Sensory Doll

I’ve been wanting to make Leif this doll for a while now.  He’s so into taking things apart, pushing buttons, pulling levers…. I thought he’d enjoy it.  It was a lot of fun to make!

If you want to make one for your favorite little explorer you’ll need:

  • fabric for the body (I used an old sweater that was given to me… it has a great texture and reminds me of a teddy bear)
  • Contrasting fabric scraps for the shirt, shorts and pocket
  • buttons, string, or whatever you would like to create the face
  • 5″ zipper (with a large zip for little fingers)
  • 10″ ribbon for the belt
  • easy-open snap for belt
  • large, bright button for the pocket
  • 6″ ribbon for foot strap
  • velcro for foot strap
  • ~2 feet of string/shoelace for the other foot
  • bells
  • crinkly paper
  • small beans (~1 cup)
  • stuffing

(Here’s something major!!  If your little one is still into putting things in his mouth, you may want to hold off on this doll since there are so many buttons and choking hazards!)

First cut out your pattern (download it here.… don’t let your printer ‘scale it to fit page’.  You want it at 100%.  And some of it is drawn really close to the edge of the page, so just be sure to compare what’s on your computer to what printed out… sorry about that!  It’s very hand made!)  You should have these pieces:

You will need to tape the four piece for the body together before cutting it out.  Lay down #1 first, then #2 on top, and so on…

Iron your fabric.  Then, using the pattern, cut out your fabric.  You will need two body pieces.  I only put clothes on the front, but you could cut a second set of clothes and dress the back if you want.

Put the right sides of the shirt pieces together and sew 1/2″ seam.  I used a baste stitch for all but the last 1″ closest to the waist.  That was a regular stitch.  Then unfold the fabric and press the seam open.

Sew the zipper to the wrong side

Then rip all but the last 1″ of seam.

Trim the excess zipper.  Fold the zipper and neck seam and sew 1/4″ seam.  Sew 1/4″ seams at the arm holes and waist.  Then sew a 1/4″ seam at the pants waist and leg holes also.  Sew 1/4″ seam all the way around the pocket, and measure and make your button hole.  Measure out where you want the button to go so that it will match up to the button hole on the pocket, and sew the button to the pants.  Then, sew the pocket to the pants so that the button matches up.  (was that too much???  Does that all make sense?)

Pin the pants and belt straps to the body front (matching the waist and leg corners to the triangle tabs on the body).  Sew 1/4″ seam on the sides of the legs, leaving the wast and leg holes open.

Measure out where you would like the snap to go on the belt.  Trim the excess belt (leaving 1/2″ or so extra so you can sew a seam on each end)

Sew belt end seams and sew on snap.

Place ribbon on foot (either one) and sew them onto the edge of the leg.  Then attach and sew the velcro (making sure that the upper and lower pieces meet up then the strap closes).

On the other foot, sew a piece of shoe lace to the edge of each foot.  Make sure the pieces are long enough to tie into a bow.

Sew on a face.

Place the right sides of the body together.  Pin and sew the body front and back, (with a 1/2″ seam) leaving a large enough hole to turn the doll inside out.  Trim off excess fabric.

Yes… Toby is feeding the doll some salad!

Turn it right side out.  I put little beans (about 1/2 cup each) into the feet for texture, followed by stuffing.  Then I placed ~4 bells into one arm, and crinkly paper into the other, followed again by stuffing, so that nothing moved around.  Then stuff the rest of the body.  The sweater material I used was nice and stretchy.  I love the way the finished doll looks like he’s wearing clothes 3 sizes too small!

Hand stitch the hole closed and give him a proper name!  You can certainly give him hair, or a hat… I like our man bald!

Then pass him on to your favorite little one!

Kaia said he looked like a hippie.  I couldn’t really see what she meant.  She said “you know… the tight clothes he’s wearing”.  I said, “I don’t get it”.  She said “you know… a Hippie... those people who walk like this… ” and she proceeds to saunter in a sultry way through the living room.  This went on for most of the afternoon with me trying to figure out how this doll looks like a hippie.  Then, as we were sitting outside playing, she said, “OH WAIT!!  I MEAN A HOTTIE!”  I bust out laughing!!  I have made Leif a pimped out Hottie doll for him to dress and undress! Great!!

3 thoughts on “Sensory Doll

  1. heehee…soft cuddley turns into hottie…you’ll never see it the same way! :)

    love your idea and i’ll bet Leif loves it too.

  2. That doll is too cute, and what Kaia said is hilarious! To me, his head kinda reminds of….something else. Let’s just say he’s got lots of personality, a really great idea!

  3. I’ve been on vacation and am so behind on eveyone’s blog… yours is one of the first I’ve read. This is adorable! i love it! Great job!

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