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Make A Raggedy Doll

by Karen Rubsam


I admit it. I play with dolls. I always have. As a teenager I was still playing with my Barbie while other girls had moved on to boys. It’s an oddity that is usually best not discussed outside the doll world. So imagine my surprise when I spied a traditional style Raggedy Ann and Andy on my friends dorm room bed at college.

I didn’t think she had the same attachment to dolls as I do, so I avoided a full throttle discussion on the joys of dolls. My friend’s raggedy dolls were just something her mom had made for her and they reminded her of home so she brought them back each year. Careful not to reveal too much, I never openly coveted them, though I watched as several of her friends got their own set made especially for them by her mother. I wasn’t sure if they were gifts or if they paid for them. Paying for them was out of the question as a cash-starved student. And, I guess I never made the BFF list to earn a set as a gift. So I suffered in silence. After graduation I moved on, or so I thought, and focused on other things.

I started sewing again about a year ago. And yes, it was related to my doll fixation. Though, the memories of Raggedy Ann were not in the forefront of my mind I had moved on to Betsy McCall and American Girl types. I couldn’t believe how expensive clothes were for them so I decided to sew my own. Mind you I had already amassed a collection of Barbie dolls. The Barbies didn’t need clothes as they could be fashionably attired at reasonable prices. Not to mention their clothes are just too small for me to even attempt to sew!

Ah but the Raggedy Ann memories came streaming back one day as I was browsing a pattern book at Joann’s during their $.99 pattern sale. I saw the Classic Raggedy Ann & Andy pattern (Simplicity 9447):


They looked just like my friend’s set! I thought…”I could do that”…and quickly bought the pattern. As with most sewing projects, it sat there for a while. I was finally inspired when I found out that one of my mom’s caregivers has the same birthday as I do. And, she still plays with dolls! We have a big birthday coming up (I won’t say which one) so I thought I would do something special for her. I think she might like her own Raggedy Ann doll.

The actual sewing of the doll was pretty easy. Surprisingly it was somewhat difficult to collect all the right fabric. I wanted to make the doll with darker skin and brown hair since this lady is from Jamaica. I’m still not sure I got the tone just right. I needed to look around for the red and white striped fabric for the legs. I finally found some mixed in with the Christmas fabric. I was thinking you might also find it with the Halloween costume material when that comes out. My point? if you ever think you might want to make this doll and you see red/white striped fabric buy it ‘then’ don’t wait!

I bought the pattern before I had an embroidery machine. I am sooo glad that I waited to make the doll. The embroidery machine made it easier and added those special touches. Rather than using buttons and paint, I opted to embroider the face. I think it looks even better than those silly faces on my friend’s dolls! I embroidered a heart on her chest and a cute little “Made by Karen” on her bottom (I wonder if the birthday girl will ever see it). I wanted to personalize the doll so I came up with the idea of adding a monogram to the pinafore. I used a frame from the Monogram Frame set which is available from Designs by SiCK:


I love how it turned out!

The hair was the most difficult to add and in my opinion there is some room for improvement. The directions in the pattern were not really clear regarding how much yarn to use or how to actually sew it on I guess they expect us all to be expert seamstresses. After thinking about it for a while I decided to sew the hair on using some tissue paper on top to hold the yarn in place. It worked okay but next time I will try to use a color that matches the hair as it was difficult to pull green tissue paper out of her brown hair! I might try to look online for other hints as well (please feel free to comment if you have an easier solution).

I will be giving the caregiver the doll next week. I do hope she likes it as much as I do. Regardless, with my good deed done I feel that it is now appropriate to make one for myself!


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81 Responses to Make A Raggedy Doll

  1. Marty says:

    I loved the way you described your adventure,I chuckled a couple of times.I have always wanted a raggedy Ann and Andy,ever since my 3rd grade teacher read the story to tthe class.Last year my husband and I went to a flea market,there was brand new 21 inch raggedly ann and andy for sell.$30.00. My husband bought them for me for my 69 birthday.They sit in my den on an old school bench. I loved your story. Marty

  2. LIBBY says:

    i would love to see your doll

  3. LIBBY says:

    or is this it?,if it its it’s a lovely doll very nice job..hugs…libby

  4. sewinsc says:

    I love this article. I too am a doll lover and won’t tell my age. This design is the first thing I did when I started sewing over 30 odd years ago. And have since created my own designs. A extra tip for sewing on hair is I use a large tapestry needle and going around the head I sew on large hoops. Example is a large loose whip stitch. As for skin tones she could look at all of the colors of people around her and match her fabric to that. Example is I am tan skinned and some of my dolls were tan color fabric. I know this lady will love this doll because it comes from the heart and the doll is beautiful to. You did a great job with her.

