Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Party: The DIY Witch

Win Me!

Welcome to the

Hosted by Vanessa at
A Fanciful Twist

My party piece will be a pattern. 

A free doll pattern.

An easy, peasy, guaranteed doll pattern
to make a small doll, 
suitable for all social occasions.

What with this being Halloween,
I'm making a witch doll.

Not this kind of witch.
A nice witch!

A witch doll you can win in my giveaway!

Stage One


(This free doll pattern is for personal use only.)

Print this out. You won't need the bloomer pattern.
I printed this out on a standard piece 
of printer paper and it was true-to-size. 

I'm not sure if it will need adjusting for a piece of A4.

The doll will be about 11'', but if you want it smaller,
just shrink the pattern before you print it.

Off to the cutting table!

Stage Two

Cut out the pattern pieces.

Then, (and this is the unorthodox bit)
sew a strip of your chosen skin colour
to your chosen dress colour.

I'm using a tea-dyed cotton for the skin
and witchy black for the dress, 
so you can see which is witch.
(see what I did there?)

See the line of stitching in black?
When you've sewn it, open it out and iron the seam flat.

How big a piece?
You need a strip wide enough  and deep enough
 to fit the body and two arm pieces.

I got this wrong. I'm not ashamed!

So I had to sew a separate piece for the arm

Position the arm and body pattern pieces
on the wrong side of the fabric
(the side with the raw edges)
so that the hand of the arm piece 
and the neckline of the body piece
overlaps into the skin fabric,

Like this. See?

Why are we doing this?

So that when you sew the arms and the body,
you've already made the 
sleeves and bodice of the doll's clothes.

Draw around the leg pieces 
and the head pattern pieces 
onto your skin coloured fabric.

Stage Three

Sew around all the drawn edges,
leaving a gap for the stuffing.

Like this.

Sew very carefully around the chin. Smooth is good.

Stage Four

Cut out all the pieces, carefully,
about 5mm from the stitches.
When everything is cut out, snip little V shapes
around all the curved seams.

Turn each piece the right way round.

If you don't have any turning tools,
or a haemostat, this will be the 
worst part of making the doll.

I wish you luck.

Stage five

Once everything is turned the right way round, 
and you have pushed into all the corners,
the doll is ready to stuff.

So, stuff.

Here she is, all filled out.
The body, head and legs are stuffed with polyester fibre.
The arms are filled with pipe cleaners,
two for each arm, so she can pose.

She's not just a doll! 
She's an action figure!

Stage Six

You're going to join the arms and legs to the body.


Hold on to that head.


Because painting the face is the 
most worrisome part of making a doll,
and this way, you get two goes!

Stage Seven

I'm a strong believer in the appeal of simple doll faces.

This face is just two black dots,
a little crescent moon in red,
and some pink powder on the cheeks.

It's cute, right?

If you're worried about the face, 
make one like this.

Or you can try something more elaborate.

This is a detailed face,
but it's just drawn and painted with
Crayola watercolor pencils
and brushed with pastels.

You don't need any fancy equipment,
and there's lots of good face tutorials online.

Stage Eight

Adding the head.

Ok, this can be tricky.
I hoped you stuffed the neck really well.

Pin the neck to the back of the head,
(At a slight angle is best. Trust me.)

Make sure you leave enough neck,
but not so much the head is flopping.

Like this.

 Pin it. Sew it good and tight.

Now you kinda have a doll, right?

Stage Nine

The hair.

Look, I didn't take any photos for this bit.

So, magically, she now has hair.

(Basically, I wrapped some fluffy ginger yarn 
around a (clean) peanut butter jar,
sewed the top of the loop to the top of her head,
then cut the loop and fluffed out the hair.)

Totally channeling Merida. 
Stage Ten

You don't have to make stockings at all.
You could make the legs from
witchy stripped fabric
instead of your chosen skin colour.

You could paint the legs,
(yes, really)
with acrylics, sanding between each layer.

But if you want stockings,
use the leg pattern as a base.

Get an old t shirt,
and line up the leg pattern
to the height of the stocking.

Fold the fabric and sew with a zigzag stitch.
but ignore the ankle. Just keep sewing down to a point,
like a very long, slim inverted V.

