Tweaking Doll Patterns

I’ve been working with a few patterns I designed for dolls for a while now.  They have all been tweaked here and there as I learned more about how certain curves will behave. 

In the beginning, I started with parts of a pattern I found at  I learned a lot from this doll maker.  I was in need of some help with heads because I wanted to make the doll much smaller and more detailed.  This doll will be about 10 inches tall, the pattern is for a 19” doll.  But I just needed some basic shape guidance to get my pattern right.   The Kimono doll pattern calls for another layer of fabric and using a q-tip for the nose underneath.  I adjusted the face to get a nose in there.  I’m so pleased that I got it right on the 3rd pattern adjustment!  The thing that is really surprising to me, the thing that I kept getting wrong, is the chin.   In the past, I kept making a profile of the face but in this pattern, I stuck with the chin curve in a convex fashion rather than concave.  TaDaaa!  That did the trick!  ( the teardrop shape is the face front pattern piece)

The head on the Right is the original pattern shape from nuno doll.  You have to be very careful where the 4 seams meet at the crown and the chin.  I kept catching the seam allowance from another seam or the fabric in the chin slipped and a hole opened up.  I found that I had to sew just to the intersection and not go past it.

The other thing I’d like to do is get my faces looking more realistic but still with a fantasy sort of feel.  I got some great tips from Doll Maker’s Muse on coloring the iris.  (She does amazing eyes with lashes and lids!!)

This face is still not finished.  I will make a new head to try again.  Notice the practice eye.  It’s so much easier to do flat, of course.  All of those sharpies were used on the iris!  I use a combination of permanent markers, paint and pencils.


One fun thing I added this time is “X” stitches running along every seam line. 

I’m going for a sort of steam punk fairy.  I’ve already made the corset and I’m very excited about the skirts.  I’ll reveal more of that later. 

Thanks for following along!  I’d love to see your comment!


About BarbaraZ

Multi-media artist specializing in the fiber/ quilting medium. View all posts by BarbaraZ

2 responses to “Tweaking Doll Patterns

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