  5. Linda says:

    I enjoyed your story very much! I have two granddaughters, and you have inspired me to try making them raggedy ann dolls. This probably won’t happen any time soon, but it will be fun collecting the pattern and fabrics.

  6. JoAnn says:

    You should make one for yourself. And enjoy it. This just proves that one should never grow up totally….it takes the FUN out of life. I believe that one only gets better with age. I intend to never fully grow up. I am 68 yrs young. So just like good wine I get better with age. And when I get to Heaven, God is going to have my sewing room, where I can make things to make others and myself happy. I also would like to have this doll. I always admire them at craft shows. JoAnn

  7. Patty_l says:

    I think you did a terrific job. I too love dolls. Raggedy Ann is such a classic. Thank you for sharing your project.
    Hugs, Patty

  8. Sharon says:

    Thank you Karen for this stroll down memory lane. I have the Raggedy Ann & Andy doll pattern from years (and years) ago, and now you have inspired me to make her again. You did a bang-up job on her. I am sure your Mom and her caregiver will both appreciate your love and kind heart. Thank you for sharing your story. Warm Fuzzies to you.

  9. Judy says:

    How cute.. I love it.. I sure would like to be your mom’s caregiver..
    I too love dolls. And Raggedy ann is one of my favorites.You did a great job, with all the extra embroidering.
    Thankyou for sharing her with us.. Judy

  10. kriss says:

    She is wonderful. She will be treasured and played with I’m sure.

  11. Barbara says:

    You have inspired me. I have the pattern, my older sister had bought and never finished the doll before passing on. I will get it done this year. Thank you. I have 13 great grandkids, could never pick one to give this doll to. Have to think about this one.

  12. robin h says:

    I think the story and the doll are precious, Hope your doll turns out as well as this one. you did a great job on it!

  13. Gramma Bergan says:

    Oh my! Did you bring back memories. I made the really big raggedys for two of my children. Even made Ann and Andy for a neighbor to match her sunroom. Used heather green for hair and other shades for eyes, nose and mouth. Pastel green and white stripes for the legs and green feet.(Hand embroidered.) Think that I used a McCalls pattern though 5499. Used a marking pen to draw placement for the hair.The directions were pretty good. It was fun to experiment and they turned out really nice. Go Girl. Make yourself two. (o;

  14. Sylvia S says:

    I have made these for my kids (30 yrs ago) and my GK’s. I still have the Mc Calls Pattern, Ann and Andy. Like you, the hair was not my favorite thing to do, but after I got the hang of it (and re read the inst’s) having a very sharp needle is a must ! I enjoyed them and had many days watching all the kids playing with them. My hand embroidery still looks good 30 yrs later, Very surprising !!!

  15. Caroleta Rogers says:

    What about a wash away stabilizer instead of tissue paper when you sew the hair?

