November 19, 2008

my first tutorial

Since several people have asked how I made the Felt Dolls, I'm going to try doing my first tutorial. Please let me know if I leave anything out. Here goes......
what you'll need:

felt squares for the doll (skin color of your choice) and hair "wigs"
felt scraps: different colors
fusible webbing
heavyweight iron-on interfacing
fabric scraps
fine point markers
pinking shears
pressing cloth

First, make your doll:

Draw your doll shape on a piece of paper. I use 8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in half and make the doll that size. A chubby, gingerbread-y shape works best. Cut out pattern.

doll needs to be a double thickness of felt.

Cut a piece of fusible webbing 1/2 the size of the square of felt. Place on 1/2 of felt square and fold felt over webbing.

Cover with a pressing cloth or piece of fabric to protect your iron. Steam through the pressing cloth to fuse the felt together.

Trace the doll pattern onto the double-thickness of felt.

Cut out the doll. Turn her over so your tracing lines don't show and draw a face with fine point markers (practice on paper first)

......your Felt Doll is finished! (hair will come later)

Now, make her some clothes

Trace the doll on a piece of paper. You will need quite a few copies, so either trace it many times or make copies on a copier.

Using these shapes as a guide, draw over the doll shape to make whatever clothing items you want. Dress, shirt, pants, bathing suit, blouse, and every variation of these that you can think of. Dont forget shoes, boots and slippers....and hair! She'll need several hairstyles, too!*

Cut out each piece of clothing for a pattern

Now, trace each clothing pattern onto the dull side of iron-on interfacing. These pieces are really small so this is a great way to use up any scraps of interfacing you have left from other projects.

Roughly cut the pieces apart. Don't cut on the lines yet.......

Iron all your fabric scraps smooth.

Place each interfacing piece shiny (fusible) side down, on the wrong side of the fabric scrap. Cover with pressing cloth and iron until fused together.

NOW cut them out on the lines using pinking shears. If you don't have any, this is a good reason to get some. (I got a nice pair of Fiskars for only $5.00 at Joann with a coupon)

Turn them over and add embellishments with markers. In the past I've glued on lace and bows and ribbons, but pre-schoolers tend to pick them off. I think markers do a fine job.

You can add small appliques cut out of scraps and fuse them on with the webbing.

For shoes, just cut them out of felt and use markers to add details.

You can make pets the same way, too, if you have any scraps with animals on them.

* For hair, use a different color of felt for each hairstyle pattern. You could also just make one hairstyle and fuse it on the doll, but my granddaughters think being able to change the hair is one of the best parts!

These pattern pieces are so small I just store them all in a legal size envelope (fold doll pattern lengthwise).

I buy 6 x 9 plastic containers at the Dollar Store to keep each set in.

These Felt Dolls are really so quick and easy to make once you have your patterns made. If you're making one set you might as well make 2-3 at the same time! They make great gifts. They're great to play with in the car or anywhere you need a quiet toy.

For a boy Felt Doll, just make "boy hair" and use boyish fabric : camoflauge, stripes, tiny sports print. Make overalls, boots, baseball jerseys, tennis shoes.

you could also just use felt alone for the clothes for younger kids, but fabrics make them so much more fun, especially for the older kids. And what a great way to use up all those small scraps that you hate to part with!

I just learned this hint a few weeks ago and it works great!: To clean the plate of your iron, just iron over a fresh dryer softener sheet! Flip the sheet over and iron again. Then run the iron over an old towel or clean rag. VOILA! It's like magic! I bought a box of dryer sheets just to keep in my sewing box. No more messy cleaners.....

Enjoy your new Felt Dolls and happy crafting!!!..........