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I wanted to see how Tilly would look with long hair made from yarn, instead of her usual short felt bob.

It’s fun to try out different types and colours of yarn, and there’s more scope for creating different hairstyles.

 

 

To adapt the Tilly doll pattern for yarn hair, instead of using the templates for the head front, hair and fringe, I cut two pieces from the back of head template.

 

 

 

I stitched the darts and embroidered the face, adding some eyebrows for this version, then stitched the two head pieces together, right sides facing, turned the head right way out and stuffed it.

 

 

To make the hair I used a piece of cardboard 12 x 9 inches / 30 x 23cm with two snips cut in one edge as shown. One holds the cut end of the yarn, the other can hold the yarn in place if you need to pull more from the skein or de-tangle as you wind.

It’s important not to wind the yarn too tightly as it makes the hair difficult to remove from the card and also shortens the hair slightly.

 

 

For the back hair I wound the yarn 50 times round the card. The number of winds needed will depend on the thickness of your yarn. Mine is quite a thick Aran or chunky weight pure wool .

I backstitched the loops together along one edge of the card, making sure to catch all the yarn in the stitching, then cut along the opposite edge and removed the card. This left a double length of hair with a seam across the middle.

 

 

Next I pinned and stitched the seam on the yarn from one side to the other across the top of the head, then folded the hair back over the head, smoothed it and stitched across the back near the base of the head.

To make the front part of the hair I cut a length of yarn twice the long edge of the card and laid it across the short end. I then wound the wool 20 times round the card, gathered it with the loose length and knotted it to create a parting.

 

 If you want a centre parting, knot it at the edge of the card, or if you want a side parting make the knot part way along the card so your hair will finish the same length on both sides.

Finally I stitched the parting to the head, twisted each length of hair at the side and stitched it in place near the base of the head. To prevent a bare gap, I stitched along the main hair seam across the top of the head, catching down the edge of the twisted front hair.

 

 

 

I loved my long-haired version of Tilly so I made two more – Ellie who is in the step by step photos, and Isabel with a centre parting. I then had fun styling their long hair—my work is really play sometimes!

 

If you’d like to make your own Tilly doll, you can find the pattern here.

17 Comments

  1. Pink Penguin Crafts

    Just what I’ve been looking for! Looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your talents

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      I’m so glad it helped, thanks for letting me know!

      Reply
  2. Teresa Hailey

    Thank you it really help me a lot and you did explain it very clearly and the pictures more

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      That’s great, thanks Teresa!

      Reply
  3. carol

    Love it want to make it,

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      Thanks Carol! The Tilly pattern is available here if you’d like to make her.

      Reply
  4. Emily

    How do you keep the yarn from unraveling?

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      Hi Emily,
      I haven’t had any problem with the cut ends of the yarn I used unraveling. If you use a yarn with a good twist it should be fine.

      Reply
  5. Lesley

    This looks brilliant, I intend giving it a try. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      That’s great, enjoy your doll making Lesley!

      Reply
  6. Doreen

    Just love it

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      Thanks Doreen!

      Reply
  7. Mary A

    What a great idea, I love how you did this. I plan to give this a try, It looks great and you can do so many colors and styles.
    thank you

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      You’re most welcome, Mary. Enjoy experimenting and I’d love to see how you get on!

      Reply
  8. Avvy

    It looks fantastic! I really like how they all look. Could you do a video? That would really help.

    Thanks so much for taking time out to do this

    Reply
    • Tilly Puffin

      Hi Avvy, I’ve actually just started recording some videos showing techniques for making the dolls. I’m starting with embroidering the face and I’ll go on to do the hair.Thanks for getting in touch!

      Reply
  9. Danielle

    Bravo

    Reply

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