  16. Karen says:

    This is very cute! I have made many rag dolls (haven’t made the raggety ann or andy yet, although I do have the patterns). For the skin tones, you can use unbleached muslin and if the color isn’t dark enough you can tea die it until it is the right color. Over the years I have made personalized rag dolls for each of my kids and as they grew up, each of their kids and then all my neices and nephews and their kids. Each doll has had the hair color and eye color made to match the child, along with the skin tone. I have usually been able to find muslin in the proper color to match the skin color (or I used the unbleached and tea die it and that has worked very well). Yours turned out very cute. The way I sew the hair on is to cut the yarn into the proper length plus an inch or so (I trim it up later when it is done) then, I sew each row on with a matching thread color; this is done by hand, and for any kind of part that is put in the hair is then embroidered using the same yarn and using a hand embroidery back stitch or outline stitch. I usually will put the hair on the head fairly early in the process as this makes it a bit easier, but whatever works for you…..Sometimes you have to make a few before you can figure out all the shortcuts and techniques that work best for you. I have been making these since my daughter was a baby and she is now in her 30’s, so I have had plenty of practice to get comfortable making them. In these rag dolls that I make, I usually make outfits for the doll and matching outfits for the child, such as a night shirt for the doll and a matching set of pj’s for the child, a dress with pinafore or apron for the doll and a matching set for the child, and for the boys, a shirt and set of overalls that match both the doll and the childs. Then I have something exciting to give them for the next few Christmas’s or birthdays. By making new matching outfits, the kids usually know that they are getting outfits but they can’t wait to see what it is! On one doll that I made for one of my boys that wears eye glasses I was even able to find a set of doll eye glasses just like his at a hobby shop. He really LOVED that. I am pleased to say that pretty much all of them still have the dolls (including the boys)!!! That is what makes the work all worth it. There may be some eaiser patterns out there too that will give you better details on putting the hair on, or you could always buy a set of premade doll hair. They sell that at most hobby shops and at Micheals craft stores and some Joanns fabric stores. Also for the red and white stripes on the fabric, if you can’t find just what you are looking for, fabric markers are great for this! Use a white cotton fabric, tape it off with painters tape in a striped pattern and use either fabric paint or fabric markers to make the red stripes. Be sure to follow the instructions to set the paint or marker in!

  17. Klarina says:

    I just love it! Thanks for this fabulous idea.

  18. Chris says:

    I enjoyed this article, and the doll is just darling!! I have a question: you mentioned embroidering the face. Did you machine embroider the face, or did you mean hand embroider? If machine embroidered, where did you find the face design? Again, thank you for sharing your wonder doll. Very Cute.

  19. Glenda L says:

    You might try using a touch of temporary spray adhesive to hold the “hair” in place until it is sewn on or just a small spot of liquid fabric glue. Try either on a sample, as always, to make sure it dries clear and doesn’t get stiff.

    Great idea for Christmas presents. Thanks

  20. Chris says:

    I enjoyed this article, and the doll is just darling!! I have a question: you mentioned embroidering the face. Did you machine embroider the face, or did you mean hand embroider? If machine embroidered, where did you find the face design? Again, thank you for sharing your wonderfull doll. Very Cute.

  21. Brenda says:

    Thats awesome! I, too, am a closet dolly girl. I recently started making rag dolls, and must admit I am NOT very good at it, but they look darling all lined up in my bed, and yep, I snuggle them! I figure practice will make perfect. I only need to please myself anyway. I name the first doll “HOPE”, as she ‘hopes’ I will do a better job on her upcoming sister :). Good job-your friend will be delighted, I am sure.

  22. Dottie Cook says:

    You did an absolutely wonderful job on this Raggedy Ann doll. I do Raggedy wigs for Clowning and with dolls you can use a large eye needle for yarn and apply; starting from the bottom and work toward the top in layers; ending up in the bangs area. You can make the hair longer or shorter by applying by hand. Doll heads are not very large so it doesn’t taka very long to do them. This locks the stitches in and children cannot pull the yarn out (Red Heart 3-4Ply) is washable too. Rows can be placed about 3/4″ apart and each strand about 1/3″ apart. It creats a full look when finished, and you can make Raggedy hair any color you choose. This does take a bit more time but the results are well worth it. I just so loved your photo….Keep up the wonderful work you are doing with this. To add a touch of delight to your project, Wrap a Music button in a small baggy, tie it off in a tight knot and place inside when you stuff the doll-makes the Music button water proof. And if you apply it in the back you can open up a stitche to replace the music button if it stops working. They last a long time. And you then will have a Musical Raggedy! Keep up the good work.

  23. jennie harnett says:

    well done, let us see yours when you get it finished, now I will try one

  24. hilde says:

    Your doll is so lovely Karen!

  25. Grandma Ria says:

    You did a great job on the Raggedy Ann, she looks so cute and love what you did with the Pinafore, I am sure when she gets to her new home she will be looked after.
    Thank you for sharing Ria

  26. kathryn sieminskie says:

    for the hair I lay the yarn out flat and sew it before I sew the head together I braid the hair at the ends to help hold it in place out of the way when stitching us a small strip of WSS then cut away as much as possible then dab with wet cloth away goes the WSS if you leave to much stabilizer the hair will be stiff at that spot but just a little help keep the yarn from getting fussy while your making the doll I,m 57 and play with dolls I use my granddaughter as an excuse.

