Growing up, I loved my baby dolls and being just like my mommy. Because of this one of my favorite items to pack into shoebox gifts are dolls. I wanted to design a simple, hugable baby doll for our little shoebox recipients (the 2-4 year olds.) that would fit perfectly into a shoebox.
These swaddle babies fit the bill. Made of soft flannel and stuffed with Poly-Fill, I hope these adorable dolls snuggle into a 'young mommy's' (or daddy's) heart.
2-16" squares of flannel (can be the same or coordinating)
1-7" (approximately) circle of muslin
Thread to match flannel
Embroidery Floss (variety of colors)
Tools: needle, scissors, dressmaker pencil, ruler, straight pins, sewing machine,
Optional Supplies: 2 feet yarn, ribbon, iron
Step 1- Begin by pinning right sides of fabric together, and using a 1/4" seam allowance sew around 3 sides. On the forth side sew all but 3 inches. Snip corners and turn to the right side. Give it a quick press if needed to flatten fully.
Step 2- Turn in the opening and sew shut, then continue sewing around the entire edge of your flannel with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Step 3-Fold the flannel square in half diagonally, offsetting about 1/2 inch at the top (see photo). Pin together. Find the center of the piece from the top (offset) point and pin for reference.
Step 4- Mark the area for the "body". From the folded side you will be drawing 2, 5 inch long lines, 2 inches from either side of the middle pin. (See photo collage above for reference). Sew along these lines going through all layers of fabric.
Step 5- Stuff the body cavity with Poly-Fil stuffing, take care not to over stuff so you can sew it shut. Stitch across the top of the body cavity again going through all layers of fabric. Set aside.
Step 6- Take your circle of muslin and using your longest (basting) stitch and a 1/4 " seam allowance, sew along the perimeter of the circle. Do not back stitch! You want to be able to gather the fabric along the thread.
Step 7-Carefully pull on one of the threads to begin gathering the muslin, till it takes the shape of a small pouch. Stuff tightly with Poly-Fil and tie off the thread. This will become the doll head.
Step 8-Attach your doll head, to the body. Hand stitch in place, being sure to only go through only the top layer of the blanket.
Step 9 (Optional)- If you want your swaddle baby to have hair. Wrap the length of yarn around your fingers and tie the bunch of loops together at the bottom. Fan out to form the curls. Tuck the tied end under the top of the head of the baby and sew in place.
Step 10- Securely tack the top layer of blanket to the bottom layer to hide your stitches.
Step 11- Securely tack the rest of the blanket around the baby.
Step 12-Using embroidery thread, add eyes and mouth details.
Your Swaddle baby is now ready for a special child you love, or to tuck into a shoebox gift!
Special thanks to Fairfield World for providing the PolyFil used in this project!
Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week is November 15-22. To find out how to fill shoebox gifts for children in need all over the world, check out their website.