Tools and materials

What do I need to make a (sewn) doll? 

If you are knitting a doll, the materials for the doll’s body are included in the Pattern. This list covers Face, Hair and Clothing for all types of dolls.

  • Sharp fabric scissors and small sewing scissors
  •  Chenille needles with a large eye and sharp point. Size 22 is ideal.
  •  Ordinary sewing needles.
  •  Large darning needles if you want to “model” the details of the body form.
  •  Blunt tapestry needles won’t go through fabric, but work well with knitted dolls.
  • Pins with bead heads so the pins don’t slide into the body and get dangerously lost..
  • Pin cushion or needle book or piece of coloured felt or polystyrene block
  • sewing machine (basic is fine). Hand-sewing takes time and must be strong.
  • Paper for drawing on and cutting out patterns, perhaps tracing paper too.
  • Photocopy or tracing of the Classic Pattern.
  • Chalk,  or non smudge pen for outlining patterns
  • Face making: coloured felt or embroidery thread, crochet cotton (very good), pearl cotton
  • Doll filling; polyester, Tontine, Filwell are all light and easy to work with. Avoid cut up clothing or wool or cotton waste as the doll gets too heavy for freight and play.
  • Wool for hair; could be different textured wools, black or other creative colours. Cut up narrow strips of black panty hose or black stretch knit fabric to make strong hair. If the hair is a knitted wig or hair piece, then knitting needles are needed.
  • Fastenings. Buttons, ribbons, cords, or sewn on pieces of Velcro (not glued). Learning how to put on and do up clothes is fun for all children.
  • Brown, black and white sewing reels of threads (polyester or cotton).
  • Strong fishing line or hat elastic for threading beads.
  • Elastic for waist bands.
  • Decorations; braids, beads, ribbons, fringes, tassels, jewellery, sparkly things.
  • Choice of different fabricsRecycled T-shirts, odd bright socks, sleeves of knitted sweaters, dressmaking off cuts , stretch knit fabrics, faux fur, Jungle animal prints, African style geometric prints.
  • Some of you will have all these requirements at home – others may not! For this reason, we offer kits for a minimal $5, to help new doll makers get started. Here is our shop.