Monday, November 29, 2010

April's Mini Matryoshkas

Little two and a half inch dolls, made to spread 
joy and cheer. 
These tiny girls love to be hung alongside the glowing lights of a tree or just carried in your pocket
strung amongst your keys. 
They're happy to be anywhere that they'll be smiled upon and praised. 
So sew some up for yourself and friends, and have 
Happy Holidays!

What you'll need
several colors of felt including skin toned felt for the doll's faces (I like to use 2 shades of the same color for the body of my dolls)
fabric marker or chalk pencil
pink (rosy) colored pencil
hand sewing and embroidery needles
applique pins - optional
fabric scissors (a small sharp pair helps greatly with the detailed cutting of little things)
paper scissors
clear, fast drying fabric glue like "Unique Stitch"
thread to match felt for doll body
black pearl cotton or floss
hair colored pearl cotton or floss
other bits of pearl cotton/floss to sew on flower embellishments
6 inches of complimentary yarn (or floss) for hanging

How to make one:

First print and cut out all pattern pieces.

Choose the colors for your Matryoshka's hood, back and tummy. 

Next, you can either trace your pattern pieces onto the felt with a fabric marker or pencil, or you may opt to use itty bitty applique pins to pin the pieces down and cut around them. I use both methods depending on the pattern piece's shape and size.

Cut out you doll's face, hood, tummy and back of body. Be sure to mark where her hood overlaps her tummy piece.

Apply a tiny amount of glue around face and top edge of tummy. 

  Front view        -       Back view

Glue her face behind her hoods opening and then line hood up with the top of her tummy (along overlap line).

While the glue is drying choose and cut out your flower design. Feel free to play around and come up with your own flower and leaf combinations.

Click on photos for a larger view ;)

Attach your flower design to your doll's tummy. I use a single straight stitch to attach my leaves and either a french knot or cross stitch in the center of my flowers.

After the glue has dried, using a single strand of coordinating thread, take some small stitches around the base and opening of the hood, to secure your gals face and tummy.  

Next using a double strand of hair colored pearl cotton or floss, satin stitch her hair. Use the pattern as a guide for placement and stitch slightly under the hood as you go, so as to avoid any bald spots.

Now mark eyes, lashes and mouth placement and stitch with a single strand of black pearl cotton/floss. Use a twice wrapped french knot for the center of her eyes and straight stitches for her lashes and mouth. Draw on your doll's blushing cheeks with your pink colored pencil.  

On the back body piece, using a large needle, pass the 6" of yarn, knotted at the end, through center of felts loft and come up at the top of your dolls head, this will secure your dolls hanging loop, but you should not be able to see the stitch from the doll's back side (see photo bellow).

Wrong side/ inside doll    -     Right side/back of doll

Draw needle back through the center of the felt and out next to your original knot. It helps to hold the felt at the doll's head secure between two fingers as you do this, and you may need to reshape the felt a bit at the needles entry point. Knot the yarn an inch from the end, trim off excess and pull loop taut.  

Sandwich the two body pieces together.

Starting at the bottom right corner of your little lady's body, blanket stitch her front and back pieces together using a single strand of coordinating thread. Stop at the opposite corner, leaving the bottom open.

Stuff firmly. Use the end of your pencil to help push stuffing into her head and body.

Finish by closing her up with blanket stitch across the bottom.

You've made a sweet little dolly to hang from your tree or anywhere that brings you joy.
Now make some more and give them to your friends. Everyone is sure to delight in their delicate cuteness!

Happy crafting! 
Lots of love, 


Loretta Artful yogi said...

Thank you. This is so beautiful. It reminds me of my grandma and my Eastern European heritage.

Kunklebaby said...

These are so cute!!!

Emily said...

April, these are adorable!

Chantal said...

Fantastic! Thanks for creating a tutorial for these gorgeous dolls : )

Quiltycat said...

So lovely! Thanks for this super cut idea!

Anne Marie said...

Even the tutorial is cute!

Anonymous said...

oh so cute!!!

Yvonne Rathbone said...

April - Thank you so much for changing the text!

Sarajessica said...

Just found your blog, this tutorial is adorable!

s.z.elliott said...

