I adore the look of handmade dolls stitched together with beautiful fabric prints. The combination of colors and patterns are eye catching. I‘m also drawn to the 2-D, flat look that they have while still being stuffed and squishy.
There are some truly adorable 2-D style crochet patterns out there, but all of the ones I’ve ever come across are created by making two matching panels and then crocheting or stitching the panels together. I, however, really wanted to replicate the rag doll look you achieve with fabric.
I knew in order to get that look, I would need to create a doll that was flat, squishy and floppy. I wanted it to be made from muted colors with colorful pops of texture and it must have a simple, stitched on face. I love how these turned out, I think I checked all of my ‘must have’ boxes.
Rag Doll Bunny
- Worsted weight yarn for the bunny – I used I Love this Cotton
- Contrasting yarn for the scarf – I used Paton’s Classic Wool DK Superwash
- 3.5 mm crochet hook
- Needle for sewing down yarn tails
- Stitch marker (or scrap of yarn) – optional
- Poly-fil or stuffing of choice
- Embroidery Floss
- Needle for embroidery details
- Optional 1.75 mm hook for crocheting cheeks
- Optional acrylic paint for painting cheeks
- Optional pom-pom for a tail
- Optional scrap of fabric, straight pins, thread, tape measure and small piece of elastic for the dress
Finished Dimensions: My bunnies are 11.5 inches tall, measured from the bottom of the feet to the top of the ear.
Abbreviations and stiches used:
- CH chain
- SC single crochet
- INC increase (i.e. work 2 SC in the same stitch)
- DEC ***decrease (i.e. work 1 SC over two stitches)***
- HDC half double crochet
- FLO front loop only
- BLO back loop only
***Please note, with amigurumi, I recommend making an invisible decrease. See pattern notes if you are unsure of the difference.***
These bunnies are created amigurumi-ish style with some differences. The arms are created first and the rest of the bunny is made as one piece! The arms get crocheted into the body as you go along so there is NO SEWING! Well, if you choose to make a dress and embroider the face, etc., there will be some sewing, but the bunny base – no sew.
Only the body and the head are stuffed. The limbs and ears are not which makes this doll extra soft, light weight and floppy. The body and head are stuffed at the very end so there is no need to stuff as you go and while it’s recommended to stuff firmly, don’t go overboard with this! You want a nice soft, squish to your doll
Because the limbs are not stuffed, everything gets closed off in order to contain the stuffing inside the body and head. For example, when you make a leg, it’ll have a tube shape to it. On the last round, you crochet the top closed by squishing the tube flat and working stitches through both sides of the top as if it was two panels being stitched together. See photos below:
Finally, the invisible decrease is recommended as it’s usually neater with this style of crochet. There are lots of great tutorials out there if you need more help. Seriously, google crochet invisible decrease and there will be more than you need. Briefly, insert your hook into the FLO of the next stitch, DO NOT draw up a loop and instead, insert your hook into the FLO of the next stitch after that. It’s a little awkward at first, but you’ll get use to it. Then, yarn over and pull through two loops (i.e. the two front loops) and then yarn over and pull through to complete the stitch.
Using bunny color work the arms. No skipping ahead and saving these for later. You’ll need the arms soon so make them now!
- Round 1: Magic ring and SC 6. Pull ring tight. (6 SC)
- Round 2: *INC, SC in next two. Repeat from * one time. (8 SC)
- Rounds 3-19: SC all around. (8 SC)
- Round 20: Close off the arm by working 3 SC – see closing off instructions in pattern notes above if unsure.
- Break the yarn and complete a second arm. Place both arms aside for now.
Continue to make the legs
- Round 1: Magic ring and SC 6. Pull ring tight. (6 SC)
- Round 2: *INC, SC in next two. Repeat from * one time. (8 SC)
- Rounds 3: *INC, SC in next three. Repeat from * one time. (10 SC)
- Round 4-19: SC all around. (10 SC)
- Round 20: Close off the leg by working 4 SC – see closing off instructions in pattern notes above if unsure.
- Break the yarn and complete a second leg. Do not fasten off after the second leg.
Continue on to the body
Now we will attach the legs and start working the body. We closed off the legs and in addition to attaching them together, we need to transition back to rounds in order to make the body. This will be achieved by working in the FLO and BLO of each stitch of the row. For the sake of labeling my instructions – please note: you will work in the FLO of a stitch leaving the back loop unworked. We need to eventually work into those unworked back loops. When you rotate/turn your work, those unworked loops are now in the front and I will refer to them as front loops.
- Round 1: CH 2 and then work 1 SC into the FLO of each of the first three stitches on the second leg. Work 2 SC into the FLO of the last stitch of the second leg. Turn your work and make 2 SC into the FLO of the first stitch i.e. the same stitch you just worked into (this would normally be the back loop, but because you turned your work and it is now in front, I am calling it the front loop). Work 1 SC into the FLO of each of the remaining 3 stitches of the leg. Then work 1 SC into each of the front loops of the 2 CHs between the legs. (You should be back to the leg you started on). Work 1 SC into the FLO of the first three stitches of the first leg. Work 2 SC into the FLO of the last stitch. Turn your work and make 2 SC into the FLO of the first stitch i.e. the same stitch you just worked into (this would normally be the back loop, but because you turned your work, it is now in the front and I am referring to it as the front loop). Work 1 SC into the FLO of the remaining 3 stitches of the leg. Then, work 1 SC into each of the front loops of the 2 CHs between the legs. See images below for more details:
It may be helpful (or not) to mark the first stitch of each round as we will be working in continuous rounds.