  27. Mary Allen says:

    Well done Karen. She is a lovely doll. You have given me some inspiration. But yours will need a friend like Andy.

  28. Marsha says:


    Great doll!! Try using a water soluble or heat away stabilizer next time for sewing on the yarn…worked for me when doing costumes. Even a easy tear away should work better than tissue paper.

  29. Bea Creamer says:

    For the hair, fold the yarn and sew it to a piece of WSS, folding over as you sew. When you’re done, cut the pieces at the bottom. Sew the strips of hair around the head starting at the bottom and going around the outside front of the face. When you’ve finished all your sewing, wash the head piece and remove the WSS that way. Green tissue paper? WSS serves so many purposes and this makes it easier. I used to make porcelain dolls from scratch and used mohair instead of Yarn. Didn’t know about WSS back then.

    There is a rag doll pattern on Oregon Patchwork.


    It’s not a Raggedy Ann, but cute. It’s done in the hoop and she has the faces and clothes done in the hoop for it as well. Try it.



  30. Marty says:

    Your doll is precious.
    As to the hair..wrap the yarn around a small box or piece of card that is approximately 6 inches wide. You can wind it on as close as you want. Take this to your machine, and as you slip it off of the box slowly, place just the yarn under your presser foot, centering the yarn to the stitches. Stitch down the center,keeping the yarn close together. I usually make about 3 yards of this at a time. You can then apply the hair by either sewing it on singly or you can double the layers for thicker hair. Sometimes I even cheat a little and use some washable glue to get it in the right place first before I stitch it to the dolls head.

  31. Judy says:

    Dear Karen,
    She looks like the perfect friend! I too love to “play with” dolls. A solution to your hair with tissue problem. In place of tissue paper, use Water Soluable Stabilizer. What doesn’t come off with the “pull” can easily be dissolved.

  32. Debbie says:

    I love the face that you embroidered. Sooo cute! The hair is not bad and I have no solution, but practice, practice, practice. Each one of the dolls will be a “one of a kind” and that makes it such a heart-felt gift. You go girl!

  33. Linda says:

    I Love your doll. It is just great and your ideas to personalize it are inspiring.
    When I make hair from yarn for my dolls, I use a layer of sulky or melt-away stablizer and secure the yarn to it and then put a layer on top and stitch it together before placing on dolls head. That way I can adjust for more thinkness of ‘hair’ if needed and then just dampen and the stablizer will melt -away.
    Hope this is of some help.

  34. Susan says:

    Loved your article on the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I have my daughter’s doll given to her by her grandmother, my daughter lives in Germany and could not take all her stuff. Reading your article put into my head that I could make one for each of my two granddaughters as I know they do not have one. You did a wonderful job on yours. I also have embridery machines so I could also put the faces on that way. Will have to purchse the ones you used as it looks great!

  35. Barbara says:

    Love your doll – watch out, you’re hooked now!! I’ve made many of these cuties as baby gifts. One thing I usually do is the traditional heart says ‘I Love You’ on it but I put ‘I Love Linda’ – or of course whatever the child’s name is.

  36. Lucille Williams says:


    I love dolls too!!! Especially cloth ones… Please post what her reaction is when you give it to her…

    Can you believe I have a daughter who is not into dolls. I think I made 5 different ones for her with a change of clothes and basket storage before I figured them out. Gave them all to other childen.

    Go Figure…


  37. Lena Mae says:

    Karen there is nothing wrong with playing with dolls and collecting dolls I never had a doll as a chile and I just love them now and make all kinds. I would like to know where you got your face design I have searched for one almost a year .I have to make 10 sets of them and can not find one if it is your own will you sell me the design and if you bought it will you tell em where..please let me know.
    HUgsLena Mae

  38. Sandy says:

    First, I love your story, your doll is awesome! Then I got a kick out of seeing all the hours of the day and night that comments were added, just goes to show we all are at our best at different times. Finally, I don’t know if this would work but I was wondering if you used some water solutble stabilizer instead of the tissue paper, then you could just spritz away any that you can’t pull out – just a thought. I’m not as much into dolls although lately I’ve been thinking about an American Girl but I just turned 51 on 8/15 and I still love stuffed animals – so don’t worry about like dolls.

