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Designs by BJ
Barbara Owen
P.O. Box 30716 
Columbia, Missouri 65205-3716

Free Instructions and Pattern!


Supplies needed

  • Small amounts of flesh toned 100% cotton and desired fabric for arms and feet
  • 1/4 yard body/dress fabric
  • 1/4 yard polyester fleece (thin quilt batting)
  • small skein of interesting yarn for hair
  • polyester stuffing
  • Hemostats or other stuffing tools
  • Barbara Willis Mini Stuffing Fork
  • Turn-It-All turning tool set
  • Polyester sewing thread to match fabrics and yarn
  • Fabri-Tac or Thick Designer Tacky Glue
  • Freezer paper
  • 3" doll making needle
  • Fun Faces Rubber Stamps Set from Designs by BJ
  • Berol or Sanford Prismacolor pencils (permanent, not water color pencils)
  • Terra Cotta, Pink, Cream, Crimson, Copenhagen Blue, Violet Blue
  • Pentel Milky Gel Roller K106 pen - white
  • Pigma Pens - size .005 or .01 (Black, Brown, Red)
  • Fabric Felt tipped marker (such as Y & C or Evanscraft) in red brown color - fine point
  • White acrylic paint
  • Createx Textile Medium or Krylon Workable Fixative

  • Copyright © Designs by BJ/Barbara Owen 2000
    Feel free to create individual dolls to sell from this pattern. Please credit Designs by BJ on your tag or card. Dolls may not be mass produced via cottage industry or factory.

    Click HERE for pattern and drawings.
Drawings (Click and Print Below)
    Elisa Drawing A and B
    Elisa Drawing C and D
    Elisa Drawing E
    Elisa Drawing F and G
Please read all instructions before beginning.

If you have an open toe applique presser foot for your machine, use it throughout the machine stitching. This allows unrestricted visibility of the paper edge to stitch beside. Also, if you have a straight stitch throat plate for your machine, life is so much easier. The fabric will not try to disappear into the feed dogs if you use this throat plate.

1) Trace all shapes onto freezer paper. Cut out all pieces accurately on the drawn line using paper scissors. 

2) Head: Iron freezer paper head template onto doubled flesh toned fabric. (Use dry iron set on cotton setting.) Stitch completely around the shape beside the freezer paper. Trim a scant 1/4" beyond the stitched line. Peel off the paper. Mark the "X" on one side of head shape as indicated on the template. Carefully cut the "X" through one side of fabric only. Turn and stuff firmly.

3) Feet: Cut 1 rectangle of desired foot fabric 4" by 7". Fold right sides together so rectangle measures 4" by 3 1/2". Iron 2 freezer paper foot templates onto fabric about 1/2" apart. Stitch around shape leaving straight edge open. Cut around each foot as just as you did for the head. Use the smallest Turn It All Tube and small rod to turn. To do this, place the tube into the foot against the toe. Place the small rod on the outside of the foot against the end of the tube. Roll the foot back onto the rod. DO NOT try to shove the foot down into the tube. Stuff the toe area firmly using the Barbara Willis mini stuffing fork. Continue stuffing the foot leaving about 3/4" from the straight edge without stuffing.

4) Arms: Cut 2 rectangles 6" by 2" from arm fabric. Cut 1 rectangle 3" by 2" of flesh toned fabric. Stitch one arm to each 2" side of hand. (see drawing A) Press seams toward hand fabric. Fold arm/hand unit in half right sides together (see drawing B) and cut down the center of the hand fabric. Fold each arm in half lengthwise. Pin. Line up freezer paper templates for hand shape so that the straight side of the template lines up along the seam between the hand and arm. *IMPORTANT* The thumb goes toward the fold! (see drawing Bb) Use a 1.75 (short ) stitch length. Stitch beside the freezer paper to form a mitten shaped hand and then continue stitching the arm seam. If your machine is prone to eating small pieces of fabric, you can stabilize the piece by putting a piece of adding machine tape paper next to the feed dogs with the fabric on top or by using a tear away stabilizer. Trim about 1/8" beyond the stitching line in the hand area. use a Turn-It-All tool to turn the arms right side out. This is used in the same manner as the brass tube and stick. Using a 3" long doll making needle (or the method you prefer), gently coax the thumb and fingers out.

Stuffing: Use hemostats or other stuffing tools to stuff the hand area firmly. Keep stuffing all the way up the arm but use less and less stuffing as you go. By the time you reach the top of the arm, it is nearly flat with only a tiny amount of stuffing.

5) Body/Dress: Iron freezer paper pattern onto a single thickness of body/dress fabric. Cut out beside the edge of the paper (only cut 1 of this shape). Peel off the paper. Re-iron the same pattern shape onto the polyester fleece (very thin quilt batting).
*IMPORTANT* Be sure to cover the batting with a press cloth before ironing the freezer paper or the batting will melt onto your iron. Cut out as you did for the body/ dress. These 2 shapes should be identical.