Turn them right-way-round,
and hey, stockings!

Stage Eleven

Yes, we go all the way to eleven.

We also use glue.
Yes, we do.
Glue trimming,
(lace, ric-rac, ribbon)
to the top of the 'bodice'
and just above the bottom of the hips.

You can sew it.
If you wanna.

 You have to sew the skirt.
The skirt is a strip of fabric at least 15 inches long
and as wide as you want the skirt to hang.
Mini, or floor length, you decide.

(I didn't hem mine, just to keep it witchy.)
Gather the top of the skirt, and
(this is important!)
pin it to the doll upside down,
around her waist.

Upside Down. Don't forget.

Sew it firmly in place.
Turn your doll right-side-up
and fluff out her skirt.



I added doll shoes, as I just happen to have doll shoes.
I think a pair of Ken doll shoes might fit her, maybe?

If you painted stockings, you could paint on shoes, too.

Superhero Pose

The tutorial for the witch's hat is here.

She'll get her own hat.
She'll get a name, too.

From you, if you win my giveaway!

Usual giveaway rules.

Please follow my blog, 
and let me know in the comments.

Please like my facebook page
and tell me in comments. 
That gives you two entries.


I'm running a second tutorial

Join up to win one of my 

Both giveaways will be drawn on 
5th of November.

More rules.

(Imagine me saying this in a stern teacher voice.)

The free doll pattern is for personal use, only.
You can make gifts, and items for charity,
but you can't sell the pattern 
 and you can't sell dolls made from the pattern.
(I feel like such a grouch saying this.)
 © Copyright Rhissanna 2014


  1. I'm here early in the morning! :-) I'll pop back later to see how you're getting on. :-)

    Here is the link to my party too

    1. I'll be there, Rachel, and everything is up now for the tutorial here. Thank you for visiting!

  2. I free doll pattern!!!...are you trying to destroy the few brain cells I have left?....*must...make...more...dolls!!!!!*. Has already stolen and linked to your hat tutorial for part of my post *I is sneaky like that* :D XXX

    1. Dollmaker to dollmaker hugs! I'll be over to see your post and thank you for the link! I LOVE the doll you made. I'm going to feature it here on the blog.

  3. What Gina said! And I have never, ever, ever tried to make a doll, but you know what? When your pattern goes public, I will print it out and try. It shall be fun--and I'm not talking at the probable laughter my results will get *cough*--maybe I'll ask AlmaMia to help!

    1. Do it! Do it! Join us dollmakers. It's like writing, but you can pick the characters up! And AlmaMia would increase her circle of friends. This pattern is Oliver's size.

    2. I came back to see if she had a cape, lol!

      I'm totally going to do it. It will be my Yule project. :-D

  4. Such a wonderful post.

    My mother and I used to make dolls together when I was a child, and I did the same with Amber when she was much younger, but never anything as beautiful as your creations, of course. Ours were simple rag dolls, with blushing faces and buttons for eyes. ♥

    1. Nothing better than a simple rag doll with a blush and button eyes! They always have a personality and they tell the best stories.

  5. You spoil Me! YES! to free doll pattern! Many Thank You'S! I would be honoured to make your pattern and place her around the table, sipping from MY very own! Rhissanna original Tea Set!
    Huge haunting hugs! xoDebi

    1. Oooh, Debi, I love what you're making with the pattern. I'd love to post the pictures here when she's all done! Thank you, thank you!

  6. I am happily downloading your free pattern. Thank you.
    It may be good for a laugh for you to see what results I have.
    You'll have to excuse any blood I get on the fabric.
    No need to worry about doll making competition from this address.

    1. OK, so you fooled me. I will wait for the pattern.
      You know I love coming back to visit.

    2. This time I got it!
      I always get lost looking at mterials. I love fabric prints.

    3. Curiouser and curiouser, you make this look doable!

    4. Laura, you wonderful person you! Thank you so much for your perseverance!

  7. Thank you so very much for this lovely doll pattern. It is now saved to my files. You know I love all of your dolls, my dear! Can't wait to see the finished witch as I know you put your 'all' into every doll you create!
    Happy partying!
    Teresa in California

    1. Thank you so much, Teresa, and thank you for keeping the pattern. I hope you get a chance to use it and maybe add an Alice to your collection.

