How to Make Pincushion Dolls – Part Two

By popular request, Paulette is showing you how to make these adorable pincushion ladies!

This is a three-part, free video series. You can download the supply list and pattern pieces here:

Week One: Sculpting Heads and Hands (with extra bonus video!)

Week Two: Hair and Scarf, Cutting and Sewing

Week Three: Stuffing, Assembly, and Finishing

Video transcript:

Hi I’m Paulette Morrissey from Tulip Square and this week we’re going to do part two of the pin cushion dolls. It’s a three-part series. We did part one last week, part two is this week. We’re going to put the hair on, put the little scarf on her head, machine saw all the parts that need to be sewn, and get everything ready for week three, where we will assemble and finish the dolls. So you’ve only got two more weeks to go, so if you’re following along, keep up with us, get your heads all done from last week, and we’ll get everything set for this week so we can finish them next week. So let’s head over to the work table and get busy.
Okay we got our heads done they’re all baked and ready to work on, and we got some hands we’ve already made, and they’re baked also. So now it’s time to make their hair. So what I do is, I take whatever kind of yarn I want and I just make a bunch of little loops and stitch them together like this, and then I’ll just glue this onto her head like that okay. So I’m just going to show you how to do that, and I use, it doesn’t matter, it can be acrylic yarn, it can be wool yarn, can be whatever you want. Thick or thin, just a goofy variety like this one, I’m going to use this weird variegated it’s an acrylic yarn but and I’m just, you’re not going to need a lot of it, a couple of, a foot or so of it is all you need. So I’m just catching the first strand in a loop now it can’t go anywhere, now I’m going to go through this one, and you don’t need the back of the loop very big it’s just the front loop you want to be her hair hanging in her face kind of a little bit, but I don’t like them all the same length it looks kind of more interesting if they vary a little bit.

and if like this yarn is going to start turning green, or oh it’s gray okay, but if it’s a color I didn’t want, like if I didn’t want the purple, you can just cut the yarn and then continue on the next piece, because the back loop that’s under my finger here, my thumb, is not going to show at all. It’s getting glued to her head. So I’ve got seven loops maybe I’ll make one more, couple more.

See how I’ve got all those loops, I’m just going to pull these, and now that I have them secured at the first loop they will not all come off the needle.

Okay I’m just going to pull this, twist that first one around, so then I’ve got this little mess like this. Now I can take her little head and see if that’s as much as I want, get that gathered in my finger.

This will all get glued onto her head like that and I think I’m going to add a few more, that’s kind of weak because it’s kind of a thin yarn. Some of the yarn I’m using is really thick and some of it’s not, so we’re just going to keep going a few more loops. I’m just going to go back in here do some more loops just like this, and I can leave the other stuff just hanging there, it’s not hurting anything, it’ll all get gathered together in a minute. We’ll put four or five more loops on here. Back into the yellow here, there I’ve added five more loops see if that’s enough.

We caught a couple loops in our strand there, then you kind of untwist them where they wrap themselves around the thread a little bit, so now we’ve got this much. I think that’ll be plenty.

That will be plenty for her head, it doesn’t have that big of a head anyway, so then I’m going to cut the yarn off, just leave a little end so it doesn’t go anywhere.

And then what I like to do is, just make sure I’ve got it as snug as I want, the whole little strand of yarn and then I’m just going to knot it on this end, and then just to secure it a little bit I like to just go back through it even if I’m not hitting every single strand.

I’m just going back through it a little bit above the first row of threads, it’s not perfect just kind of makes them a little less erratic to hang on to, like so, and then I knot this end and I’m done with the thread.

Make sure you don’t pull it so tight because I don’t want to pull it this tight so I can’t wrap it on top of her head so leave it so you’ve got probably close to 2 inches from here to here, so you’ve got room to wrap it or go across the top of her head and wrap it down the sides a little bit. I’m going to just knot it off here couple times and then I can cut that thread.

And I’ve got one loop that wants to be upside down from everybody else I’m just going to shove it back up there. Okay. So then this is ready to get glued to her head just like so.

This is the messy part, it’s white glue, and you can use a quick setting white glue, or you can use something like these three in one glues, or that Aleene’s tacky glue, this one, these all work. Any kind of wood glue seems to work really quick, PVA glue works.

This is a PVA, this is a good one, it’s a PVA white glue I use it mostly for making books, but it’s a good white glue and it dries fast. It goes on quick, it dries really quick though, so when you put it on you don’t get to horse around a lot. So what you do, is you take your head, I’ll just use this one since I got it right here, and I’m just going to blop a little bit on there and I’m just going to put it on her head like so. Don’t get it too close to her face, and I might have mentioned that you should have a wet paper towel here to wipe your fingers on, and I don’t have one so we’re going to make a mess. I’m just going to do that and then I’m going to put her hair on like so, just like so, then I’m going to wipe my hand off for a minute here, on something, well you know what, as long as I got glue on my fingers we’ll just do this head too, put a little glue on this one, like so.

