To make a colonial rag doll, draw a figure on paper, and cut cloth to match the paper outline. The doll can be sewn by hand or machine. Since colonial rag dolls are made to resemble the homemade toys of that era, they're typically simple in design and construction.
- Draw the outline
Sketch an outline on paper with a head, two arms and two legs. You can include the doll's dress with the body or make it separately. Historically, most colonial dolls were long and slender.
- Cut the cloth to fit
Fold the cloth in half, and lay it on top of your drawing. Pin the fabric to the paper and cut around the edges. If you use cotton, wash and dry it first to allow for shrinkage. Leave a 1/4-inch margin for seams. Start stitching along one side, and leave the bottom open for stuffing.
- Draw a face on the doll
Use a needle to prick the outline of facial features through the paper. Insert a pencil point through the needle holes, and make dots for the eyes, nose and mouth. Remove the paper and connect the dots on the cloth. The face should be on the inside of the fabric when you sew the edges together.
- Stuff the doll and decorate the face
Turn the doll inside out. Use natural fibers for stuffing, pulling it through with blunt tongs. Sew the last seam to close the doll. Use black paint for the eyes and mouth and pink paint for cheeks. Sew yarn on the top of the head for hair.