  39. Beth says:

    I too am a lover of all kinds of dolls. My aunt was a kindred spirit and she made dolls until she went into a nursing home a few years ago. 30 years ago I made a Raggedy Ann for my daughter and she loves it still. 3 years ago I made a set of Ann and Andy for my grand daughter. I made a matching dress and apron for her too. SHe loved it. Now she has American girl and I make my GD and her doll matching outfits. I think I do it as much for my pleasure as hers!!! I am hoping for another grandchild so I can sew more dolls. I, too , would be interested to know if there is a machine embroidery pattern for the Raggedy face. Keep on sewing those dolls!!!

  40. Judy says:

    I would love a design for faces of Raggedy Ann’s!! The doll would be a great Christmas present!

  41. Donna Davis says:

    I make these dolls and I have found the easiest way to make the hair is to use a form for hairpin lace that is about 4 inches wide. I wind the yarn around it until it is full, then I sew down the middle. I remove all but a couple of the strands and do it again. When I have enough for the complete head, I hand stitch it in place starting around the face then down one side and from bottom to top and zig zaging over the back of the head until it is as full as I want it. When I cut the remaining, I put some fray check on the stitches and cut it. You can cut the loops or just leave them looped. I have done both and like it both ways. I have given these to children that really play with them and have never had the hair come off.

  42. quiltist says:

    Your doll is simply adorable. The hair can be difficult to attach and keep evenly distributed. I have a ‘hairpin lace’ fram that works well for me to do the fringe (bangs)all around the head, a long satin stitch for the crown is the fill in.
    Hope that helps if you ever decide to make another.
    The stuffing has always been the hardest for me to do, my hands complain after 10 minutes of so.

  43. Jan says:

    I loved this and the timing was perfect! I am just completing a 15″ Raggedly for my granddaughter (17 months old) using the McCall’s 6941 that I used to make the dolls before my first baby was born in 1972. I had to iron out the old pattern pieces and did as you did about going to the embroidery patterns on my machine for a Raggedy Ann face. Luckily I am a pack rat and had all of the fabrics I needed. I, too, embroidered the heart on the chest with I Love You on it, but didn’t think of the “made by” part. I am up to the dreaded hair part now. Wish I had read this first, I would definitely have used your idea for the hair. Joyful! Thanks!

  44. Gail says:

    How Great! Many years ago, I too, made some Raggedy Ann and Andy Dolls! I did it for Christmas for four of my daughters! I hand knotted the hair in and it was really thick! Did the stitches close together and they were beautiful! I also hand embroidered the faces! My daughters to this day, some 35 years later, have the dolls. They are their treasures. Unfortunately, my 5th daughter did not get one, makes me want to make her one even though she is 29. Just learned machine embroidery and love it! It has rekindled my love of ebroidery and sewing! By the way have 3 sons too, but they aren’t into dolls! (lol)

  45. Stephanie says:

    This was truly a touching story! I never had the opportunity to play with dolls much as a child, but this story sure makes me wish that I had. Also brought back lots of memories of the Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls that my step-daughter had. They always laid on her pillow after making her bed. I will have to ask her if she knows what happened to them. I appreciated your comment about how once you buy a pattern it has to “sit” a while… you have to be a crafter & sewer to know and admit that. I’m sure that the care-giver will cherish her new treasure, especially because it was made with love.

  46. Kathlene says:

    I echo the comments of all the others…great job and wonderful job of telling your story. I have collected dolls for years and years. I have so many Ashton Drake dolls, I have had to take our two extra bedrooms and make them into nurserys!! My husband wants to start claiming them on our income tax! Too funny. These rooms are the first place our grands head for when they come up too…it is like a wonderful fairyland for them. They carefully hold and cradle all the dolls and are very good “mommy’s and daddy’s” to them. :o)

    Please post where you found the face for your Ann doll…we all love it and would like to duplicate them.
    Hugs…Kath :o)

  47. Karen says:

    Wow!! You guys are a GREAT support group. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I now know I am not alone out there ;-). Many thanks for the hair suggestions. I haven’t finished my doll yet so I will try them out.

