How to make a felt doll family

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family

Stuck for present ideas this Father’s Day? Why not make your pa mini felt versions of the whole clan? Louise Kelly shows you how.

Say goodbye to awkward family photos, and hello to a cute collection of felt mini-mes. We love the idea of making dinky doll versions of ourselves, plus this way you can guarantee your hair and make-up looks spot on.

Each doll is constructed using the same basic steps, with different details added to personalise them. Use felt and scrap fabrics to match the hair colour, skin tone and favourite outfits of each family member. And, don’t forget your furry friends, too – sew on patches or embroider features so they look just like the real thing. We’ve used two strands of thread throughout, unless otherwise specified.

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - felt pets

You’ll need

  • Felt in peach, yellow, brown, red, white, black, grey and pink
  • Embroidery thread in black, pink, white, yellow and brown
  • Scrap fabrics for the outfits
  • Two buttons, 0.5cm (¼”) diameter
  • Soft toy stuffing
  • Glitter card
  • Fabric glue
  • Templates

How to make a doll

Step 1

Using the templates, cut out all pattern pieces, adding a seam allowance to the clothing.

Step 2

Position the hair front piece on top of the face piece. Sew in place around the hairline using backstitch and matching thread.

Step 3

Place the neck piece on the wrong side (WS) of the hair back piece, using the face to position it correctly – the base of both neck pieces should line up. Sew together along the base of the hairline using matching embroidery thread.

Step 4

Cut two small ovals of black felt for the eyes. Attach to the face using blanket stitch and matching thread, referring to the main image for placement. Add highlights using French knots in white thread, and eyelashes using straight stitches and matching thread.

Step 5

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 5

Using black thread and backstitch, sew the mouth. For the mum, use backstitch and pink thread to create an outline, then fill in the lips with satin stitch.

Step 6

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 6

To make the dad and the boy’s cotton body pieces, place a shirt and a jeans piece with right sides (RS) facing. Sew across the waist using a 0.5cm (¼”) seam allowance, then press the seam open.

Step 7

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 7

Place a cotton body piece onto a felt body piece, RS up. Position the face piece on top, RS together and aligning the neck pieces. When making the mum, place the Peter Pan collar in between the head and the body, aligning the straight edge with the neck edge. Do the same for the girl, but using the pinafore collar. Sew across the neck, then repeat with the remaining body pieces and hair back piece.

Step 8

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 8

Open out the front and back pieces of the doll. Pin together with RS facing, aligning the edges and neck area. Starting at the base of the doll, backstitch around the outside of the felt body and head pieces, using a 0.25cm (1/8″) seam allowance and leaving a 2.5cm (1″) gap at the bottom for turning.

Step 9

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 9

Turn through to the RS, stuff firmly, then neatly close the gap using ladder stitch.

How to make the mum

Step 10

Sew the buttons under the centre of her collar using matching thread. To give the top knot a round bun shape, wind matching thread around it a few times, pull the thread taught, then fasten off.

How to make the dad

Step 11

To make a bow tie, sew the short ends of the large bow piece together, then flatten the loop so the seam sits at the centre back. Pinch the middle of the bow, wrap a thin length of felt around it, and secure with a few stitches at the back. Without cutting the thread, sew the bow to the shirt.

How to make the girl

Step 12

Backstitch the pinafore collar to the body. To add the pocket, fold the scalloped edge of the pocket piece to the RS. Sew to the body along the curved edge, RS up, and leaving the top of the pocket open.

How to make the boy

Step 13

Backstitch the pocket piece to the front of the body, leaving the top of the pocket open.

How to make a pet

Step 14

Stitch the pet belly piece centrally onto a pet body piece. Stitch the inner ear pieces onto the outer ear pieces, aligning the bottoms of each ear piece.

Step 15

Free tutorial to make a felt doll family - step 15

Sew your chosen details onto a pet head piece to make the face – we added an eye patch and a black nose to the dog, and stripes and a pink nose for the cat. Using black thread, embroider two French knots for the eyes and straight stitches for the mouth.

Step 16

Place the ear pieces onto the face with RS together, aligning the base of the ears with the top of the head. Tack in place close to the edge, so when the pet is turned RS out, the ears will pop out at the top.

Step 17

Repeat Steps 7-9 of the main doll instructions to assemble the pet.

Step 18

Sew a thin strip of felt around the neck to make a collar, securing it at the back with a few stitches. Cut a small round tag shape from glitter card and glue it in place to finish.

 

Louise Kelly – free tutorial to make a felt doll family

About Louise Kelly

Louise lives in the lovely city of Derry in Northern Ireland, with her two beloved hounds. Her passion is doll making and she’s just had her debut book, Sew Your Own Dolls, published by CICO Books. Find her on Instagram and Facebook @loulovesthis.

www.loulovesthis.etsy.com