Let’s talk about hair!

doll crochet a long

We’re in the final stretches of the doll-a-long… have you added hair to your doll yet?

I think the hair is one of the most exciting parts because there are so many options! For a general how-to for adding hair, check out this blog post.

Let’s chat hair options, shall we?

Curly Hair

The A Doll Like Me ebook contains instructions for making curly hair:

curly hair doll

Here are a few more tips for working with curly hair for your doll:

  • Keep in mind that if hair is curly, it will appear shorter than if it were straight (due to the curl). You might want to cut longer strands of hair to compensate.
  • The curls are obtained by blocking the yarn into place. Yarns that don’t block well (like acrylic) may not end up as curly as wool yarn.
  • Since the curls are blocked, they will ‘come out’ if you wash/wet your doll’s hair. If you’re planning on machine-washing your doll, go with straight hair.

crochet doll pattern curly hair

Straight Hair

Straight hair can be any length or style! Here are some fun suggestions/tips:

  • If you’d like to add bangs, simply cut some shorter strands and attach at the front of the head.
  • For highlights, cut yarn in a few coordinating colors of yarn.
  • For a bob hairstyle, attach the yarn, and then trim along the bottom so all of the hairs end at the same length.
  • Try putting hair in braids or pigtails!

Which style are you choosing?

The doll-a-long runs until Thursday… still plenty of time to finish yours! Tell me, which hairstyle does your doll have?

How to sew on a button

doll crochet a long

Sewing on a button is a super-cute (and easy) decoration that you can add to your doll.

button sewn on crochet bootie

Check out this adorable button on Mia‘s shoe!
Attaching a button isn’t hard!

Types of buttons

Buttons come in all different shapes and sizes…

types of buttons

You can even find shaped buttons (like a little duck or fruits)! Use your imagination about which button would make your doll shine!

Start your thread

I begin by attaching my thread to the button. If you’re unfamiliar with sewing, watch the video in my blanket stitch tutorial to see how to get started. Instead of sewing on felt eyes (as shown in the tutorial), you’re sewing on a button!

Sew a nice pattern

How you place your stitches depends on the type of button you have. Check out my suggested stitch patterns (shown in brown thread):

how to sew on a button

Once you’ve finished firmly attaching the button, tie a knot! Ta da!

Where will you add buttons?

They’d be cute on shoes, on dress straps or even as hem decorations! Go crazy!

Happy Father’s Day!

In the crafting world, moms get a lot of credit. They’re usually the ones to pass down the actual skill of sewing, crocheting or knitting.

I think, especially on Father’s Day, it’s important to reflect on the skills that fathers pass on to their children. Even though the men in my life didn’t teach me any craft skills, they instilled in me a do-it-yourself (and entrepreneurial) spirit, and passed on the value of quality workmanship.

Read my tribute (written last year) to the great guys I have!

And give your dad a hug!

Best,
Stacey

Tips for attaching a dress to your doll

Tips for Attaching a Dress to Your Crochet Doll - from FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World

How’s your doll coming along?

doll crochet a long

I’ve been seeing some fabulous works-in-progress and finished dolls in the Ravelry Doll-a-long thread… have I seen yours?

Today, I’m going to share some tips for crocheting on the dress/skirt/tutu for your doll!

Tip 1: Start without a head

The dress can be added after your doll has been stuffed and assembled, and many people prefer doing this because they can ‘envision’ what clothing will look best.

However, it’s actually easiest to crochet clothing on before the doll has been stuffed.

Legs of a doll, body

In doing it this way, you can crochet on the dress (and easily maneuver the body) without the bulk of stuffing or the head getting in the way.

Tip 2: Join the new yarn with a sc, in the back

Okay, so this ‘tip’ is written in the pattern, but I thought it was worth repeating!

It may look like the doll’s body doesn’t have a front/back… but take a look at the feet! The toes point forward to the front!

Attach your new yarn with a sc, at the center back of the body. This way, any jog in the rounds will be hidden at the back.

Tip 3: Hold your doll upside down

When attaching the dress, you want the right side of the dress fabric to face outwards.

This means holding the doll ‘upside down’ (head towards you, feet away) when you attach your new yarn.

attaching a dress to a doll

Notice how the right side of the dress is now facing outwards? That’s important! It will continue to do so as you crochet:

outline2

Tip 4: Weave in that end!

When you finish the dress/skirt, you’ll have an end that needs to be woven in. Whip out your tapestry needle, and zig-zag it through the wrong side of the fabric!

How’s your dress coming?

Well… if you’re doing one of the girls, that is! I know a number of you are crocheting Ethan, so you don’t need a skirt… but the same tips apply to attaching the sleeves!

Here’s how my Avery looks:

She’s almost done! Now to make choices about her eye color…

Want to make your own doll? Get the pattern here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Stacey

How to ‘attach with a single crochet’

How to Attach a New Piece of Yarn with Single Crochet - a tutorial from FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World

Occasionally, in a pattern, you’ll read the instruction ‘attach with a sc’. What does this mean? I’ll tell you!

Attach with a single crochet

This technique is used to attach a new yarn to an existing crocheted work. It’s used in the doll patterns to attach a piece of clothing like a dress or a sleeve.

doll crochet a long

Here’s how to do it. Begin with a slipknot on your hook:

how to attach a yarn with a sc

Now, just pretend this loop is any ol’ loop! Insert your hook into the indicated stitch on your crocheted fabric:

How to attach with a sc

And then crochet as instructed!

attach with a sc

Hooray!