  8. How fun is this!? I can't wait to see her finished!

    1. Thank you so much, Cynthia! This was a lot of fun to do, and it felt really nice to know people were popping in to see progress, and that I wasn't slinging needles and poking pins all on my own!

  9. Yay! I can't wait for updates to this! I'm going to print out that pattern and make a doll on my days off (once they get here...) See you again soon!


  10. I'm so glad I found your blog! What a lovely adventure! xo

    1. I'm so glad you found my blog, because that meant I found your blog! Now I''m following you! (Wait, did that sound vaguely sinister? )

  11. I love tutorials! So fun! I started following your blog back in the summer during the Mad Tea lovely to visit here and there! Giveaways make this all so much more fun!

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole! I love finding tutorials, too, so I thought it was about time I contributed one. It's been fun. I may do another.!

  12. That was totally fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing, loved it!!

    And, Thank you for being a part of the Halloween party magic!! <3, Vanessa.

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa. It was a real thrill to take part. This was my first year at the Halloween Party.

  13. A Witchy GiveAway how awesome is that?! I'm a follower so count me in one time. I don't do Facebook though. Thanks a bazillion! Hugs! deb

  14. Spooktacular Party Post & Doll Pattern! Hope you'll fly by my Are You A Good Or Bad Witch? Halloween Party & Be Blessed with powerful Wiccan Wishes... Enchantingly Yours, Lyndy Ward >^..^<

    1. Oooh, Lyndy, I'm going to be late but I'll get there!

  15. Happy halloween...thanks for sharing...
    Kerstin from germany

  16. I love following your blog! ❤️ This is such fun! 😊 Reminds me of my doll making days many moons ago ...... Can't wait to see Miss a Witch come to life! 😃

  17. You are so clever! Too bad my 10 year old sewing machine is the newest looking appliance I own. Bobbins and I don't get along! LOL

    1. Bobbins are buggers. I'll do a whole day's sewing in one colour, just so I don't have to change the bobbin! I can totally relate!

  18. Your dolls are extraordinary... I love their expressive little faces. Thamks for the chance to win one of these works of art!

    I am a follower on GFC and liked your Facebook page (Beverly Everly).

    1. Thank you so much, Beverly! I'll look for you on facebook.

  19. I keep popping back back in, eager to see how things develop!!! You make such lovely dolls!!!!!!!

    I hope you can pop in for a spell over at Marrow & Meadow!

  20. You are incredible Rhissanna. I suck with a needle and thread (other than for suturing cuts, which never looks pretty). But with your wonderful instructions, I'm almost sure that I can make this witch doll!

    1. Don't suck the needles! Pins go in the mouth, not needles! *panics* If you make a doll, I wanna see. This pattern is taller than AlmaMia. Time for a big sister? Maybe if you keep them at opposite ends of the house?

  21. A really wonderful little party you've set, Lady Rhissanna; complete with body parts, sewing, and I assume crumpets somewhere. I don't make dolls, but if I did make dolls, I'd want them to look like yours. The faces are just art. I'm not entering any giveaways , but I wish best of luck to your winners and want to thank you for hosting such a grand party!

    1. Well, party-pooper, not entering any giveaway!s But hey, you could sit and sew one of these, right? Right? This, incidentally, is the Oliver pattern. Maybe you could give them away free with every copy of the book. No? Just a thought...

  22. I love your dolls! Maybe I will win this gorgeous one! I follow you on blogger and facebook!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I really appreciate the follows!

  23. I follow you fact I would go as far as to say I probably stalk you.... :D XXX

  24. What fantastic fun following the progress for this lovely doll!!! And you are an awesome instructor! Thank you for sharing this. 😊 And I really love the little witchy doll!!! ❤️

    1. Thank you so much, Nina! She was a real sweetheart to put together, and I hope that other people have a similar experience if they try the pattern.

  25. I follow you via Bloglovin. Just loving the Superwoman pose :)

    1. Heh! Thank you! It's the best part of making dolls that stand up all by themselves!

  26. I really liked seeing the whole creation process, and what a lovely strong doll-woman she looks to be!

    You have to forgive me, I was sure I was already following you - but I am now!

