Rag Doll Workshop

Week Two

This week it has all been about arms and legs!

Our girls arrived at week 2 of the workshop yesterday, having finished sewing the hair and bunches of their rag dolls at home.  First of all they chose the material for their dolls’ bodies/bloomers.  We had decided to change the Simplicity pattern 1900 slightly by cutting away the bottom section of the body tissue pattern piece and allowed some extra seam allowance when using this to cut out our new bodies/bloomers.  The girls then stitched the bodies to their heads using the machine.

Pressing

The girls also chose different options for their legs.  Our own Betty Buttons has a lovely pair of red and white spotty tights and in our workshop we had a variety of tights, bare legs (inspired by the recent lovely summer weather we are having!) and Tabitha and Florence chose to make the socks as per the Simplicity pattern.  It was easy to make a new pattern piece for the tights/bare legs option as we simply took the leg and sock pattern pieces and put them together but removed the seam allowance.

Sewing Machine

Once we had stitched around the legs and arms, making sure we had put the right sides together, it was time to turn our legs and arms.  The girls found this much easier than us due to their smaller fingers and using the help of some teaspoons and the end of a pencil!

Tip Turning Out

Tip: It’s always quicker to turn a narrow arm or leg out using a pencil. With your thumb press in the bottom of the leg or arm, then taking the blunt end of the pencil, place the pencil where your thumb had been and the writing end against you. Rocking the leg or arm from side to side bring the pencil up through the tunnel till you can reach the tip of the foot or arm. Discard the pencil, pulling the right side through the tunnel. Easy!

Betty Buttons Doll

After pressing the arms and legs it was time to get stuffing.  So surrounded by mounds of white cloud-like fluff and again using our teaspoons and pencils, the girls filled the arms and legs.  It is amazing how much stuffing the arms and legs take and it is worth making them quite solid to give the dolls some strength.

Pressing Legs

Stuffing

Tip: Be careful to use the blunt end of the pencil or it may end up going through your fabric.

Homework this week is to finish stuffing the arms and legs and sewing up the open ends of the pieces using back stitch (making sure that the leg pieces are stitched with the seams in the middle so that eventually the feet face forwards and not to the side)

The dolls are already taking on quite a character and our fashion conscious attendees are already discussing the various clothes that they intend to make.

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