.

Next I pinned the 2 halves right sides together and sewed, leaving an opening of about 10cm at the bottom.

Placing your pins like this means you can sew over them.....

Another top tip is to make sure you make cuts close to the stitch line at about 1cm intervals on the concave this case that's the sides of the neck. This will help avoid puckering when you stuff the doll....

Then I just stuffed firmly and hand sewed the opening closed.....

Ta- Dah again....
What do you think ??? I'm so pleased how this turned out and it was lovely to be able to do a girly project .

Here's a close up of the face , as you can see I added some flowers in her hair and also around her neck....

Another tip to make the eyes come alive is to stitch a small white "reflection "towards the top , as you can see in the  above picture.

There's even a heart on the back with a a special message for the birthday girl........

Written with a laundry marker :0)
I think this is a great project for someone who hasn't done a lot of sewing as it is relativly straight forward ...which suits my rusty sewing skills too :0)
Hope you are feeling inspired
Jacquie x


  1. Pretty pretty - how lovely,
    what a wonderful job you have done, I am sure the birthday girl will be delighted, I would be!

  2. Awww she looks really sweet Jacquie. She'll brighten up anyone's life :)

  3. Hey Jacquie, great doll, she's a real sweetie, love the flowers in the hair. Great use of a curtain too, I'm sure she will be loved by the birthday girl.

    Breezy day and cooler temp. here, 'just perfick' for cooking and crochet, perhaps a smidge of sewing too.....

    Claire :}

  4. your doll is soooo sweet!
    thank you so much for the tutorial.

  5. She's lovely, the flowers in her hair and round her neck really finish it off.

  6. Jacquie, this came out so CUTE! I'd love to try making one sometime! I'll have to check what fabric(s) I might have for it.. Thanks for sharing how to make her! ~tina

  7. What a sweet creation this doll has turned out to be! I like to hand sew and I am sure I could easily do it by hand or make a smaller version. This would make anyone smile.

  8. She's a gorgeous doll. I love all the little extras like the reflection in the eyes and the flowers around the neck and in the hair. For someone who says their sewing skills are rusty, you've done a fab job.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Anne xx

  9. Wow - she's gorgeous. Just came across your blog!! Now a follower!! Thanks for the fab tutorial.

  10. Very inspiring :0) She is so sweet! I love her little face, so smiley and happy :0) I've been making some mini ones to go on my stall on Sunday...I was inspired to make them by the new 'Simply homemade' magazine that's just come out. Have you seen it in the shops? Maybe you could send your doll project to never know!...
    Have a great week Jacquie

  11. What a pretty doll Jacquie! I love what you made and thank you so much for the tutorial,
    love Maaike

  12. oooh Jacquie what a lovely doll you made!! and you make it seem so easy! maybe have to find some nice fabrics and give it a try on my old machine!!Thanks for sharing! Ria

  13. Ooh she is so pretty !! Thanks for the tutorial I may give this a go. xx

  14. Beautiful! I loved the hair with the colourful little flowers!

  15. Hi there, I have just discovered your beautiful blog! Your Russian doll is amazing - my wee girl will be so excited when I show her in the morning.

  16. She turned out just perfectly, really beautiful. Any little or big girl would be delighted to receive her.

  17. Beautiful - I love her :)

  18. Thats amazing. Well done you. I love her.

  19. Wow, thanks for the tutorial. Would love to give it a go.

  20. She's gorgeous - great tutorial. xx

  21. She looks great Jacquie! And an excellent tutorial, thanks for sharing and i think your sewing skills are just fine! Don't you love hand stitching the faces and giving expression to your lovely creations, that is my favorite part of making toys! Have a great day, Cheers Jules :)

  22. Adorable, thanks for the tutorial! Going to make one of these for my little girl! ♥

  23. Thank you for the lovely tutorial!!!!
    It's so cute

  24. You are so clever! She really has turned out gorgeous and I am sure 1 little eight year old will be very happy with her xox I love the flowers in her hair, too cute x

  25. Ohhhh this is marvellous!!! I love it, the fabric is great - and Im sure it will be very well loved. Thank you for sharing the pattern, that was really generous of you!

    Love Julia x x x

  26. Your babushka turned out beautifully!!!!
    Thanks for including me as an inspiration.
    Andi :-)

  27. She's very cheery looking! What a lovely present to receive!

  28. how lovely! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  29. She is soooo cute, love her x

  30. Waauuu!!
    You russian doll is so sweet!!
    I love it!!!!
    thank you so much for your great tutorial.

  31. What a great project Jacquie, your little doll is lovely and I bet your niece will love her! I particularly like the fabric on the headscarf and her little smiley face! xx

  32. This is gorgeous! I can't wait to make one for my baby! Thanks for sharing.
    mother crafter ~ handmade happiness

  33. very beautiful Thank you for sharing :))

  34. Hi!
    It is a great project. The doll is so lovely...
    Thanks for sharing,

  35. Ficou maravilhosa!!
    Obrigada por compartilhar, muita bondade sua para conosco!!
    Beijoss no coração!1
    Tina Brasil!!

  36. Oi!
    Tudo lindo por aqui, adorei o PAP da boneca.
    Um abraço,Kátima.

  37. Hello Jacquie: I love your pretty doll and the technique you described. I'm inspired! Nice touch to add the heart too.

  38. linda, mais linda que já vi

  39. Oi!
    Amei o teu blog, o Pap da boneca russa está maravilhoso!! Quando a minha estiver pronta volta aqui pra te mostrar!!

  40. So exited to come across your blog and the Russian doll. My daughter is infatuated with those Matroska dolls so I just had to make one. Thank you for great instructions. My neck turned put a bit skinnier than yours, but she loves it!! Now I just need to learn how to crochet:0


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