One of the challenges in tiny rag doll sewing is getting a smooth neck. It is challenging when sewing any doll that has a torso and head as one piece, the stuffing wants to sneak out of the narrow part. I always recommend wool stuffing and that helps but stuffing still escapes sometimes. This past week I came across a great post on stuffing small dolls by Beth, author of By Hook, By Hand, that includes this genius tip for getting a smooth result, particularly in the neck. Spray a little water on the fabric before you stuff.
I gave it a try this week and the result is marvelous. It’s so simple. Also I was impatient so I used a blow dryer to speed things up after I stuffed, not sure if that made a difference or not.
I stuff most of my figures, owls, songbirds etc. as firmly as I can but rag dolls are different. I like rag dolls to be stuffed just enough to completely fill out the shape but not too firmly.
Sculpting from the outside with a needle helps refine the shape too – I mean moving stuffing into little cavities with a needle from the outside after a doll is stuffed and closed. I almost always do this with any stuffed thing I make. And I find it easier to feel the areas that need to be filled in more than looking for them.
While we are on the subject of tiny dolls, find the easy way to turn tiny parts here and tips for hiding knots here.
PS – the songbird print pattern is back in stock and ready to ship
A smooth neck is a challenge for a real woman also
Thank you for these tips they will be very useful. I am new at stuffing dolls and I am getting better. I also paint the faces. I am an artist so I am not doing a bad job
Wow! Thank you for the mention in your blog! I love how this just works like magic when stuffing dolls.
Can your tiny ragged Ann and andys pattern be purchased if so where and how much also do you have a book out on tiny dolls
I love all your tips. I especially love your little rag dolls
Thanks for sharing.
Just found you today, and so enjoying looking at each project. Thank you for sharing to those of us that love hand stitching.