Easy Sewing Tip – Making Doll Arms, Legs

If you sew, at one time or another you must have come across a pattern for something like a doll arm with or leg or some other small object that you are supposed to cut out, sew, then turn for stuffing. At one point I made dolls using my own patterns. I designed a doll with fingers. After cutting out my fabric and going to the sewing machine, I found it virtually impossible to keep the fabric together to sew around those fingers. And pins didn’t work because the fingers were too small. I had to come up with a better solution and not lose the finger details that I wanted!

This is what I did. I put two pieces of fabric together with wrong sides together. Then I put my pattern piece (it was an bent arm with a hand and fingers all in one piece) on on the top piece of fabric and just drew around it lightly with a pencil (you can also use a disappearing ink pen but be careful if using it on white fabric). Then instead of cutting out the arm, I simply left the big pieces of fabric together uncut and took that to the sewing machine. Then I just stitched all along the pencil line leaving a space for turning and stuffing (back stitch on each side of the opening so it won’t rip when you turn it.

After stitching, I cut all around my arm leaving a 1/4 inch of fabric around the line of stitching. Then I turned the fabric and I had a perfectly stitched arm with nice finger details! It was so easy to sew and no pins necessary! Once you try this approach, you will use it all the time! It’s not just handy for small details but for big pieces too. It’s much easier to sew a round circle for a pillow or teddy bear head if you just draw the circle, stitch along the line you drew and cut it out after sewing!

And if you want your doll arms and legs to have some stretch even if you use woven fabric like cotton, just draw your patterns on the bias. Then after you turn it you will have some stretch. And to turn small details like fingers, use a small blunt object like the tip of a bobby pin (one that is coated) or take a toothpick and clip one end and file it smooth. You can also use these blunt objects to stuff small spaces like fingers too.