And she can have this glob of black hair like so.

Alright, now I’m going to wipe off my fingers real quick on whatever I got handy, a wet paper towel would have been ideal but I forgot to, okay, so then you’re going to take the little piece of fabric that you’ve cut, I believe this one is, whoops, 4×7 or something, it’s in the, it’s in the pattern. Oops, lady doesn’t want to keep her hair. Ok, we’ll do that.

And just fold under about an inch.

And then you’re going to put this on her head, and try to get it pretty well centered okay, like so,

and I’m going to pull out this little hair, just a little bit more there, so you want this centered like about so, and I’m going to pull out any extra little hairs, I would like a little more visible like some of this yellow stuff here, I would like that more visible too.

Like so, and then I’m just going to hang on to it on the front right here, at her chin, turn around on the back, and push down on the middle of the back, and then push in on each side so it’s folded.

Try this again. Down in the middle, and then down here, and down here, so you got a fold like that in the back, and it looks like this in the front, then just going to grab her nose, and I got my fingers on all those folds in the back, and I’m just going to put a little bit of glue along the neckline of her, of her neck, or her base, just a little bit around the edge.

and then actually we should have cut this first. Let’s do this the right way with the next doll okay, so I’m going to put this down here, this down here, and I’m just going to kind of cross those over so they meet in the front, and then I’m going to take a piece of thread, and this should be a nice strong thread. I’m using some weaving thread, but you need some string or something strong, some carpet thread or something like that, and just wrap it maybe two or three times around her head like this, around her neck. This is where that flange you made on her head comes in. So if you’re happy with what her little face looks like, and her hair and everything, then you go to the back and you’re going to tie these two. Now if you don’t know what a surgeon’s knot is, it makes a very handy knot here. When you make a half, the first half of a square knot, you just have the two strings and you put one under the other like so. A surgeon’s knot you go under once more same way, so you’ve got extra little loop on your string here, and then when you pull that down tight it doesn’t untie like a regular square knot does, and then I can go ahead and do the other half of the knot normally, like so, and I’ll just do one more just for good measure, and then I’m just going to cut these strings so they’re, I leave several inches, so there’s enough to tuck into the body. So that’s, her head is ready, okay and she can, we can let that dry now for a while, and since I’ve already got this other one started I’m going to just finish her. So I’m going to show you again. Keep a piece of string handy and this should be like maybe close to two feet long, 20 inches, 2 feet long, something like that. I’ve got that ready, move this junk out of the way.

Her hair is on her head, and I’m going to take her little scarf piece, and I’ve got it folded under about an inch, and then just kind of get a good idea where the center is. You can do this if you want to know where the center is, put it on her head, you want it so when you pull it down, these two ends are pretty even. They don’t have to be exact but you want ’em fairly even, and I’m just going to pull this down a little bit more on her head like so,

then turn it around and on the back of her head you pull down the middle piece first, and then you tuck one side over, and the other side over, so there’s no raw edges showing at all, then I’ve got my fingers on that, on that knot, that little folded over area, so I can let go of the front a little bit and I’m just putting a little bit of glue on here.

Not a lot just kind of swoosh it around there a little bit, use your wet paper towel for your fingers if you thought to put it there, and then bring this down again, like so,

and then wrap this around a couple times. Get my hand out of the way.

it’s not a little bit down more here. You got to keep your fingers on the back too, so that those back folds don’t come out. I’m just going to hang on to that end here, I’m just going to wrap a couple times, two or three is all you need, and then put this face down. And oh by the way you should have a cloth or something, or a towel or something, so when you’re working on the doll you don’t have to keep dropping her face onto the table, okay, then I’m going to do that same thing where I’m doing like a half of a square knot, but then I’m going to go through that same loop once more. So you’ve got extra little fold there, and then I’m going to pull it nice and tight, and see how that doesn’t come untied like a regular half of a square knot would come untied. Then we’re going to do that and then we’re gonna do one more.

And then I’m going to leave some nice long strings there like so.

So her head is ready. She’s got quite a lot of hair there, but if you don’t like it, fix it before the hair dries. There so now her hair is going to dry, and her head is going to dry, it’s got a piece up, there you go, okay so she’s ready. Now we got two heads ready.

Now what you’re going to do is, you need your little set of hands, and you need the two pieces for their sleeves that are in the pattern. I think these are two and a half by three and a half, but check the pattern to be sure, and you’re going to need some thread that matches this little pattern, so I’m going to get some, and this can be sewing thread or embroidery floss.

