In this article I will list some of the tools that are absolutely necessary to make cloth dolls and their clothes. This is by no means a complete list, but a starting point if you are beginning to gather the tools and materials you will need. These are the basic requirements, without which you will be unable to work. There are many others which are nice, or helpful to have; and others that some consider essential, while some do not use. As you gain experience in doll making you will be able to decide what you must have, in addition to this list, and what you would like to have.
To start with, you will need a selection of fabrics for various purposes. Certainly, you will need fabric for the body of your doll. Many simple, and not so simple, cloth dolls are made with basic unbleached muslin. It's a good idea to have a stash of this fabric, because it is versatile, easy to use and usually not too expensive. Each doll will require a different amount of fabric, so it's a good idea to buy a few yards, so that you have enough for what ever doll you wish to make. Cotton broadcloth in a variety of possible flesh tones is also a good idea to invest in. Some dolls you may wish to make in pale pink or peach, while others may lend themselves to brown, black or even calico prints.
For clothing, calico prints in cotton are always a god choice. Most doll clothes don't require a large amount of fabric, but in the interest of variety and design choices, it's nice to have a stash of varied colors and patterns. A choice of solid white and eyelet fabric is also good for under clothes and aprons, as well as pretty skirts.
Two pairs of scissors are necessary, three is better. You will need one pair of fabric shears, in the best quality you can afford. These will be your most frequently used scissors and you will want them to work well and last a long time. Your second pair should be scissors that you can use to cut paper. These don't need to be as expensive as your fabric scissors, but you don't want them to shred your paper, either. Since the patterns you can download from this site will be printed on printer paper, you don't want to risk ruining your good shears by cutting it. Also, if you design your own patterns, you most likely will use heavier paper than the tissue that commercial patterns are printed on, so paper scissors are necessary. Third, not vital, but nice to have, are small scissors, such as embroudery scissors, for clipping threads and curved seam allowances.
A selection of thread in colors to match your fabrics is a good idea. Quilting thread is best for hand sewing. The most important color is always white. Buy several spools of good quality white thread, you will use it. Many times, I have been able to get away with white thread when I didn't have a color to match the fabric.
4. Pins and Needles
Again, the pins should last many years, buy the best quality you can afford. I like quilting pins because they are longer, and very sharp. With needles, it's not as important to spend a lot of money because they don't last for years. You will need small, sharp needles for sewing bodies and clothes, I use quilting needles for this. Long needles are also good to have for assembling bodies, such as attaching arms. these are sometimes referred to as "glovers" or glove making needles. They should be thin, straight and a few inches long, not the thick ones that are used for rugs or upholstery.
This can be anything from old pantyhose to quilt batting, but my preference is Polyfil, polyester stuffing. It is easy to work with and is less likely to wad up inside your doll, making your doll look lumpy and unattractive.
There you have a basic list to get started making cloth dolls.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.