Funky Friends Factory Blog

Baby Doll Sewing Pattern – stuff(ing) to note!

Posted underA day in my lifeBlogToy-making TIPS & TUTORIALS on2014-03-12 05:30:50

Recently I got some feedback about my Bedtime baby Doll Patterns HEAD!

Hi Pauline,

I have finished making my first ever funky friends pattern. Was easy to follow and my lil munchkin loves it. I have a question. The head when finished looked long. I am not sure what I did wrong but I have managed to shape it and hand sew under the hood to make it more round. Do you use 100% cotton or a more stretchy fabric.

Thanks Kirsty

Bedtime Baby Doll

What a lovely email and what a cute picture!!!!

BUT… let’s get back to the problem of the LOOOOOONG head! Kirsty used 100% cotton, just like I did, for the doll’s head so it looks like the elongated head has something to do with toy stuffing…

or NOT ENOUGH toy stuffing!

Looking at Kirsty’s photo, I can see that the doll’s head still looks a bit wrinkled. Not wanting to be too critical BUT I don’t know ANYONE who likes wrinkles!!! 🙂 When I make softies from cotton fabrics, I use a lot more toy stuffing than I do when I make a toy out of fleece/stretchy fabrics. Fleece is very stretchy so you can get a nice round shape with much less toy stuffing. When you are stuffing a doll’s head made of cotton fabric you must carry on stuffing until you can get rid of most or ALL of the wrinkles….it can take a LOT of toy-stuffing,

you will be AMAZED!

Stuffing is such a personal thing! I know that some people like to ‘UNDERSTUFF’ their dolls/toys to make them ‘squidgy’ and some people ‘OVERSTUFF’ to make them nice and firm, feel a bit weightier and solid, or because they KNOW they will receive a lot of hugging which will compress the stuffing! I would never dictate to you – one way in not better than the other – all I would say is to have a look at the official pattern photo of the original doll or toy you are sewing and try and make your head (or body or other toy part!) look as well-stuffed as that photo.

Bedtime Baby Doll has a very round, baby-shaped head, and if your head looks like an egg – keep adding more stuffing until it looks round like a ball!

doll pacifier dummy

I took some photos as I went along for my photo tutorial to show you the doll’s head with wrinkles compared to a well-stuffed head. I think I had explained this in the pattern instructions – BUT you just can’t beat a PHOTO!

* The one with the wrinkes is already stuffed a lot more than Kirtsy’s doll’s head, so she still has a long way to go! 🙂

doll stuffing

It’s not often you can tell someone to “get stuffed!” and NOT upset them! So here goes – If YOUR Baby Doll’s head looks like an egg, GO AND GET (it) STUFFED!!!! Haha!

I wonder, are YOU an ‘UNDERSTUFFER’ or an ‘OVERSTUFFER’? 🙂

Pauline McArthur - Funky Friends Factory.

Till next time,

Happy Sewing,

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  1. Love it! thanks for the tip! It is really surprising just how much stuffing the toys take. I stuff, leave for a couple of days then stuff some more.

    Comment by sue on March 15, 2014 at 12:44 am

  2. Hey Sue! That’s a great tip too… I have read somewhere that it allows the stuffing to settle and you get a better result. I’m usually too impatient though!!! 😀

    Comment by Pauline on March 15, 2014 at 2:40 am

  3. I think I might be an overstufffer 😉
    Sometimes I notice it is too much and I have to reduce the stuffing again!

    Comment by Anna on March 20, 2014 at 9:14 pm

  4. It depends on what I’m making and who I’m making it for. If I’m making a stuffed animal, I tend to under stuff, I like them to be squishy. If I’m making a doll, I over stuff, I don’t want the head to get floppy.
    This pic is adorable. 🙂

    Comment by Karen Fifelski on March 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm

  5. I tend to be an overstuffer so I have to always tell myself to back off a little bit. 😉

    Comment by Alicia Phillips on March 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  6. Hi

    I think I am an overstuffer! Sometimes so much that the seams start to separate 🙁

    Comment by Briony on March 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

  7. I’m definitely an over stuffer. I’ve only made honey so far, for my daughter – but she was bearsting at the seams (honey the bear, not my daughter) 🙂

    Comment by Amanda bishell on March 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

  8. I’m definitely an understuffer. I think it looks like I’ve put a lot in until I stitch up, then I realise I could’ve done with using way more stuffing!! Haha.

