Waldorf “Sweetpea Doll” Tutorial

I am finally getting around to posting this tutorial… I am going to post the Waldorf Doll Head Tutorial afterwards, but bearing in mind that it takes hours and hours to upload photos and write the instructions clearly enough to understand… it might be more “tomorrow” than “today” that I post it.

So let us begin:

all the drawings are drawn on A4 paper if you want to print them out, and this will also give you an idea of size. The final doll measures 10 inches in total, but of course, my dolls are never standard, and the dimensions vary every time I make them.

Not sure if you can read the measurements: the head is 2 and a half inches, and the rest of the body is 7 and a half inches. There is an outer body made of velour, and an inner secure body made of cotton (the weighting pellets are in here) The head and hands are made from dollskin.

I used pure new carded wool to stuff the doll.

I made a head to start with, measuring 2 and a half inches in diameter (Remember, with Waldorf dolls the head is usually one fourth or a quarter of the final body size)

Cut 2 of the body and 2 of the inner bag.

All measurements DO NOT INCLUDE seam allowances, I draw onto the fabric, sew around the lines drawn and then cut out.

Lay your pieces onto the WRONG SIDE of your fabric, and draw around them (I use a gel pen which works well) I made my neck about twice as wide as shown here (see below):


I pinned, then sewed around the lines, leaving a gap where the neck is and where the cuffs on the arms are.

I sewed the hands and stuffed them firmly, then stuffed the arms, also stuffed firmly, but not so stiff that they can’t be bended.

Push the hands into the gap at the arm cuffs, and sew them firmly on, using small secure stiches. (make sure there is the same amount of “hand” showing before you stitch them)

Lightly stuff the velour body, pushing the wool to the bottom, where it peters off into a point.

Push the inner cotton bag into the body, and pour your weighting pellets in here (I have read of dolls being weighted with beans or millet, but our climate is so damp (in Ireland) that I was a bit worried about putting in anything that could potentially grow, so I used plastic weighting pellets. I poured enough in to give it a pleasant weight -I never weighed, but I have a feeling it was around 100gms. It all depends on how heavy you want your doll to be)

I stuffed some wool into the inner body after the pellets to make the upper body of the doll firm, then pull out the inner cotton bag and sew back and forward firmly to securely close the neck completely:

What wonderful neat sewing!! All that matters is that it is SECURE, especially important if a child who likes to chew gets a hold of this doll.

Sew through the velour and the inner bag so that the inner bag doesn’t end up “slipping down” into the body with use.

Tuck the sewn part back into the body then into that pocket created, insert your head.

Tuck the arms in besde the head on either side of the head:

In order to sew the body and arms to the head, lift the arms up like this:

Insert a doll needle (mine is 5″) through the underarm-body-velour, arm (make sure it goes through the arms tucked into the body), head, arm and underarm-body-velour before coming out the other side. I used doubled up very strong (I’m pretty sure it was upholstery) cotton thread.

Then when it was quite securely attached together (I sewed back and forth 3 or 4 times), I sewed around the neck, making sure to catch the fabric from the head. It is really worth sewing very securely here, making sure you are catching the fabric as you go, because you don’t want it to all fall apart at first toddler-hug!!

There are no diagrams for the hat, simply because I didn’t make any (!)… I stretched the velour around the head (wrong side out) then made a running stitch into a trianglar shape to create the hat shape (it is basically a triangle folded over), then stitched it on the machine, turned it the right way out, pulled it down over the head, and sewed it securely all around the brim with small stitches.

And then the face! I’m still not completely happy with my faces… I need a lot more practice I think!

As always, I find Maricristan Sealys book: Making Waldorf Dolls my doll-making bible, it is such a simple, easy to follow book, and has all the basics covered with clear, well written instructions.

I would LOVE to see pictures of any finished dolls inspired by this tutorial; you could post your link here in this blogpost in the comments, or/and post a photo on The Nest Facebook page here.

I welcome any comments/ querys / suggestions, and trust that any doll you may make, and/ or the using of this tutorial will be solely for personal use only.

You may not reproduce this pattern in print or claim it as your work, do not copy and paste pattern to another website, please use a link.
Thank you!

(I’m linking up with Lovely Crafty Home, Making The World Cuter Follow Along, 

Making the World Cuter Monday & Singing Three Little Birds, 

and Hope Tuesday: Tutorial Tuesday

check out all the crafty ideas there!)

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