That one doesn’t look bad, if you use embroidery floss, use like two strands. Don’t use just one, or just sewing thread, whatever you’ve got that works that matches, it doesn’t clash, and then I’m going to fold this back, oh, at least a half an inch, and I’m just finger creasing it like this, then I’m going to hang on to her hand, I’m going to take my glue, I’m just going to ooo that’s some drippy glue, I’m just going to run some glue around her arm like so. Don’t get it on her hand though, just on her arm.

and then I’m going to wipe my hand off, and then take this, her sleeve, and I’m going to start it with probably up at the top here, and I’m just going to lay it on her arm, and then I’m going to wrap it around, and then when I’ve got about a half an inch left I’m going to fold it under like so, and then I would like that seam on the bottom side of her arm, so you can turn it while the glue is still wet. So I’ve turned it around like so, then I’m going to sew this little seam, and I’m going to just stick the needle up in here so I don’t have a knot visible on the outside, it’s going to be hiding in that seam. Like so, and I’m just going to stitch along up here.

And you can make these stitches more invisible if you’d like. I don’t find them offensive having them visible, I kind of like the look so, but if you want to do it a little more hidden stitch go ahead, and I’m just going to stitch this just about to the end there, tucking in that little end of the thread from the knot, we don’t want that visible. Like so.

Just finish this row here,

be careful when you got no clay arm left that you’re not sewing all the way through your arm. You like to be able to still have her arm free there so you can move it around later, before you attach it to her body, so don’t sew that tube closed.
Okay then when you get to the top, just give it a little knot and then leave that thread and that needle attached to that arm, and get another needle and thread and do the other one, and then both arms are attached, and I’m going to let both arms, the glue on the arms dry, and the glue on the hair dry, and we’re going to go to the sewing machine, and we’re going to cut out and sew the pieces we need to put her together.
Okay, so you can see by the pattern pieces, I hope you printed them out, you need two of the apron pocket, two of the apron, and those two should be the same color, a scarf tie which should be, you need two of those, and that should be the same color as the little scarf you just tied on her head, and we already used the 4×7 inch scarf. You’re going to need a 5×6 inch shawl, and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. You need a 4×5 inch body piece, you need the sleeves we already cut and used, and then you need three of the skirt piece. So these three pattern pieces, or these four pattern pieces, you have to cut out, and cut them out, and then cut out your fabric pieces. So I’ve got, here’s my, my apron pieces. I’ve cut out two of those, and two of these, and I’ve got three of the skirt piece, and one body piece. Now when you sew the skirt seams and the body seam, which is just this rectangle, you’re going to double stitch all your seams because you do not want them ripping out when you’re stuffing the doll.

And then I’m just going to swing it around and sew that same seam again.

and then I’m going to open this up, and I’m going to take the third skirt, and I’m going to sew it right here, and do the same thing, down and back so it’s doubled. Now the third seam I’m going to put them together, and if you’ll notice on the pattern piece, you leave this part open from here to here, because that’s how we’re going to stuff it. Okay so I’m going to sew down, like about to here, and then I’m going to leave a gap about this big, because we need some room to stuff it, and then I’ll sew the rest, so it’s about about a third of it almost, maybe a little bit more you can leave open.

Now we’ve got a spot to add some stuffing. Okay, now in the body piece, I fold under about probably close to an inch, just going to fold it under, finger press it kind of, and then I’m going to fold it in half, and I’m going to sew back and forth on this piece and also double that seam, so got your two apron pieces right sides together. Now there’s two ways you can do this for turning, you can sew all the way around like, like whenever you normally have to leave the space open like we’re going to start here, and go all the way around like this, and leave a gap here that you turn under, or you can do it the lazy way. I’d like to do this because nobody will ever see it. I take one layer and fold it back and I snip a slot, and it’s only one layer, like so, so there’s about a half an inch, about a half an inch from here to here, left, and then I put it back down and then I will use that for turning it, and no one will ever see it, because it’s going to be on the inside, and then I don’t have to deal with making sure I’ve got an edge turned under and right where it belongs or anything. So now I’m just going to stitch around here.

I like to trim these corners all off. Don’t snip your corners off. All right, and then I’m going to sew the apron the same way, I’m going to do the same thing, where I just fold up one layer about halfway and then I just make a slice in it. Like so.

Be careful you’re only cutting one layer, and you can see I’ve got about a half inch left over at each edge.

I’ll sew those those together.

Okay now they’re both pressed nicely, move this down here a little better, so, you can see that there’s that slot, which will be up against the doll body so you’ll never see it, and this will be on the inside of the pocket so you’ll never see it, so this one we’re going to stitch in place and I’m going to keep it pretty close to the bottom of the apron, so you have more length for stuff to be poking out of the pockets, and I’m going to stitch around the outside edge of the apron backtacking at both ends.

