Sunday, May 30, 2010

tutorial - waldorf-inspired sock doll - 6. body stitching (zipper stitch!)

here's the links past for this multi-post tutorial on waldorf-inspired sock dolls:

make your own, from materials you already have! this is a great way to repurpose holy socks with no other use and create a friend for your child, or another!

the next step is really very simple, but it requires a special stitch; the zipper stitch. here's a good close-up of the zipper stitch on my first doll:
a zipper stitch cinches two pieces of fabric together with parallel stitches. see how this creates a zig-zag looking seam? it is also very flexible for shaping pieces as you go. i use it to sew up most of my stuffed creatures. the smaller the stitches you make, the smaller the zig-zagging will appear. it is almost invisible on thick wool.
1. we will begin to stuff and sew the rest of the body together. you will need lots more stuffing - recycled sock bits or what-have-you. turn the cuff down as much as possible, and use a long dowel or other tool to push the stuffing into the toes. (i used a marker.)
2. this step is optional, but pretty neat. especially if you like to make shoes for your dollies. after you stuff a 'foot area' (keep in mind, you can shape these more or less than i have in your sewing too), place a pin where you would like the ankle to be. the pin will hold space for the ankle to be flexible, and you will sew it up later.
3. stuff the legs. squeeze here and there to get the right body weight. you can easily overstuff with the stretchy sock material, so shape it as you go.
4. now turn the cuff inside itself (tucking it inside all the way around) so that it is the proper length for your body. this will be up to you to determine. you will leave any 'extra' you might have on the inside - just for added stuffing. in this way, you will also be able to keep the cuff folded down more in the under arm area of your doll, and scootch a little fabric up toward the front and back of the neck as needed.
5. add stuffing, again squeezing and shaping as needed. then pin the cuff/body piece all the way around - under the arms, at the neck, and the back. now you will simply use the zipper stitch to cinch it all together! be sure you are sewing the body to the neck just under the head tie off (not the head!).
6. if you've chosen to do the articulated feet, sew a little line of zipper stitch across the front at the ankle. you will probably want to hold the foot at the angle you desire (more or less perpendicular) while you sew.
that's it! now we just need to embroider a face, and add hair. the way i know how to make hair involves crochet, but i know there are ways to sew it in instead too. you'll just have to do whatever works best for you!

i made a little silent video of the zipper stitch. don't be confused by my little fumbles though. you don't need to start each stitch *in front* of where the last stitch comes out. it's best to start each stitch *right behind* where the last stitch ended. it gets tricky with knit fabrics sometimes (or at least it did for me!). the teacher i worked with would tell the students: "horizontal stitch, horizontal stitch, then cinch, horizontal stitch, horizontal stitch, then cinch." i plan on making a smaller 'knot doll' tutorial too, if this seems overwhelming to you. as always, please ask away if you have questions or there are areas that need more clarification.

blog comments powered by Disqus