How to crochet arms onto your amigurumi

doll crochet a long

How’s your doll coming along?

Some speedy folks have already finished theirs (wow!), but I still have decisions to make. Like, what color should her dress be? Hmm… these are the big questions!

Today, I’m going to show you how to crochet on the arms. The technique is described in the pattern… but oftentimes, some different photos and a new explanation can help if you’re stuck!

Crocheting on arms: when and why?

I’m showing you how to crochet on arms because it’s the technique used in the doll pattern, but it’s something that you can use on lots of patterns!

Crocheting on arms

You can crochet on the arm if:

  • The body is crocheted bottom-up (that is, starting at the bottom and ending at the top)
  • The arm will be attached flat

The main advantage to crocheting on the arm is (for folks who don’t like sewing), you’re attaching the arm by crocheting. The attachment is also quite secure, since it is built into the fabric of the doll. The disadvantage is that it takes a little planning, since the arm needs to be finished to attach it! Another disadvantage is that if you don’t like your positioning, you’ll have to rip out rows of crochet to fix it.

How to crochet on an arm

To start, work to where the arm needs to be attached (as indicated by your pattern). Now, flatten the arm, and stick your crochet hook through both layers of the arm:

crocheting on arms to amigurumi dolls

Notice that you have 3 loops on the hook: the starting loop, then the two from the arm (one from each layer). Now, insert your hook into the next stitch on the body:

crocheting on an arm

I know… it’s a lot of loops!

Now, to do your single crochet, treat the three newest loops as if they’re one. So, wrap your yarn around the hook, and pull through 3 loops. Now, wrap the yarn around the hook again, and pull through the remaining two!

That’s one stitch! Continue (as instructed in the pattern) until the entire arm is attached.

Update – Want to see a video demo of this technique? Click here. 🙂

crocheting on an arm to crochet doll

Where else will you try it?

Now that you’ve mastered the technique, maybe you’ll want to give it a try on some other patterns?

Tips for aligning your doll’s legs

Are you crocheting along with us for the doll-a-long?

doll crochet a long

If so, hooray! What part are you up to? Today I’m going to show you some tips for aligning and crocheting together your doll’s legs!

Not crocheting along? It’s not too late to join in! Grab a copy of the pattern and start crocheting!

How to align the legs

Once you’ve crocheted your legs, you’re going to crochet them together to continue her body. This method of construction is great… since it lets you skip doing any sewing! But it may be new to some of you, so don’t worry if it feels a little confusing.

You want your doll’s toes to be straight and facing forward, right?

Amigurumi crochet doll body

So, once you’ve crocheted your two legs, hold them together so that the toes face in the same direction:

how to align doll legs

Now, here’s the trick! Use a locking stitch marker to pin the legs together in the position you want them:

locking stitch marker

How to crochet the legs together

For details on the crocheting, you’ll want to check out this video.

crocheting legs for doll

Keep going!

Hooray! In my opinion, you’ve just finished the trickiest part of the whole pattern! (Well, besides picking the clothing colors… that’s a real pickle!)

Keep going, and don’t forget to share your progress in our Ravelry Group or on Facebook!

Best,
Stacey

Join the Doll-a-long!

It’s time for another crochet-a-long… aren’t you excited?

This month, we’re doing a doll-a-long!

doll crochet a long

We’ll be crocheting a doll using one of the new FreshStitches doll patterns from the A Doll Like Me! ebook! Your doll is going to be adorable!

The A Doll Like Me! ebook contains instructions for making lots of different pieces… so you can design your own doll! Check out all of the possibilities:
Custom doll crochet pattern

Want to join in with us? Grab a copy of the pattern, pick your favorite colors of yarn and let’s get started!

Join the CAL!

Joining in the CAL is easy! You’ll need to pick your pattern, gather your scraps and follow this blog to get all of the helpful crochet/amigurumi tips that will guide you along the way!

If you’d like, you can even stick this adorable badge on your blog/Ravelry page (right click and save, then link the photo to this post!) to let folks know you’re joining in:

doll-a-long badge

To enter to win the fabulous prize, you’ll want to post a photo of your finished cutie (either on the FreshStitches Facebook page or in the CAL thread of the FreshStitches Ravelry Group) by June 20th! One lucky winner will get a set of those amazing hooks… and yes, international entries are welcome!

Sorry – the CAL is closed now. 🙁

Need felt?

If you like the felt eyes/mouth on these dolls, I recommend using wool felt. It’s sturdier than the acrylic felt that you can find in your local craft store, which means that using wool felt will make your doll’s features last longer and look nicer.

Get wool felt in lots of pretty colors here.

Boy doll crochet pattern

Helpful Blog Posts

As always, I’ll be posting some helpful blog posts throughout the month to help you crochet your doll. Some planned topics include:

  • Help with joining/lining up the legs
  • Chatting about hair
  • How to sew on buttons for decoration
  • More details on how to crochet on an arm
  • How to ‘attach using single crochet’
  • How to cut small felt shapes for decoration

If you have suggestions, let me know!

Are you in?

It’s going to be a blast… and I really hope you join us! Go ahead and leave me a comment… and tell me about your doll-a-long plans! What will your doll look like?


crochet doll pattern afro

If you’re more into cloth rag dolls, take a look at the Dress Up Bunch here.

Happy stitching!

Best,
Stacey