Amigurumi Lessons – creating simple doll

By now we have talked about rounds, cylinders and coins, some of the basic and fundamental shapes you need to know how to crochet and understand how are done if you wish to make your first amigurumi doll.

Now it’s time to crochet those pieces and see how they work together.

The major problem most of you have is not being able to draw your idea to keep it as reference and guide to your work. It doesn’t have to be the drawing, you can find inspiration from clip art pictures online, maybe you liked some plush at downtown shop, or you have a photo of one old doll or toy from the childhood you would like to make. Important is to have an idea on what you wish to make, and to work that idea in details before actual crocheting part starts. Best way is to draw a sketch. It is not essential, but is good way to start.

I hardly ever work with colors when drawing, and most of them are just lots and lots of basic shapes joined together (same as you need for crocheting, so use basic shapes for your sketch as well), and that way I know in advance what I am after. While making the sketch your ideas on what shapes you’ll start and use will grow, and while sketching write them down a side as notes.

Here is sample of simple sketch I make for my designs. Based on this I make notes on how I expect my work will go. This one was done in tiny little notebook I always keep by hand, but for more detailed work I have big sketch book with all the notes written on sides and across the sketch. AmigurumiBB

Important is to help yourself with anything you can. So use all your resources and make preparation before you start to crochet.

To show that you can make your doll for stick man drawing, in the FB group I made this little girl based on which I finished this lesson on basic amigurumi shapes. Stick man drawing is not detailed, but again, can help you guide through your work. And you all know how to make stick man drawing, right?

So let’s start with one simple like that!

stick man drawingIs it getting easier? From this simple drawing everyone of you can do, now we know what we’ll crochet in order to create a little doll.

And with color or two, I wish my doll to look like this!

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Based on what we learned so far, we know how to make rounds to make the head. We can try endless options. Don’t be afraid to try different options for each of your dolls. Experiment! It will not be successful work every time, but from trials and fails you will learn.

With rounds we will star the legs, but then after creating feet (shoes looking bottoms) we can decrease evenly just a little to make the right width for legs we can carry repeating till the top, or as long as we wish our legs to be long. Another option is to make simple cylinders. Will show you the samples later.

Arms, same as legs. We can work them as simple as plain cylinder shape from bottom to top, or we can add little round on the bottom to form hands.

On below photo you can see options on how to make legs and arms. As we are still on basic shapes, and even increasing and decreasing, both, the arms and legs are done same way. If they have larger roundish end on the bottom, it is even on all sides. It is increased evenly, repeated rounds are done 2 times for each of them (but you can work as many as you wish, and that depends on number of the stitches you will use), then increased slightly, but enough to reach the number of stitches I needed for arms (6) or legs (9).

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Body! Body can be done several ways. In this description I will mention only two of them as they are probably the most common and most of you will go after them in first trial. So let’s see what difference each of these two options I decided for are.

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Both bodies are the same length. From above photo you can clearly see the difference. One has more repeating rounds in the middle, but ends short with even decreasing on every second round. While second sample has less repeating middle rounds, but to reach same length, instead of every second, I decreased evenly on every third round.

For my stick man drawing I decided to use upper sample. No special reason, simply thought it’s slimmer and with extra edgings I had in mind on adding to collar and sleeves, the second one will make my doll look chubby.

Now that you have prepared your drawing, and started to make samples for your doll, let’s put pieces together to see what we might expect doll will look like when done.

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I crocheted options for legs and arms. It is more to show you what you can expect from your basic crochet elements and your first doll. If you ask me, I like both of them!

Both ways, simple cylinder legs and arms or those with little roundish ends look great for on this little doll.

But as I am working after my sketch, my doll will have round ended legs, but her arms will be simple and straight. As said earlier, for body shape decided to go after first sample, one that ends more slimmer way.

Sorry I forgot to mention my pattern on this doll’s head. I make dolls for some time now, and for me is not easy to go and make just ball looking head. I think it is because I like to challenge myself on every new project.

The head I made for this doll, I tried to simplify BB dolls head. I just love wider cheek area on doll’s head, and so far you could notice that on almost all of my dolls. I like that smiling expression doll can make without mouth on and that is what these wider cheek part of the head does (at least I see it this way).

