Rag doll Ting-Ting
Could I tempt you to make such a doll and offer it to someone special for Valentine’s Day? By putting a small bell under its dress, the doll would make your friend smile every time he clinks it. In addition, made by your hands, the gift will be especially dear to him He can hang it on the rearview mirror of his car, pin it with a magnet on the refrigerator or hang it somewhere at home or on his bag
Did I inspire you?! Now, I will try to explain as clearly as possible how to make one. If you know how to sew evenly by hand, you do not even need a sewing machine! I used it just for the dress and the hat (it’s faster this way), but most things are done by hand.
What you need:
- A piece of cotton fabric for the dress and hat
- An old white cotton underwear for the face
- Wide lace or suitable fabric for the apron
- Cotton to stuff the face
- A clew of knitting wool for the hair
- Thin ribbon – 20 cm – to finish the braids
- Thin ribbon – 16-20 cm – to hang the doll
- Lace, 10-12 mm wide, to finish the cap and gown – 55 cm in total
- A metal bell
It starts with the head. It is somehow the most important step because if you get to make a cute little face, the doll will be charming. Take the white underwear and cut a circle of 10 cm in diameter.
Take a ball of cotton and smooth the top layer backward and inward, trying to make a smooth, slightly flattened ball. Face side, the ball must make 4 cm wide.
Place the cotton ball in the middle of the white flannel circle, the smooth side facing the circle. Then wrap the circle round the cotton, joining all the edges in the middle of the cotton ball. To give you an idea, the result should look like a balloon (a bit pressed down), or like this:
While holding tight the flannel fabric from the back, smooth the front of the face, trying to give it a smooth round shape. Sew the head behind and trim a bit the extra fabric so that it doesn’t inflate the hat too much.
It’s time to make the fringe. To this end, wrap the wool thread around your index and ring fingers. Then, cut the two opposite sides. You will get a bundle of short threads (approx. 3 cm long). Take this bundle and sew it on the top edge of the head. Follow this scheme:
Repeat as many times as necessary to obtain an acceptable width of the fringe.
Make two braids of the same length and thickness from the wool clew. Sew them up on both sides of the head. Follow the scheme above.
Hand embroider 2 eyes and a small mouth, and why not a nose. Try to center well on the little face.
Cut two circles of 12 cm diameter from the clothing fabric to make the doll’s hat. Put them one over the other, fabric faces out. Sew them together with a tight zigzag following the circumference of the circle. Cut out any fabric trimmings.
Choose one of the faces of the circles as front part of the hat. Border it with lace from that side.
Draw a circle of 6 cm in diameter in the middle of the circle for the hat (with a discrete chalk). Make a straight and spaced stitch following the chalk line (I set the machine to 4). You can also do it by hand. Leave a good margin of thread to pull the stitch in the end.
Take one end of the thread and pull so that the inner circle rumples and shapes the hat. Measure the hat on the doll’s head. If necessary, pull a bit more or loosen a little.
Distribute the pleat evenly round the inner circle of the hat. Tie a knot with the thread ends. Sew the hat discretely on the head (from the inside).
Trace with a chalk the following cut on the back of the fabric for the dress:
Cut it, leaving a margin of 5-8 mm beyond the chalk line.
Zigzag all the sides of the rectangle. Fold the lower side on the chalk line. Pin it, fixing the lace at the same time. Sew it with a straight stitch.
Fold the rectangle in two widthwise, the face of the fabric inwardly. Align the chalk lines on the short side and sew with a straight stitch (on the chalk line). Turn inside out. You must have a sort of cylinder with a lace below.
Draw the following cut with a chalk on the reverse side of the fabric for the apron:
Cut it leaving a margin of 5 to 10 mm beyond the chalk line.
Zigzag the entire circumference and make a hem on 3 sides, sewing with a straight stitch.
Place the apron at the front side of the dress, the sides without hem in the same direction. Then make a hem by folding the dress and the apron (inwards). Sew by hand getting this:
Then pull the thread end until the top of the dress closes completely (the apron too, logically). Distribute the tucks evenly, smooth the apron.
Sew the dress and apron to the head. Make a beautiful finish with a piece of ribbon around the “neck” of the doll.
Fix the bell under the dress with a discrete stitch.
Sew a thin ribbon on the cap, so that the doll can be hung up somewhere. And tie ribbons on both braids. Fix them with a discrete stitch.
Well Done!!! You now have a Ting-Ting rag doll to offer to the person you love!