Skill Sheets
© Judi K. Ward - Judi's Dolls
Judi’s Dolls


1. Put a metal shank button down inside the opening in the top of the stuffed arm/leg with the shank against the inside fabric. The shank of the button needs to be about 1” from the top edge. (The shank, not the edge of the button) illus.. #1 below. ( When using a very large, 2” or more button, the shank will be farther down.)

2. Put a straight pin through the shank of the button from the outside. Now repeat step 1 and 2 for the other limbs. Make sure to plan a right and left arm and leg! The side of the limb with the pin, will be against the doll’s body when the doll is jointed. See illus. # 2 (The pin will be removed before jointing!)

3. Finish stuffing the arms and legs very firmly. Do not put any stuffing between the doll’s “skin” and the shank of the button! You have to be able to see and feel that shank under the fabric, for the jointing step!

4. Whip stitch, or preferably LADDER STITCH the tops shut. A ladder stitch ENTERS AND EXITS on the RIGHT SIDE of the seam line on one side, and then does the same on the other side. Take 3 or 4 stitches that way, first on one side, then on the other, and then pull them tight. Continue back and forth this way to the end of the opening. Sew in place a few times to anchor the stitching and “lose the ends”.  The edges of the fabric will turn to the inside, and the finished closing will be nearly invisible. Firm knit fabrics close more invisibly than wovens.

5. Put the arms at the sides of the body, positioned so the tops of the arms will be even with the shoulders of the body. Peek under the arm and mark a dot with a pen, at the spot where the button shank touches the body.

6. Squeeze the lower body to narrow it in the crotch area. Place the legs at the side of the body, down low, and mark a dot where the leg shanks touch the body. Be sure that the legs are low on the body! If you put them up high, the doll will be very hippy and spraddle legged, like you see with
some Teddy Bears.

7. Now, thread 2 strands of heavy nylon cord, about 1 yard long (or 4 strands of nylon dental floss) through the eye of your long (8”-9”) jointing needle, and pull it only about 4” through.

8. Now put the needle, carrying the cords through the shank of the button in one arm. Pull the cords ½ way through, take the needle off, and tie. You now have an arm tied to the cords.

9. Now, put all 4 (or 8) strands of cord through the needle’s eye, again pulling it only about 4” through.

10. Put the needle in at the mark on the correct side of the body, and twist it back and forth while pushing, until it comes out the other side, at the dot you marked there.

11. Now, take ½ of the cords out of the needle’s eye. You will have either 2 (or 4) still through the eye.

12. Now, put the needle through the shank of the button in the second arm, from the left to the right, and then take the cords out of the needle.

13. Now, thread the other 2 (or 4) cords through the eye of the needle, again pulling it only about 4” through.

14. Now, put the needle with the last 2 (or 4) strands through the shank of the button from the right to the left, and then take the cords out of the needle. The cords are now opposing, so they can be pulled and tied.

15. Now, pull the cords tightly, pulling the arms tightly against the body. When they are tight, hold the doll down firmly with one hand, all the while keeping the tension on the cords. With the cords in the other hand, quickly wrap the cords between the body and arm 2 full revolutions.  This wrapping stops the cords from letting loose, and now YOU can let loose and tie the cords in at least 2 good knots.

16. Now cut the cord ends short, but not right at the knot. Tuck the ends between the body and arm. Repeat for the legs.

See Illus. #3 for the direction of the cords. NOTE: The needle goes through the body only ONCE!

Skill Sheet# 2 - Embroidery After Stuffing

For many dolls it is best to do the embroidery after your dolls head is stuffed. Enter at a spot away from the feature you are going to embroider, proceed with the embroidery, and then exit at a location away from the feature again. It is desirable to enter and exit where the hair will cover if possible.

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~ Instructions ~

Judi's Dolls