Monday, March 26, 2012

Jess Brown style Doll pattern

I'll start by saying this is not a tutorial....but I have noticed that the post about the Jess Brown style doll I made for my daughter Mighty gets a lot of traffic on my blog,
 so I thought I'd share some photos of the pattern I used....
I have no idea how big her dolls really are.  I saw them in Martha Stewart and drew my own pattern to be the way I wanted it.  I've never seen an actual doll in person....
 Below is the body pattern (folded in half so you would place this on a folded piece of fabric)
 The body itself is about 12" long, however you'll be sewing it so you'll lose a little for the seam allowance.  But she also has some long legs so that adds to the overall doll length.  You'll be cutting 2 pieces for each body part (a front & a back) to sew together....
 I made it about 6" (this is half in the photo) across at the base....
 This is the arm & leg pattern.  I used the same pattern for all 4 arms and legs....
It's about 8" in length
 And 1&1/4" wide.  If I were new to sewing I would make this quite a bit wider maybe closer to 2" wide...just to give yourself plenty of space for your seam allowance.  These are very long and narrow.

You can see that I sewed the 2 body pieces together all the way around EXCEPT for the I could stuff it and then sew the legs into that seam on the machine.  If you have a zipper foot you can use that it helps sew right next to the bulk of the stuffed body.  But you can do it without one.
 So here she is all put together and I think she's close to 18" long...
 I said previously that I used the same pattern for the arms and legs.  For the arms I folded the unsewn, raw edge under for the arms....
 Then I cut a little round piece of wool coating material to make a sort of fabric button...this is because the fabric of the doll is flannel which is a pretty lose weave of fabric.  I wanted to sew through the doll's body arm to arm to attach them
and these help keep the thread and knots from pulling through.  You could use real buttons.  I made this for my 1 year old daughter and didn't really want buttons.
 I did notice in the photos that she had used a dark thread even though it was a lighter fabric...I really like the look...
I think she based her doll on a vintage rag doll she found or saw so I'm sure that one was hand sewn...
 I used embroidery thread for her face along with a small piece of fabric for her mouth, and sewed right through to the back of her head as you can see here....
 And here....
 Her hair, which is just torn strips of cotton fabric, hides those knots.  I just wrapped the hair on there and kept stitching through to keep the fabric covering most of her head....
I see there is food of some sort smeared at the bottom of her head there!  She's well loved...
I will probably end up making these as gifts at some point...there is something really beautiful about simplicity....


  1. Ummm... If this baby is a girl, I'm sure she would love one of these;) too cute!!!

    1. Ummm if it is a girl...I would LOVE to make you one of these lovely softies!!! You just let me know! Hope all is going well with this pregnancy!!!

  2. Glad i found this patturn I looked every where. I saw yours and saw how simple it looked
    so I made one,. She's sooo cute!! Thanks sooo much!!

    1. You are so welcome! Her dolls are gorgeous but I know we'll never be able to spend $200 to buy I felt the same--I'll just make one. So glad I could help you out in making yours I hope you enjoy her as much as we enjoy ours!

  3. oh thank you ! i am going to try this, i also like the maker dolls but i'm not spending 200 for them .. Kiova

  4. Just beautiful! I'd actually never heard of Jess Brown (don't usually read MS), so it was fun to find two new designers in one go!

    1. Thanks for the kind words....she makes beautiful dolls. They are lovely. I just won't ever be able to afford one! I love that they are all soft....

  5. I was wondering what is the circumference of the head. My other question: Do you make both arms and legs with 1 1/4" wide? You did a great job, both me and my friend Becky we loved your pattern. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Angela the arms and legs are both the same (1 1/4" wide) I use the exact same pattern piece. The circumference of the head is 2" at the widest point on the body pattern as pictured (folded in half) so 4" across total. And I have two recent ones I just made that measure almost 8" around when stuffed. Hope that makes sense! Thank you so much for the kind words I really appreciate it!!!

  7. Hi Rachel- I just love your little dolls! I love the simplicity of these also. I was wondering if you have any sort of tutorial on making their clothes?

    1. I haven't as of yet but I've been asked a couple of times so I should probably do one! Here's a link to a more recent doll I just made I've been leaving off the sleeves and just doing a simple sundress look. I cut two pieces and sew them together with grosgrain ribbon across the top to tie at the sides. I'll have to share my pattern here soon for that! Thanks for the kind words... I am really enjoying the little personalities of each one :)