As soon as I wrote this post about sewing softies with stretchy knits, I started getting questions about using knits to make Dress Up Bunch rag dolls. I decided to give it a try and the answer is YES!
With a couple of caveats. 🙂
Everything in the post about stuffed animals applies to rag dolls.
- Test your fabric with a universal needle and prepare to switch to a stretch or ballpoint needle if needed.
- Do not overstuff.
The Do Not Overstuff rule is especially important for rag dolls. If you stuff them too fat, they won’t be able to fit into the regular Dress Up Bunch clothing patterns!
The knit fabric will change the proportions of your doll a bit – she’ll be a little wider. You can see the difference here between the knit Poppy (purple hair) and the woven Poppy (copper hair).
I was super careful not to overstuff, but you can see that the knit Poppy still has a slightly wider head.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you’ll also want to use a knit fabric for the hair. If you use felt hair with the knit skin, the hair will not stretch but the face will and it will look like her face is bulging out from under her hair. Not cute. 🙁
I used this peat solid from Cloud9 Fabrics for the hair, and a very high quality Waldorf doll skin fabric in tan (from Weir Crafts) for the body.
So you need to be extra careful with the stuffing, but the finished doll is incredibly soft and cuddly in a way that you can only achieve with knit fabric. Give it a try!
Update – I added a new post here showing a Dress Up Bunch doll made with Cuddle Fleece – and it has an overview of all the specialty fabrics I’ve used for these dolls over the years. Go take a look!