Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fun with New Fashioned Paper Dolls

I used to spend hours playing with my paper dolls when I was a kid. Here is a new twist on them for your favorite little one. They are made on a computerized embroidery machine using fabrics, not paper. I've been working on this technique for a few years and am finally pretty happy with the results. Its pretty neat how you can make your embroidery machine do most of the work for you. These are from Jonathan and Allie's Winter Duds, my newest creations.

I start with tearaway stabilizer in the hoop. It makes it easy to remove the excess stabilizer when the dolls and their clothing are finished. I then place Timtex or Stitch N Shape on the tearaway and stitch a special outline on it. This outline is slightly smaller than what the doll will be. Take it out of the hoop and cut out the shapes, right on the stitching line. If you have a large hoop,  you can do fill the hoop. If you have a small hoop, you'll have to do singles.

Rehoop another piece of tearaway stabilizer (washaway will work too). After sewing the placement stitching, I put the piece of Stitch N Shape I prepared right in the center of it. There will be a tiny gap between the placement stitching and the shape. Hold it down with a bit of temporary spray adhesive or glue stick. Then stitch the next outline. It will hold the stiffening piece in place. The clothing skips this step. I use a piece of scrap cutaway stabilizer underneath the fabrics instead. My instructions tell you when and where to place everything.

Next comes the fun part, choosing the fabrics. You won't put these in the washer so you can get a bit more creative than you might with applique designs on clothing. Keep in mind, they will need to be hand washed now and then though. Go for varying textures as well as color. I used vinyl scraps left over from cutting with my Cricut (or eCraft) for the snow boots. Pleather works really well too. The hood is lined with Warm and Natural. If your fabric tends to ravel, back it first with a fusible interfacing. I like velveteen and satins, Warm and Natural, laces, ribbons, as well as quilt weight cottons. Start digging through your scraps!

Apply Aleene's Tack It Over and Over on the back of the clothing. They'll cling right to the doll. Reapply when they loose their tack. I keep them stored on poly page protectors when not in use.
You will find the Jonathan and Allie Paper collection on my website,, under Kids > Peggy's People. They come in 2 sizes, 4" and 5". I like the larger set best for little hands, but the 4" is great for those with smaller hoops.

Hope you've enjoyed my latest project....



  1. Those are adorable. Maybe if and when grandkiddies come along I will have to give them another look.

    1. Hi Celeste,

      Thanks for the nice words! I hope I have a lot more little outfits for them by then. Easter outfits are running through my head right now. I hope I have time to get them done soon.