So let me explain how I made this round head, BUT…..if you are making your own doll for the first time, try to come up with round shape of your own. Make your own lovely doll you can share with your friends and public. You can do it!

Started with 4 sts in MC

then increased all stitches for 2 rounds, or until I reached 16 sts round. From this round worked on even increases until 32 sts round.

32 stitches round repeated 2 times. Then evenly increased by 4 stitches around and reached 36 sts.

36 stitches repeated 2 rounds. Then evenly increased by 4 stitches around and reached 40 sts.

40 stitches repeated 2 rounds. Now I increased evenly around by 10 stitches and came up to 50 sts round very fast. (this is where I made head wider and made my lovable cheek area 😉 )

50 stitches repeated 5 rounds. I wanted to finish with flat bottom and to reach that I used 10 even decreasing stitches on each of the next 3 rounds

Last one closed evenly to 12, as 12 was the count number for my neck. This way when I sew body and head together they will fit perfectly stitch by stitch.

Now that we have crocheted all doll parts and know which ones we will use to make our dream doll. It is time to decide where we will make color changes. This is where your sketch will help again.

For this part, on how to decide where to add colors I didn’t make any photo, nor I can say more. This part is something you have to make. This is part is what making your doll unique. So take your time to count rows, observe your plain crocheted doll and decide where to add colors in order to create sleeves, shoes, dress…

This is still the most simple way of making your doll! when crocheting the body, leave front loops free to attach and crochet the dress, collar, sleeves, shoes, socks…. anything you wish to add.  Plan in advance.

I am talking about this prototype doll, because this is the way we do in FB group. We start with simple doll. And this is the most simple one one can do. First doll needs to be made plain. No eyes, no colors….simple head and body. From there we go further. First step is to add the colors and add clothes, arrange and position eyes and decide on hair. Second step is making the doll, based on all of the information gathered and decided. As you need to know how to crochet the round, the same way you need to know where to add eyes or wish round to leave free loops for the dress later. If you are starting to crochet dolls, these are all the steps you need to take before you actually make your first doll and write your first pattern.

After this basic doll, and basic pattern, we can continue to expand our knowledge and upgrade to more difficult shapes, and work at all.

Hope this Amigurumi Philosophy didn’t turn me in boring philosopher 😀

For any questions, please feel free to write and ask. I do apologize (again) for all the mails I answer late, but really, really, I have little free time left.  I do answer all of your mail, and again, please be patient; I will get back to you with reply, soonest I can.

If I forgot to mention anything in this part and you think is important and not to be excused, please feel free to point it out and let me know.

For the end let us see how my stick man drawing looks when finished.

Doll from stick man drawing AmigurumiBB

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30 thoughts on “Amigurumi Lessons – creating simple doll

  1. These lessons have helped me so much. My grand children love the amigurumi I have made for them and thanks to these lessons my work have improved 100%. Thank you 🙂

    • For this particular one I haven’t written the pattern yet, but you can easily reproduce it from BB dolls hair pattern. Make basic hair and then starting from last or first stitch on your last crocheted row (which makes part of your back of the hair), simply chain enough stitches to cover the top of the hair and slip stitch it to the magic ring. I made two of each chains, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Each pair is connected to one stitch of the last row. This way you will work 6 stitches each side, and each chain attach to magic ring with sl st. Not sure if all this makes sense to you now 🙂 Fringes are 18 ch x3 (slip stitched to magic ring as well). Pig tails are 30ch long (all worked together, joined in first chain of first piece done and then are sewed to the base of the hair. Hope this helps. For more info, please feel free to ask

  2. Thanks a million for the info, I cannot wait to start. I do not have the previous lesson where the rouns etc was explained. Is it by any means possible that I can be send that lesson. I will appreciate it trementdously.

    Kind regards

    Nelie Els

  3. A wonderful, wonderful post! You give the gift of magic by teaching everyone how to make a doll! The instructions are clear and very well written and illustrated. Thank you for your amazing generosity 🙂

    In friendship!

    Beth

  4. Pingback: Amigurumi Lessons – creating simple doll | jillkrahling

  5. Thank you for the tutorial for the doll. Mine always look as if a 1st grader made it. Amigurum was a mystery to me. Now hopefully, I stand a chance to master it well and enjoy it as I do with other doll making.

    Thanks
    Janie

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