6) Assembling the doll's body: Lay the body/dress shaped fleece piece on the table. Lay the body/dress shape on top, right side up. Lay arms on the right side of the body/dress so that thumbs face inward. The raw end of each arm overlaps the shoulder of the doll and sticks out past the shoulder raw edge by about 3/4". (see drawing C) Pin in place so that head of pin sticks out past the raw edges. Position the feet at the hem edge so that approximately 1/4" of straight edge hangs down below the hem and the feet are laying on the body/dress. (Heels almost touch). Pin feet so pin heads stick out past the raw edge. (see drawing D) *You may remove the pins before sewing over them if the pin heads stick out past the raw edge.

Cut 1 rectangle 12" by 6" from fleece and another the same size from the body/dress fabric. Lay the fleece rectangle on the table. Lay dress rectangle on top - right side up. Turn body shape over so that when laid on the rectangles, right sides together, you have a sandwich from the bottom to the top as follows: Fleece rectangle, body/dress rectangle, arms and feet, shaped body/dress piece, shaped fleece piece. Pin together, noting the opening. (see drawing E)

Stitch 1/4" seam using the cut edge of the body/dress/fleece shape as a guide. Be sure to leave the opening unstitched for turning and stuffing. Trim away all excess fabric and fleece. Clip into stitching at neck curve. Do not clip the stitching! use the Turn-It-All tool to turn the neck into the body. Turn body right side out carefully. Stuff the neck very firmly by using a cottony stuffing that will pack hard into the area. The fleece helps to hold it in place. Softly stuff the rest of the body. The thickness of the body is about 1 1/4" at its thickest point. Ladder stitch (or invisibly stitch) the opening closed.

7) Attaching head: Use your finger to tunnel into the stuffing of the head. Insert the neck into the head into the "tunnel". Be sure to support the base of the neck as you put the neck into the head. Pin if necessary and then ladder stitch head to neck. (As the doll is meant to hang on the wall, her head and neck may be a bit wobbly.)

8) Face: Either draw facial features of your choice or use one of the stamps in the Fun Faces Rubber Stamp Set. Use special felt tipped pens for rubber stamping to ink the stamp. Breathe on the stamp to moisten the ink and press onto the head. (Detailed instructions are given with the stamps). Detail the features with Pigma pens. Shade with Terra Cotta pencil. Highlight with Cream pencil. Add eye color of choice. Whites of eyes are filled in with the milky gel roller. Cheeks are pink as well as lips. Shape lips with Crimson. Add eye shadow and eye liner to bring out colors in the fabric of the dress. Sparkle dots in the eyes are white acrylic paint. When paint is dry, brush on a light coat of Createx textile medium over entire face or spray with Krylon Workable Fixative. Allow to dry completely.

9) Hair: Place a long straight pin at the center of the doll's head approximately 1/2" in front of the seam (toward the nose). Lay the yarn across the doll head deciding how long you would like the hair to be. Keep laying the yarn back and forth across the head. How many times? As many as you like! This is where you have to play - it's required! After several strands of yarn have been laid onto the head, add another straight pin (as though you were pinning the part in the hair at the center of the head). The pins just seem to help keep it from slipping off the head. As you get to the back of the head and you can no longer lay the yarn across the head easily, add 3 more pins (see drawing F) at the crown area of the head about 1/4" apart. Now, continue looping the yarn around the pins which fills in the back of the head. Try to keep the length of the hair s even as possible. This is a somewhat unorthodox manner of applying hair, but it works!!
Now, thread a long, thin needle (John James Long Darner is a good one because it is thin and strong) with thread to match the hair. Enter the back of the head with the needle and stitch the part area with little back stitches which attaches the yarn to the doll's head. Remove the "part" pins only. Now, insert the needle on one side of one of the crown pins. Take a stitch over all the yarns that are looped around that pin. Take one or two more stitches in the same way. Remove that pin and repeat for the other two pins. Tie off the thread and cut.
Lift up the hair from the back of the head and apply 2 or 3 horizontal lines of glue across the back of the head. Smooth the yarn down into the glue. Only some of it will stick but that's enough to cover the back of the doll head. Let dry. Now, clip the ends of the yarn so that there are no loops at the bottom of the hair/yarn. Trim as needed.

10) Finishing touches: To create the finger lines, use sharp Terra Cotta pencil and lightly draw the finger lines. Be careful with the next step! Use a permanent fabric pen and a very light touch to go over the lines and round out the ends of the fingers. 
(see drawing G) Felt tipped markers tend to bleed if held against the fabric too long or if a heavy touch is used. A very light touch is the key to success. After the ink is dry, glue or stitch the hands together in front of doll's body. Add beads, trims, hair decoration, etc. to make her your doll. 

Please CLICK HERE ( to  see more patterns from Designs by BJ/Barbara Owen

Designs by BJ
Barbara Owen
P.O. Box 30716 
Columbia, Missouri 65205-3716


Copyright © Designs by BJ/Barbara Owen 2000
Feel free to create individual dolls to sell from this pattern. Please credit Designs by BJ on your tag or card. Dolls may not be mass produced via cottage industry or factory.

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