With a dowel and chenille stick frame, and wearing clothes made from recycled woollen and ticking garments, she will become a much-loved part of your Christmas tradition, returning every year to herald the start of the festive season.
To make a smaller doll, halve all measurements, keeping seam allowances the same.
Gather your supplies
0.25m x 112cm calico; sewing thread: cream; sewing needle; polyester fibrefill; 5mm-diameter wooden dowel; drill and 5mm drill bit; hot-glue gun and glue sticks; scraps of ticking and assorted salvaged knitted wool fabric (such as from jumpers or scarves); yarn in colour to match salvaged wool; fine-tip fabric marker pen: black; tree-shaped button; 2 chenille sticks; natural twine; 2 black seed beads (optional); cosmetic blusher; air-dry clay; acrylic craft paint: orange; 3cm-square wood block; scrap of red ribbon; scrap of cream cardstock; 5cm-thick slice from 13cm-diameter branch; white glitter; tacky craft glue; diagram
Tip Salvage fabrics for the doll’s clothing from worn-out men’s wool suiting, old jumpers or discarded hats and gloves.
Note Sew with right sides together using a scant 3mm seam allowance (indicated by dashed lines on patterns).
Step 1 Enlarge and trace head, body, arm, socks, pants, mitten, shoe and hat diagrams onto white paper and cut out.
Step 2 From calico, cut 4 heads and 2 bodies. Pin 2 heads together and sew along 1 curved edge to make a head unit. Clip seam allowance close to stitching. Open pieces; press seam allowances open. Repeat with the 2 remaining heads to make a second head unit.
Step 3 Pin head units together and sew along curves, leaving 2 straight edges open. Do not turn right-side out.
Step 4 Sew gathering stitches along 1 straight edge (top). Pull up gathering stitches to close opening; knot off. Turn head right-side out. Stuff firmly with fibrefill.
Step 5 Sew gathering stitches around remaining open edge of head (neck), leaving a long thread tail. Set head aside.
Step 6 Sew body pieces together, leaving neck edge open. Turn right-side out and stuff body firmly with fibrefill. Sew gathering stitches around neck edge, leaving a long thread tail.
Step 7 Cut a 10cm length of wooden dowel. Place a dab of hot glue on 1 end of the dowel and insert it through neck opening and into fibrefill in body. Pull the long thread tail to close the opening tightly around the dowel and knot off. Set body aside.
Step 8 Using a 5mm drill bit, drill 2 holes 4cm deep, about 2.5cm apart, in centre top of wood slice. Cut 2 lengths of wooden dowel 20cm each. Using hot-glue gun, place a dab of glue in each hole and insert dowels into the holes for legs.
Step 9 Determine front of the head, so the face has a seam down centre. If desired, place a pin on face seam. Shape head with fingers and place over neck dowel in body. Reshape head as desired. Remove head from neck dowel. Dab hot glue on end of neck dowel and place head back on dowel. Pull long thread tail at head base to tightly close opening around dowel and knot off.
Step 10 Mark 2 dots about 2.5cm apart on bottom of body (distance between dots needs to match width between legs). Cut a very small slit in body at each dot. Using a leftover piece of dowel, poke through slits into fibrefill to create space for legs and to ensure legs will slide smoothly into body. Place body on legs, but do not glue.
Step 11 Using pattern piece labelled ‘Hat Step 1’, cut shape from a scrap of wool fabric. Fold hat piece in half crosswise and sew on edge opposite fold. Centring seam in front, sew along curved line shown on the ‘Hat Step 2’ pattern. Cut about 5mm outside the curved seam. Turn hat right-side out, poking out hat tips using leftover dowel.
Step 12 To make a pompom for the hat, wrap yarn around a fabric marker about 30 times; slide off wraps. Tie a short length of yarn around centre of wraps. Cut through loops on each side, and shake. Trim yarn ends to round pompom. Repeat to make a second pompom. Hot-glue a pompom to each hat tip. Place hat on top of head with seam at back. Hot-glue in place, if you like.
Step 13 For the jumper, cut a 15cm square from knitted wool fabric. Fold square in half and sew long edge to make a tube. Turn right-side out. Sew a gathering stitch along 1 opening, leaving a long thread tail. Place jumper over doll’s head and pull the gathering thread tightly to cinch jumper around neck; knot off. Hot-glue tree-shaped button to front of jumper.
Step 14 Use arm pattern pieces to cut 2 arms from ticking. Fold each arm piece in half lengthwise and sew long edge to make a tube. Turn arms right-side out. Feed a chenille stick into each arm and fold stick ends over arm ends. Gently stuff arms with fibrefill. Mark a spot on each shoulder where arm will attach. Cut a small slit at each mark. Hot-glue 1 open end of each arm closed. Insert the glued ends into shoulder slits and hot-glue to secure. Tightly roll up remaining ends of arms and hot-glue to secure.
Step 15 Using mitten pattern, cut 4 mittens from wool fabric. Sew 2 mitten pieces together along curved edge, leaving straight edge open; turn right-side out. Repeat with remaining mitten pieces. Stuff each mitten lightly with fibrefill. Hand-stitch a mitten to wrist area on each arm. Wrap each wrist with a small scrap of wool; secure wool by wrapping and knotting a short length of twine.
Step 16 Using shoe pattern, cut 4 shoes from wool fabric. Sew together 2 shoe pieces along curved edge, leaving straight edge (heel) open. Turn right-side out. Repeat for remaining shoe pieces. Stuff each shoe firmly with fibrefill. Hand-stitch heels closed. Set shoes aside.
Step 17 Using sock pattern, cut 2 socks from knitted wool fabric (stretchy fabric works best). Fold each sock in half lengthwise and sew along long edge to make a tube. Turn right-side out. Set socks aside.
Step 18 Using pants pattern, cut 2 pants pieces from wool fabric or ticking. Sew shapes together, leaving short edges open; turn right-side out. Sew a gathering stitch around top of pants, leaving a long thread tail.
Step 19 Remove body from leg dowels. Hot-glue a shoe in front of each leg dowel on base. Slide a sock over each leg dowel, pulling sock over back of shoe. Place pants over leg dowels; tuck bottoms of pant legs into socks. Dab hot glue on end of each leg dowel. Slide body back on leg dowels and hold in place until glue sets. Pull pants up over body. Pull gathering thread to tighten pants around body; knot off.
Step 20 Determine location of eyes on face using pins. (Note: To avoid mistakes when drawing face, you can poke straight pins threaded with black seed beads into head to determine eye placement.) When happy with placement, gently brush cosmetic blush onto cheeks. Remove 1 pin at a time and use a fine-tip black fabric marker to make a dot for each eye. Draw a small eyebrow above each eye.
Step 21 Roll a tiny quantity of air-dry clay into a cone shape for nose and allow to dry. Paint nose orange and allow to dry. Carefully poke a tiny hole into head for nose placement; dab hot glue on base of nose and insert nose into head. Allow to dry. Draw a mouth below nose using a marker pen.
Step 22 For a gift, wrap wood block with a fabric scrap; attach ribbon bow. Hot-glue gift to mittens. Cut a 1.5cm square from cream cardstock for a tag and print your desired message on 1 side. Glue
tag to gift.
Step 23 Cut a 5 x 35cm scrap of wool for a scarf. Fringe ends. Wrap scarf around doll’s neck.
Step 24 Use tacky craft glue to attach doll’s feet to branch slice to mount. Allow to dry completely.
Step 25 Brush hat and scarf lightly with glue and sprinkle with a dusting of white glitter ‘snow’.