    1. You know, Ms Misantropia, I have no say whatsoever in the kind of personalities that emerge. She did turn out to be rather fearless, with an enquiring mind and a wicked sense of humour. And I don't know how that happens with dolls. I just know that it does.

  27. What a wonderful doll Love the tutorial follow you here and like your fb page

    1. Thank you so much, Vicky! I love your dolls! <3

  28. This is a TREAT!!!. Great tutorial. You have many a wonderful talents and a fabulous doll. Thanks for sharing! Cheers!;)

    1. My pleasure, Kelly! It's been a fun project and I really wanted to put something back that people could use.

  29. Squee! I'm so glad I popped back in tonight! What a fabulously witchy doll! =D
    I am madly in love... and can't wait to try may hand at making one. ^_^

    Thank you again for sharing the pattern and the tutorial! I'm sure it will cut down my swearing once I begin. ^__~


    1. My pleasure. And don't worry about the swearing. There's a lot of swearing involved in doll making. This pattern doesn't have any ears, so you can curse as much as you need to!

  30. Goodness, this was very cool to watch this process unfold and the resulting doll is beautiful. As I told you on facebook, I am going to give this a go. Looks like fun for the winter, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want you to put my two entries in for both following your blog and you on facebook, because I'd love a chance to win this beauty. Oma Linda

    1. My pleasure, Oma Linda! If you try the pattern, I'd love to see what you get.

  31. And here I am, Rhissanna! I leave it all up to the doll fates!

    I think I may even try my hand at making one, though this is far far far from a speciality of mine.

    1. Hi there, Niffy and thank you for taking part! You could make one. She (or he, this is an equal opportunities pattern!) would be taller than Alice. It's always nice to have a friend who's taller. ;)

  32. Ouuuu how I would love to win that gorgeous doll! Already follow you and already like you on Instagram :))

    1. Thank you so much, and double thanks for liking me on instagram (I need to remember I have an account there!)

  33. OMG Miss B! She looks great. Will have to try this - as soon as I stop coughing! ;) I already like and follow you (did that sound creepy?) so I can't wait to see what comes next!
    p.s. I'm setting some chocolate aside for you ;)

    1. Oooh! Chocolate! I know you wrote other stuff, but all I can focus on is the chocolate! Did you know it's good for coughs? Chocolate! And please, if you try this, let me see?

  34. A beautiful finished doll and a great tutorial. I think it would push all my very limited sewing skills to the limited, but I've printed the pattern out and will give it a go when I've got my craft table back.

    1. Jane, thank you so much. Let me know how it goes and if my directions don't make sense, let me know!

  35. This is a fantastic tutorial, Rhissanna! And that is one sassy dolly! Love her! :D

    1. Thank you so much! I hope it makes sense, I hate writing instructions!

  36. Thanks for the free tutorial!!! You are a sweetheart!

    1. OH and please enter me in to your Giveaway :) I am now following your blog and I 'like' you on Facebook. Thank you!!!

    2. Yay! Thank you, Lisa! And thanks for getting in touch!

  37. Oh Rhissanna you are so incredible!! You always amaze me you have given me a priceless gift... a great idea for a special Christmas gift for my two little granddaughters. They are 9 & 7 and their parents only like handmade things or made in USA. My son is a great artist and I think he can help me paint the doll faces to look like the girls faces. That would be so cool!! Thank you so much sweetie!

    I'm sure I missed the giveaway but I feel like a real winner with a gift idea that will be awesome! Hugs & blessings, Edie Marie

    1. Oh, Edie Marie, I missed your comment here. I'm so sorry! I tell you what, 'll throw your name into the hat for the giveaway, too.

      The portrait dolls sound really wonderful; what an exciting idea. if you get to make them and have them painted, I'd love to be able to see them!

  38. Thank you, again, for this lovely doll pattern. You make it look so easy to cut her out and sew her up. Thank you for this amazing tutorial. It's painting the faces that seems to be the hard part. I love your tiny details in her face!

    1. Hugs, Teresa and thank you! Yes, faces are the hardest bit, which is why I included a simple face, as that's where I started. I love doll faces on dolls, with just dots and a simple smile.


Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive things you say! I'm thrilled to read them and I reply to each one.