    I did give the doll to the lady. I think she loved it but was a little shy about it. You know, the “I am too old to show too much interest” look. I got a very sweet picture of her hugging the doll that I will treasure.

    The face is a free design from another website. I am not sure if I can post the link but I will try.

    It was not big enough so I used software to to cut it into four designs (2 eyes, nose and mouth), each of which I enlarged.

  48. VIrginia says:

    Raggedy Ann is my favorite doll. I named my little girl after her. I have collected every fabric that comes out with Raggedy Ann on it. There is a cute poem I once had about her, that talks about how she always is a friend and never tell tales. Always ready to welcome you with a smile even when you have had a bad day. If anyone knows the full poem about Raggedy Ann I would love a copy of it. Kudos to your you on your Doll, she looks cute. I am sure your friend will love her.

  49. Kay says:

    What a wonderful story & HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you both.

    I too would like to know how you embroidered the faces. I appreciate the details in your article. You did a beautiful job on your Raggity Ann and I know your mom’s caregiver will be thrilled.

    Thank you for sharing your project with us. Kay

  50. I love your doll, I to love making dolls. I have tried to sell some,but noone wants to pay what I think they are worth. I make dolls and put a new baby’s birthday in the embroidered heart, and the clothes they come home from the hospital in. I is a very nice gift, that hopefully will be passed down to future generations.

  51. Angie says:

    Love the doll. You did a great job. I also have that pattern, but had not sewn it yet. I did make a YO Yo doll. When I done her hair I used card stock and wrap the yarn around it. Then I sewed a seam down the middle. The card stock just tears away. Poster board works well too, just cut it to the size you want. As for the face I think it was a free pattern on Sew Forum. It is the same one I put on my doll.

  52. peggy says:

    beautiful! i made a set for my daughter when she was litle and she still keeps them on her bed. when i did her’s it was all by hand and yes the face was a lot like yours but by hand as i did not have a machine at that time. the hair was done by hand needle and tied. it did turn out nice. thinking about doing another set just for the fun.

  53. JoAnn says:

    My sister made me a pair of Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy when I was in high school. It is a great gift of love. They were perfect, but she never had the desire to do it again. I always felt bad because she has two wonderful daughters. Maybe I can give back to her through them.

  54. When I made the Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls. I made long form out of bossa wood like a ruler with the middle out. I raped the yarn around the form amd sew up the middle untill I got as much hair as I wanted to put on the dolls,then hand sewed it on the head of them. It was a lot easier I though.

  55. Joan says:

    The doll is extraordinary! I still play with dolls to. Try this when you go to make the hair. Cut a piece of paper or cardboard the length you want the hair and as long as the seam you will sew the hair to. Carefully and smoothly wrap the yarn for hair evenly around the cardboard. I mark the seam line with chalk (it brushes right off) then sew the seam (on the machine before you stuff the head) right down that chalk line as you slide it off of the cardboard. This works beautifuly for me and I hope it speeds your raggedy along the path to your heart!

  56. Jeanette says:

    Hi, My name is Jeanette and I enjoyed reading your article about your love for dolls. I too am a doll lover. I have an idea for you as to how to sew the hair since your asked for suggesions. How about instead of tissue paper use a water soluble stabilizer. After you see all of the hair, just run it under water and the stabilizer all rinses out and all you have left is the yarn hair. Hope I helped you. Hugs, Jeanette

  57. Dawn says:

    Karen, Loved your raggedy Ann doll. When I was little a friend of my mothers that was nearly blind made me a set that I dearly loved.Wis I still had them but they disappeared in one of our moves.I made some years ago and even then had trouble finding the red and white stripe. Nice to know these dolls are still loved by so many.

  58. Anonymous says:

    What a great story you shared with us! I’ve always loved dolls, too, but never had a Raggedy Anne or Andy. My SIL made one like yours years and years ago for her three girls…the oldest is almost 50 and all three still have them in their homes.
    Thanks bunches for your story and sharing your beautiful doll. I know your mom’s caregiver will cherish it always.

  59. dore says:

    I was thrilled to see your article about Raggety Ann. I made all the dolls size ity bity to as tall as my 2 granddaughters That is 8. I had so much fun making them, as I got to play with them before I gave them away. They still have them and they are 22 and 21 now. Have fun making these dolls they are so special. I used a large needle for the hair and made them with orange/red yarn.