    Comment by Georgie on March 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm

  9. Must say I’m an under stuffer. Finding that happy medium is hard!

    Comment by Krystal on March 20, 2014 at 9:31 pm

  10. I am a mixture, when doing my memory bears. If using your signature bear pattern I overstuff to make him more like a traditional bear, if using the honey bear pattern I under stuff as I like him to be more cuddly.

    Comment by Amanda on March 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

  11. Definitely an Under-stuffer!! I tend to think dolls should be soft n cuddly! (aka; squishy-mushy!)

    Comment by Carin Gallinat on March 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

  12. I’m an understuffer!!! I realise after I’ve sewn up that I’ve been a bit too cautious with my stuffing

    Comment by Hayley on March 20, 2014 at 9:34 pm

  13. I am an over stuffer as I like the animals to be firm and not get squished after lots of cuddles. But, sometimes I think they can look lumpy from over stuffing, so I’m still working on it to get it “just right” 🙂

    Comment by Katie Carr on March 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

  14. Overstuffer! Love my toys to be firm and a little bit heavy, that way they look good standing on a shelf or on a bed, but still great for a cuddle. Then hopefully they can handle many cuddles without getting out of shape.

    Comment by Sarah on March 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

  15. I just stuff them up! Sometimes over, sometimes under!

    Comment by Deanne on March 20, 2014 at 9:46 pm

  16. I’m an over stuffer every time!

    Comment by Michelle on March 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

  17. Definitely an overstuffer 🙂

    Comment by Jenny on March 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm

  18. I overstuff. Lots of loving tends to compress the stuffing and then they go limp. Can’t have that.

    Comment by Susan V on March 20, 2014 at 10:12 pm

  19. I think I am an under stuffer, although I only made my first toy (using funky friends pattern obviously) this week, so there is still time to become an over stuffer lol. Loving all your patterns, Pete is next on my list 🙂

    Comment by Sarah on March 20, 2014 at 10:15 pm

  20. Definite under stuffer … Always think I have enough, and end up needing more!

    Comment by Sara on March 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm

  21. I’m almost ashamed to admit I’m a complete understuffer!! I love the soft squishy feel 🙂

    Comment by Georgina on March 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm

  22. I tend to understuff. I’m getting better though. 🙂

    Comment by Charlotte on March 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm

  23. I must admit I am an overstuffer!

    Comment by Chelsea on March 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm

  24. If anything, I tend to overstuff, but the stuffing does settle and everything ends up looking just right in a short amount of time. 🙂

    Comment by Michelle on March 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

  25. i too have to rein in my stuffing …i just made a sweet pin cushion but stuffed it to the point i can not get a pin into it…oopsies

    Comment by suz on March 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm

  26. I tend to overstuff my fabric toys but I have to closely monitor my knit toys as too much stuffing will peek thru the stitches.

    Comment by Allison on March 20, 2014 at 11:18 pm

  27. Hmmm probably overstuffer, just like me 🙂 More to hug.

    Comment by Kathy on March 20, 2014 at 11:31 pm

  28. I overstuff! I don’t use fleece that often and find that cotton fabrics need a little extra stuffing!

    Comment by Jenny on March 20, 2014 at 11:42 pm

  29. I am still undecided lol, i have some really hard stuffed dolls and animals, but obvisously the animals made with stretchy fabric I still have a bit dificulty to know exactly how much I should stuff in and than I have a tendecy to understuff, hmmm is there an undecided catecory?

