Cloth Dolls (Homemade Christmas pt.1)

My studio is warm and bright with windows and an electric fireplace. I can hear the rooster crowing and a duck that I raised from birth waits outside the she-shed door. Christmas records are turning on the record player and I am busy at work in my workshop.

One of the positives of everyone we know having a tough year financially, is that we are all being resourceful. Whereas in years past, it felt weird giving a homemade gift amongst piles of Amazon specials, this year feels more grounded, more present. Thrift store treasures and homemade gifts are being wrapped and ribboned with love.

The first thing I set out to do was recreate an Amish doll, or a Pillowcase Doll, as my grandmother used to call them when she made them. They are precious, faceless dolls made of fabric. The dresses are often made from a pillow case that has been embroidered and they have a bonnet. I went about creating my own version. I made a pattern by drawing a body on craft paper folded in half. That way, both sides are even. I made it bigger than I wanted to accommodate the seams. I found beige fabric on sale and used it to make the bodies.

  • Fold ironed fabric in half and place pattern on seam and pin. Use a pencil to mark then cut out.
  • Pin right sides together and sew around, leaving a few inches to turn doll right side out.
  • Use quilt batting to stuff doll.
  • Hand sew closed.

I did the same with the dress, drawing half of it and making it bigger than the body for seam allowance.

  • Fold ironed fabric in half and cut around pattern.
  • Cut out four pieces.
  • Pin down neck and sew each one.
  • Pin two pieces of dress right sides together and sew around, leaving neck open.
  • Turn pieces right side out. Sew neck.
  • Pin the finished pieces right side together and sew around, leaving open neck, arm holes, and bottom of skirts.
  • Turn right side out (ironing the whole time!).
  • Dress doll. I made handkerchiefs for both. An apron for one and a crocheted shawl for the other.

Have fun creating your own one of a kind dolls! I bought more beige fabric to make one for my other granddaughter as well as some brown fabric. I will make more of these and put them on my Etsy site,

What are you making this year?

    2 Comments Add yours

      1. Farmgirl says:

        I love my new she-shed!

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