Rag doll – Make your own rag doll t-tunic

Braided and finished
Braided and finished

Making your own rag dolls is a lot of fun. You can end up with basic dolls or portraits, playtoys or collectibles, depending on what you want. They’re great for largesse or for gifts to the small people at events. They can be also used to work out basic shapes for full-sized clothing without using up costly amounts of fabrics.

I start from purchased doll shapes, (these are done on 8″ muslin dolls) but if you want to start from fabric and filling this lady has a *wonderful* tutorial! http://www.thepassingstranger.com/Tutorial_Dolls_00.htm

I have a good pictorial set of how to make wigs and decorate here: https://anjasquest.wordpress.com/tasks/toys/babies-and-mawmets-and-poppets/my-rag-dolls/

These instructions make a t-tunic that is generic SCA clothing and can be embellished to suit various time periods and places. Eventually, more of those suggestions will be included. ….but for right now, this is a place to start.

There are 3 lengths on the template. One makes a shorter tunic that would have been worn by a younger or working man. If you dip the legs of the doll in fabric paint in a matching color he has “hose” and paint on the feet can be “shoes”. The mid-length is a good compromise length for boy or girl dolls. The third length (that doesn’t completely “show” on the template) is for the longer tunic lengths of most women in period.

This tunic works best cut of broadcloth, calico or muslin, nothing heavier or lighter. I’ve done it light lightweight linens, as well, for historical accuracy, but sometimes the shredding problem can get dire with that as it gets washed, so I’m suggesting cottons. Use scraps. This doesn’t take much!

Directions follow

Rag Doll Template

  1. This should print on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. copy to your computer and then print in black and white on cardstock, if you can.
  2. Cut out with paper scissors.
  3. Fold your fabric over and match with the shoulder fold.
  4. Trace onto the fabric using a pencil or fabric pencil.
  5. Cut out on fold, cutting the neckline last. Use fabric scissors.
  6. Use fabric paint to reinforce the bias neckline and let dry. Do not sew, as no hem allowance is added.
  7. Do narrow hems onto the wrong side of the fabric on both sleeve ends and the bottom hem with the fabric lying flat.
  8. Fold on the wrong side, matching the side and sleeve seams.
  9. Stitch from wrist to hem. If you’re machine stitching a stretch stitch will give the garment a longer lifespan.
  10. Trim threads and turn.
  11. Put it on your doll and decorate!

braided people div

Page Created 5/22/15 and published 6/2/15 (C)M. Bartlett
Last update 6/2/15


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