    Comment by Melanie on March 20, 2014 at 11:50 pm

  30. I used to be an understuffer, but I think I’m getting better the more I see.

    Comment by Jenn W on March 20, 2014 at 11:52 pm

  31. Sorry if this is a duplicate, i tried to submit my comment but it said i had already commented which i hadn’t, trying again…. I usually stuff my animals and dolls quite hard, but when its with stretchy fabric i have less experience and i tend to understuff, i am in the undecided catecory lol

    Comment by Melanie on March 20, 2014 at 11:53 pm

  32. I am totally an overstuffer!

    Comment by JGB on March 20, 2014 at 11:59 pm

  33. Understuffer, I like them soft and squishy.

    Comment by Kellie on March 21, 2014 at 12:20 am

  34. I always used to overstuff . now I tend to under stuff when using fleece .. And both ways lumpy .. I’m about to start massaging and waiting a day and I’ve bought a new type of stuffing so here’s hoping for smooth toys in the futue

    Comment by mary harffey on March 21, 2014 at 12:27 am

  35. I am an understuffer and an overstuffer, still looking for the happy balance. Love the tips above, very helpful 🙂

    Comment by kez on March 21, 2014 at 12:34 am

  36. Mostly an overstuffed, especially if you want the toy to stand proudly or the head not to wobble. But an under stuffer when I want the toy to be cuddled lots!

    Comment by robyns busy nest on March 21, 2014 at 1:23 am

  37. It depends on whether I want a cuddly softie or a well shaped softie……

    Comment by Sharon on March 21, 2014 at 1:44 am

  38. I’m a bit of both. Depends on what I am stuffing. Some toys need to be soft and cuddly but dolls I think need to be firm.

    Comment by Ros on March 21, 2014 at 2:08 am

  39. I am an over stuffer for sure! It needs to be cos later on it does go down.

    Comment by sue on March 21, 2014 at 2:15 am

  40. I am an understuffer. I like Sues suggestion of leaving it for a couple of days as I always think it looks right until after it’s stitched up!

    Comment by Karen on March 21, 2014 at 2:33 am

  41. I’m an overstuffer. I think I get too excited with the stuffing, and sometimes need to pull some out.

    Comment by Caryn Step on March 21, 2014 at 5:02 am

  42. Definitely an under stuffer. I try so hard to be a stuffed just right person but it’s always an epic FAIL 🙂

    Comment by Caroline Blake on March 21, 2014 at 5:21 am

  43. I’m an understuffer but it’s because I’m
    Learning and afraid to over stuff, I will get better

    Comment by Mrs long on March 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

  44. I’m definitely an understuffer. I always think I’ve put enough in but a day or so later once the toy has been played with it becomes clear I haven’t. I need a better stuffing massage technique I think.

    Comment by Donna on March 21, 2014 at 7:31 am

  45. I was an understuffer, turned unpicker and overstuffer! Now I go straight for the overstuff with a few cuddles as I go to help it settle 🙂

    Comment by Sarah on March 21, 2014 at 8:02 am

  46. I am definitely an “overstuffer” – only way to get rid of all the wrinkles and fill out the shape nicely. Amazing how much stuffing goes into a small space – and best tip I ever got was to use lots of little bits of stuffing and push them in firmly to get a nice even fill with no lumps and bumps.

    Comment by Sandy Murphy on March 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

  47. I’m an overstuffer for sure!!! Always trying to rein it in a bit with every toy!!

    Comment by Kylie Smith on March 21, 2014 at 8:26 am

  48. I can’t decide if I am an over or under stuffer. Some items I have made I have under stuffed yet other items like a soft doll I have well and truly overstuffed.

    Comment by Michelle Kagerer on March 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  49. I’m an overstuffer for sure!!

    Comment by Stacy Alfano on March 22, 2014 at 3:00 am

  50. We made the doll and it turned out so cute. Just wanted to say – youre the BEST!

    Comment by Ameda on July 5, 2014 at 7:31 pm