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Making a Rhythm of the Home doll with hair…


As promised, here are the instructions to make a little girl doll with hair like Calliope… please follow the directions below.  If you need instructions for the construction of the doll itself before adding the hair, please refer to the post here.

Step One~ Making the hair


One standard clipboard or a piece of cardboard measuring 12 X 9 inches


embroidery floss

large needle


scotch tape

sewing machine

Wind the yarn around your clipboard or cardboard evenly across 7 inches of the board.  Take care to make sure that the strands do not cross over too much.  For this doll I did a single uniform layer of hair.

Once you are finished winding the hair place a length of scotch tape over the center of the clipboards on top of the winded yarn on both sides of the clipboard.  Make sure that you leave an 2 inch tab of tape at the outer edges.  Pat the tape down so that it grasps all of the strands of yarn.  Repeat on the other side.

Cut the yarn on BOTH ends of the clipboard as evenly as you can.

You will be left with TWO hairpieces.  We will only be working with ONE for the rest of the tutorial.  You can save the second hairpiece for another doll.

Note: If you want longer hair on your doll, you would only cut the yarn at ONE end of the clipboard and place your tape strip over the yarn at the opposite end of the clipboard from where you cut.

Flip the hairpiece over so that the tape running the width of the hair is sticky side UP.  Pat down the yarn again so that it adheres to the tape.  NOW for those little tabs of tape that you left exposed…Fold the tabs over at the edge of the hair shown in the picture.  These tabs will make it MUCH easier when you feed the hairpiece through your sewing machine.

Feed the hairpiece through your sewing machine sticky side up starting at one of the tabs using a very tight stitch.  Once you get past the tab, you will be sewing on plain yarn with the tape holding it all together from the under side.  Make sure that you keep a firm grasp on the strands as you feed it through the machine so that the hair stays uniform on each side.  You will be left with the photo on the bottom left.  You will LEAVE the tape that runs the width of the hair in place, but you WILL remove the tabs of tape on the opposite side.

The tabs will pull right off using the stitch from the sewing machine down the center as a perforation, just trim them at the end.  The tape on the other side will stay in place and be hidden, as it will be placed against the dolls head.  I leave it in place to help keep the strands of hair uniform and in place.

To stitch the hair into place you will place the hair onto the dolls head tape side DOWN ( leaving the yarn side up).  Center the hair down the center of the head and make sure that it is centered at the back of the head as well.

By using the clipboard and following all of the directions for the ROTH doll the hair should reach from the top center of the forehead all the way over the top of the head to the center of the base of the head at the nape of the neck as shown.

To secure the hair into place you can use either embroidery floss or yarn and a large needle and do any stitch of your choice down the center of the hair and head.

For this doll I used a running stitch down either side of the machine stitch and tied them together using a triple knot at one end of the hairpiece as shown.

Once the hair is secured down the center, you will gather all of the strands on each side of the head and make uniform pigtails.

Try to make the strands of hair lay down closely to the head as you do this to avoid any bald spots.  Use a basic elastic hair tie to hold the pigtails into place.  Secure the pigtails into place with a few stitches of embroidery floss through the hair tie into the scalp.

You can place ribbon or yarn over the top of these for a more decorative look, but the elastic and those few stitches will help to ensure that the pigtails will stay in place through outfit changes and play.

Trim the yarn as you wish, I left a slightly layered look on Petunia’s pigtails .

There is a variation that you can make when attaching the hair to the head.  You can do longer stitches of floss or yarn right down the center of the hairpiece  to make more of a natural part as you will see in the next two dolls, Penelope and Calliope.

However you wish to sew down the hair and make the hair part is up to you.

If you want your doll to have thicker hair like Calliope, you can adjust the thickness of the hair by winding extra strands of yarn around the board (over the top of the initial layer of yarn) before that you secure it all with tape.

It is very easy to get a multi colored hairpiece with highlights as shown here.  All that you need to do is simultaneously wind two colors of yarn around the clipboard instead of one.  The strands of yarn will intertwine on their own.

Again, we hope that you will share your creations with us by adding your photos to our Flickr group.

We will be sharing patterns and tutorials for making dresses, bonnets, hats, aprons and such for your ROTH doll as we complete the tutorials for them.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 07.14.2010 3:01 pm

    Wow, the hair looks awesome! I had vo idea how you did it, you crafty one~love Laura

  2. 07.18.2010 2:13 pm

    looks great, thanks for all the dolly tips. 🙂

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