Thank you very much for sharing this lovely project, I shall be making a few to go in my family's and special friends christmas presents ! magic !

Amanda said...

These are adorable! I like them so much that I linked to them on my blog, I can't wait to try making my own.

Flor de Princesa said...

These are so cute!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this tutorial - I have a friend who is going to LOVE one of these. so cute

Farmgirl Susan said...

These are darling! I love the little flowers. So sweet! :)

Vera Fonseca said...

Olá!Fiquei tão feliz ao ver as bonecas e resolvi fazer para da-las aos meus netos e netas.
sempre queiz aprender a fazer porque me lembra o Pais proximo que meu papai nasceu à querida Polônia.Obrigada e feliz Natal.
Com muito amor e carinho desta aqui do jinhos.Vera Fonseca.

Amy Herbst said...

I love matryoshkas. These are darling!

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

How kind to share this tutorial. THANK YOU!!!


bobbie23nc said...

April, you have made my day! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I love Matryoshka dolls and now I can make a million or a few for my Christmas tree.

Molly said...

I love this tutorial! I've just made some and they are so cute. I'm going to include some with presents I'm giving this year. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have a thing for anything Matroyshka! thank you for sharing this tutorial!

Janelle said...

April, I just finished my first little matryoshka! Thanks for the pattern. :)

Lena said...

These are charming. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Unknown said...


I really enjoyed making this precious doll during your workshop today (despite all my pouting and complaining!). She looks beautiful on our Christmas tree, and I'm so proud of her! You are a very patient and talented instructor. I look forward to putting all of your great techniques into action again to make some more of these little darlings. The creative possibilities are endless! Thank you for such an inspiring project!


Anonymous said...

thanks so much for your lovely idea and pattern! I just made one for our Christmas tree and we love it!

dls said...

Thank you for generously sharing this pattern. I will save it for next year.

Merry Christmas.

Me, myself and I said...

I was searching for a cross stitch pattern for matryoshkas, but I love these and will definitely be having a go at making them.

Nicole said...

These are adorable.

Elegantpaws said...

These dolls are so cute, thank you for sharing. I also like how you photograph on paper/fabric, it looks better than the white sheet I use! xx

Humble Beginnings said...

Love them!! Definitely going to have to make me a batch!

Ladette said...

Love, love, love these!!

My husband went to Poland and brought us stacking dolls when he came home! I have 3 girls... wonder if I can/will make enough for them and me!? :) Thanks for sharing.

Oh, found you via

me.anna said...

Hi April,
thanks for the pattern and the tutorial. The Minis are cute, cute, cute, adorable and cute :)
You may have a look at my versions on my blog.
Greetings from Germany!!

Lily M said...

Way too cute! I'll have to convince my mom to sew a few into keychains for me!

Ice Cream said...

Made one for my tree last year and loved it so much. Now, I'm attempting to make 50 of them in the next 3 weeks to give as gifts. Wish me luck! Any tips for mass producing?

PicklesRule said...

This is one of the first sewing crafts I've ever tried, and though she's far from perfect, my little doll still turned out adorable! Great tutorial :)

josy15 said...

very very beautiful, thanks, merci

mireille said...

merci pour ce beau tuto
vraiment bravo

quiltlady1947 said...

Thanks April,I love these dolls.I have two of them in their sets,they both were given to me as gifts.I wish I had seen your store before because I was in Columbus last week.Thanks again, said...

merci j aime les matrio c est trop beau bises

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing the pattern! I'm in Dayton, OH, so I will definitely try to visit your shop when I am in Columbus next!

Unknown said...

Love Matryoshkas!!! These are lovely and very easy to make. Thank you very very much from Uruguay!!

CreativaCale said...


Dotti from LV said...

So sweet! What a nice break from quilting! Just too cute, I will start one right away! Dotti

James said...

Amazing! I also wish him good luck to defend his gold medal. I like to share it with all my friends and hope they will also encourage him.
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Unknown said...

oh my these Mini Matryoshkas are super cute!!! I love that they're easy to make too! I featured this in my blog: thanks for sharing!

Raza abbas said...

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.
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