Okay now you’ve got your little apron pocket in place and you have to decide do you want three pockets or two pockets. Now I’ve tried three on some of the dolls and it seems like they’re, that’s a little bit, they get to be too tight, so I like to do two pockets. You can do two right down the middle, so you have two even size pockets or you can go off center a little bit, so one pocket is a little bit bigger than the other, whichever you prefer. I’m just going to do two even pockets on this one. So I’m just going to start at the top where I want the pocket, and backtack.

The little apron is done.

So now you got all this stuff done, you’ve got the parts for her body and her skirt, we’ve got her apron done, and then her shawl. There’s a couple of ways you can do a shawl. I’m going to show you one that I like to do, and you can do this, you can also crochet or knit a shawl, or if you’ve got some weaving remnants, if you do weaving you can use some of your weaving remnants if it’s not real thick, and this one I’m going to show you what you would do if you’re just going to use a piece of fabric. Now this is just a piece cut I think 5×6, and what I’m going to do is just fray the edges. And to fray the edges, you just got to find the first thread that comes loose, and just pull it off. Once you got a whole row, you can see I’m just pulling them off, then if I don’t like how uneven it is, I could cut that all off, but I don’t care that they’re uneven they look kind of cute, so I’m just going to take it, I just got a darning needle, I’m just pulling in here, and pulling out one thread at a time. Sometimes you can do two on the shorter side, but I’m just pulling out one thread, and just pulling it across, and it seems like a tedious thing to do, but to make the whole shawl it takes about 10 minutes so it’s not that bad, a big deal, so you’re just going to do, and see like this edge I like how long that is but it’s not that long over here, just like so, that’s good, and then I can just swing this around and do the same thing over here, got to find your first ones that are already loose and get rid of them, and then you do the same thing on the other side.

You can also use flannel makes nice shawls because it’s very soft and it drapes nicely.

And I like to make them not square, you can make them square if you want your back to be a nice perfect point but I’m making mine off center a little bit because I like how it looks better in the back, but if you prefer to a perfectly perfect triangle, and you could even crochet or knit a perfect triangle if you wanted to, that’s all up to you, that’s the kind of things that you should do to individualize your own little pincushion dolls. I’ve got the two ends, the long pieces done, and now I’m going to do the two short edges. Sometimes you can just pull some off from you already, your already frayed ends, and just pull them off and they go quicker. So now I’ve got a cute little shawl, my pile of threads, so that’s one way to make a shawl. You like I said, you can also, you could knit one if you wanted to make it about this size, or you could make it like even a triangle if you wanted to knit a triangle, or crochet a triangle, or cut a piece of your weaving, your remnant weaving, use light fabrics, anything you want, just you’re just making a cute little shawl. Allrighty, I almost forgot to make your little head scarf things so I’m just going to make a couple of these real quick, and I’m just going to trace around here so I don’t have to bother with pinning the pattern on, you can either pin pattern pieces on or you can draw around them, whichever, whichever you prefer. I just like to pin them on, I mean not pin them on. I’m just going to lay that on top of there, then I’m going to put one pin through the whole thing, then I’ll just cut them both out at the same time.

And these do not have to be exact don’t forget, this is just a little tie thing at the neck, just pretty much to cover up threads that are going around her neck.

And it looks kind of cute.

That’s that and on these you do have to sew and leave an opening for turning, and these are I might add, a little bit of a pain in the butt to turn to the right side because they’re so tiny, so just try to keep your seam fairly small.

Now to turn them right side out, I found the easiest thing to do, is to take a pair of tweezers, and stick it inside, and kind of pinch the end and pull it to the outside.

I’ll use a crochet hook and try that. These are probably the biggest pain in the butt of the whole project. But you got like that.

There, not real pretty but it works, and then I’m just going to tuck the ends in a little bit, and I’m just going to press it, don’t really have to stitch it down or anything, I’m just going to press it. There and that little piece is done, and we have all our machine sewing done, and we are ready for assembly. Okay her pair of arms done, and her sleeves are attached to her arm, and her glue is drying, you got her head done, and her hair is drying on her head, and I see a little shiny spot of glue right there that I’m going to wash off, this is all drying. You’ve done your… Ok, so now we have their hair put on our little pin cushion heads, we’ve got their little scarves tied for securely onto their necks, you’ve got a little scarf tie done, you’ve got all the machine sewing done, a skirt, an apron with pockets, and some sort of a little shawl, and this is a little crocheted one but you can have sewn ones, you can have woven ones, whatever you want, so that’s all we’re going to do this week, and then next week we’re going to put everything together, stuff her, finish her, accessorize her, and she’ll be all set to go. So we will see you next week, have a good week, get everything done ready for next week, and we’ll see you then bye-bye.