  60. sewinglady1947 says:

    I love your doll especially its face. When I made mine the hair is my least favorite chore to do. I take a wire clothes hanger and bend it in a long u-shape leaving space of about how long I want my hair to be, and then wrapped my yarn around this wire and sew down center of hair. Then I mark lines where I want to sew hair to and finger stitch it on (at the seam down the middle of hair). then I cut loops apart. It is much quicker and easier. I have also never outgrown dolls. About two years ago I took a class on how to make a porcelain doll. I made my favorite which is the Gerber doll.

  61. Laurel says:

    I just recently lost a very good friend to cancer. She spent hours making and giving away her wonderful doll creations. This story made me smile thinking of her. Now I am thinking maybe I should try to make a doll and see if I can share my love in the way she did.

  62. Karen says:

    Still plays with dolls and proud of it! Let’s just say I’ve passed the half century mark.
    Just loved this story, and the doll turned out beautifully! I have a collection of Raggedy Anns, and have made quite a few, I’d love to know if there is an embroidery design available for the faces.
    Easy tip for hair: Using mylar or heavy cardboard (rigid cardboard works best), make a frame twice as wide as the length of the loops you want the hair to be. Cut out the center to allow your pressure foot to fit. Wrap your yarn around the frame (remember how to make pompoms?), sew down the middle. Repeat for as many rows of “hair” as required for the doll. These are easy to sew on the dolls head, space them closely for a nice full head of “hair”. This same principal works for long hair, just snip the loops.
    Another idea, monique trading co. sells a yarn doll wig.
    You should definately make one for yourself! You’ll be glad you did.

  63. Deb Jones says:

    I love your article – I have decorated my entire sewing room in Raggedy Ann and Andy – my kids and grandkids are always adding to my collection and my son in law added which are filled with teapots, books, fiqurines, dolls (all sizes), etc. I did make the dolls for my girls, but now inspired to make them for my granddaughters for Christmas (and maybe Andy for my young grandsons) along with the books! Thanks!!!!

  64. Tammy Menlove says:

    I love it! I am a raggedy ann fan! What embroidery design did you use for the face???

  65. Marion Figgins says:

    I made Raggedy’s for our granddaughters after a member of our Bernina club showed us a quick way to do them, and put the hair on them, at the time we used rug yarn, but can’t find it now. Our grandson wanted one so bad, he used to fight with his sisters for their dolls, so I made an Andy and put striped denim coveralls on him, plus a cap like a railroad worker. He just loved him, although his father didn’t like it. But he grew up manly, so it didn’t hurt him. I use my embroidery machine and a face design from one of my sets. Your doll is beautiful.We are never too old for dolls.

  66. adrian says:

    I have made couple sets of the A&A dolls 20+ years ago as gifts. When I put the yarn hair on, I used a yarn needle and sewed each “hair” on. That was the most time consuming part. I still have the patterns, in 4 sizes. I might make a set again one of these days. I enjoyed reading your story. Happy sewing!

  67. Betty June says:

    When I made Raggedy Anns many years ago, I hand-knotted the hair, too. Several times, tho, I spaced the rows too far apart, so finally started replacing the part of the dolls head that was under the hair with material the same color as the hair (ie, pieced the back head part). That way, none of the skin color showed thru. I personally don’t like muslin-colored skin, so always used peach broadcloth for the doll bodies.

  68. sandra says:

    This is sew darling. It would nice if you could get the Andy pattern as well. Great price! It sounds like a fun project. It shows how you can add embroidery to all our sewing projects. I think it will make your frind smile!

  69. Granny says:

    I made Raggedy dolls for my girls when they were babies. Not the same pattern, I would think, as you suggested (girls are all over 30 now), and have made sure that each of my grands has had either Raggedy girl or boy for their first Christmas. I have purchased for the grands, as I have somehow lost the original pattern. Think I used heavy yarn for the hair, too. You have renewed my interest in this doll…and I have a grandson who will celebrate his first Christmas this year.

  70. CJ says:

    AH-h-h! Raggedy Ann! How cute! I made a set for my daughter when she was 4. She loved dressing and undressing them; and their little hearts. When her father and I separated, her grandmother took them and wouldn’t give them back. I have often wanted to make another set for her, but never did. We never found the dolls among her grandmothers things when she died, so I’ll never know what happened to them, but now I am inspired to make another set. Is there a pattern for the embroidered face? Thanks for sharing. You did a great job!

