Note: You may want to wait until after stitching the hair to attach limbs. As you can see in the next image, I removed my doll's arms to make it easier.
Let me just say that embroidering long hair on a doll is a lot of work. It takes hours and hours, especially if you want full, thick hair. That being said, it looks fantastic when it's done. As I worked on my Little Red Riding Hood doll, I took process shots along the way to share how I did it. I used turkey stitch (also known as turkey work). If you have never done turkey stitch, here is an illustration on how to do it and here is a video tutorial. I love this stitch because it allows you to create loops that can be cut into fringe. The floss or yarn stays in place with tacking stitches, so there is no need to worry about it getting pulled out. Follow the simple steps in my tutorial below for your own handmade dolls. And, before you get overwhelmed, I'll just say that it's a fairly simple stitch, even for a beginner. Time-consuming, but simple.
Embroidered Doll Hair Tutorial
- 1 cone embroidery floss for main hair color (I used less than half for my doll)
- 8 or 10 skeins of a darker shade of floss
- 2 or 3 skeins of a lighter shade of floss
- embroidery needle that can accommodate 6-8 strands of floss
- plastic comb with wide teeth and narrow teeth
Follow the steps exactly or use them to create different hairstyles. Either way, I'd love to see what you make. Send me an email, tag me on Instagram, or tweet me your blog post. And let me know if you have any questions.
Note: Please ignore the random arrangement of pins in the head. My toddler was, er, helping me.