  71. AuntieM2 says:

    I’m so happy to read that so many love dolls as much as I do! I used a method for the hair similar to comments 30 and 41 but being that I’m thrifty to a fault and craft in the wee hours of the morning I bent a section of wire hanger in a U shape and wrapped the yarn around it then sewed up the middle of the open end of the wire. The well loved dolls I made 15 years ago still have all their hair. I have an embroidery machine and would like to find the design to do the face too but when I clicked the link you left I was told I didn’t have clearance–how do I get that?

  72. Kitsy says:

    Dear Karen,
    I share your love of dolls and have amassed a small collection of Ann and Andys. For my granddaughter’s first Christmas in 2002 I made her a set. I found the pattern printed on fabric, the body and the clothes and directions on how to make the yarn hair. They turned out to be beautiful. Funny thing is that she is not a doll kind of girl, likes all things in sports and nature, just like here father. They have three dogs, one of whom likes to chew on things such as furniture and especially the childrens’ toys. Ann and Andy now reside in my bedroom to keep them safe from Sadie the dog. I looked high and low in stores and on line to find the same pattern and never could. I wanted so much to make more of these dolls so I am quite excited to see that you have found a pattern. Thanks so much for sharing with us. As for the hair, I used a strip of cardboard about 1.5 inches wide and maybe ten inches long and wrapped the red yarn around and around until it was full. Then I slipped the yarn off of the cardboard and sewed it down the middle lengthwise. I make enough of these to cover the head and then hot glued them in place. The hair looks just like the dolls I remember from long ago.

  73. Pat says:

    Just finished crocheting a Raggedy type Ann and Andy. This looks like it might be a lot simpler. I am doing these for Christmas gifts for needy children. Thanks for the idea.

  74. Karen says:

    *************DESIGN FOR FACE *****************

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I did post a link for the face in post 47. It is kindof buried right now so here it is again.


    AuntieM2 checked it the link and got a message about not having permission to view it. I think you need to be a member to view/download the designs. It is a free site (a good one IMO) that is easy to join. So you might want to try that.

    As I noted, the face is a 4×4 design. I wanted a bigger face so I used software (Sew-What-Pro) to split the pattern into four (2 eyes, nose and mouth)and then enlarged each.

    Hope that helps!

  75. teresa says:

    What machine embroidery design did you use for the face. I can imagine it looked so much better that paint or buttons. Thanks for taking me back to my childhood.

  76. melanie says:

    i too love your story and am a doll colector,over 150, most from growing up an only girl. i think i may stick to bears.

  77. kathy says:

    I have made my first raggedy ann doll and I just love it. I sewed the wood for the hair on my hand. Insert the wool through a needle and then pull the
    needle through the cloth and then pull it through again and make a knot…then pull needle through again and leave and then pull needle through and make a knot….keep doing it that way. After that you can cut the hair. It’s hard to do but it looks smashing. Your doll is beautiful. I am giving mine to an 83 yr old lady who is so thrilled.

  78. Sharron says:

    I love your doll. I’m getting ready to make my first Raggedy Ann. I don’t have a embroidery machine, so i’m going to try to do it by hand. So looking at yours will help me.
    Keep up the good work and i hope to see more dolls.

  79. Melissa Cape says:

    My mother made my sisters an I the 36 inch ones when I was about 6 I think that was like 40 years ago anyway about 17 years ago I made one for my only daughter and she has loved it I now have a 4 year old Grand daughter and decided I would make her one but was unable to find the old patteren so we bought a new one which lies the problem. It has the hair being made totaly differently I want to be able to do the hair the 1 strand way not by making a wig but cant find directions so I was hoping you would know how

  80. Brenda S Spond says:

    I was wondering if you would care to send me the Raggedy doll pattern? did you embroidered the eyes? can you send me a close up and instructions of how t make the face.. I haven’t made the doll since 1980 trying t relearn how.. I have 5 GGrandbabies that I would like to make them for. Please and Thank you! ill be waiting for a message t my email.

  81. rob says:

    The pattern was purchased from Simplicity – the link is in the article.


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