- Round 2: SC 4, INC, SC 12, INC, SC 6. (26 SC)
- Round 3: SC 4, INC, SC 14, INC, SC 6. (28 SC)
- Round 4: SC 6, INC, SC 12, INC, SC 8. (30 SC)
- Rounds 5-7: SC all around. (30 SC)
- Round 8: SC 6, DEC, SC 13, DEC, SC 7. (28 SC)
- Round 9: SC 6, DEC, SC 12, DEC, SC 6. (26 SC)
- Rounds 10-11: SC all around. (26 SC)
- Round 12: SC 6, DEC, SC 12, DEC, SC 4. (24 SC)
- Round 13: SC 6, DEC, SC 10, DEC, SC 4. (22 SC)
- Rounds 14-15: SC all around. (22 SC)
- Round 16: SC 6, DEC, SC 10, DEC, SC 2. (20 SC)
- Round 17: SC 6, DEC, SC 8, DEC, SC 2. (18 SC)
- Round 18: SC 6, DEC, SC 6, DEC, SC 2. (16 SC)
Attach the arms
- Round 19: SC 5, pick up first arm to attach over the next three stitches. Insert hook into the BLO of the first stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the next stitch of the body and work 1 SC. Insert hook into the BLO of the next stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the next stitch of the body and work 1 SC. Insert hook into the BLO of the last stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the next stitch of the body and work 1 SC. SC 5, pick up the second arm to attach over the last three stitches of the body. Insert hook into the BLO of the first stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the next stitch of the body and work 1 SC. Insert hook into the BLO of the next stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the next stitch of the body and work 1 SC. Insert hook into the BLO of the last stitch of the arm and into the FLO of the last stitch of the body and work 1 SC. (16 SC)
Continue on to the head
- Round 20: SC 6, INC, SC 7, INC, SC 1. (18 SC)
- Round 21: SC 8, INC, SC 8, INC. (20 SC)
- Round 22: SC 9, INC, SC 9, INC. (22 SC)
- Round 23: SC 10, INC, SC 10, INC. (24 SC)
- Round 24: SC 11, INC, SC 11, INC. (26 SC)
- Rounds 25-30: SC all around. (26 SC)
- Round 31: DEC, DEC, SC 9, DEC, DEC, SC 9. (22 SC)
- Round 32: SC 11, DEC, SC 7, DEC. (20 SC)
This is an excellent spot to firmly, but not too firmly stuff your doll.
Create the ears
- Last Round of the Head: Skip the next stitch and work a SC through both layers of the head by inserting your hook into the next stitch after the skipped stitch and into the last stitch you just created. SC through both layers 2 more times. To be continued after working the first ear.
- Round 1 of the First Ear: CH 1 and rotate your work so that the back of the doll is facing you. Work 2 SC into the FLO of the first two of the three stitches you made above when closing off the head. Then, rotate your work again and work 2 SC into the FLO of the same two stitches you previously worked in (this would normally be the back loop, but since you turned your work, they are in front and I am referring to them as the front loop). (8 SC)
- Rounds 2-9 of the First Ear: SC all around. (8 SC)
- Round 10 of the First Ear: SC, DEC, SC 2, DEC, SC. (6 SC)
- Round 11 of the First Ear: DEC, SC, DEC, SC. (SC 4)
- Round 12 of the First Ear: DEC, DEC. (SC 2)
- Break yarn. Insert hook into the space where you worked the last of the 3 SC stitches to close off the head, just prior to starting the ear, draw up a loop and CH 1. See image below:
- Continuing Last Round of the Head: SC through both layers for the last 6 stitches noting that there will be 1 unworked stitch at the end.
- Round 1 of the Second Ear: Turn and skip the first SC. Work 2 SC into the FLO for the next two stitches. Rotate work and continue to work 2 SC into the FLO for next two stitches i.e. the same stitches you just worked into (this would be the back loop, but because we turned our work, it is now in the front and I am calling it the front loop). (8 SC)
- Rounds 2-9 of the Second Ear: SC all around. (8 SC)
- Round 10 of the Second Ear: SC, DEC, SC 2, DEC, SC. (6 SC)
- Round 11 of the Second Ear: DEC, SC, DEC, SC. (SC 4)
- Round 12 of the Second Ear: DEC, DEC. (SC 2)
- Break yarn and weave in any yarn tails.
Add the Details:
This is always my favorite part about making dolls, but I know that’s not the case for everyone! Realize all of these embellishments are extras so add what works for you.
Embroider the face
I’ve had some people mention embroidering faces is hard so I tried to take several pictures illustrating the process that works for me.
Tip – use a sharp needle. As you can see for the eye, I stitch a long straight line. Then, I pull the stitch loose and into a “U” shape, Next, tack the bottom of the “U” down with a very tiny stitch.
Add the cheeks and tail
For those of you that are new to my blog, you may not realize I have a bit of a newly discovered obsession with adding pom-pom tails to little bunnies (see here and here). So I HAD to do that with these dolls too, but I reminded myself that less is more and chose to only add the tail to the bunny without a dress. You may stitch it down or glue it; I used hot glue for mine.
For the cheeks, I used acrylic paint (a first for me) and a q-tip (cotton swab) to apply it. Basically, I dipped the q-tip into the paint and then dabbed nearly all of it off before rubbing it onto the doll. In the past, I’ve used blush which works great and is easier to apply – but I like that the paint will not rub off and that’s what I wanted for these dolls.
Additionally, I chose to crochet cheeks for the bunny without the dress. I used my 1.75 mm hook and a piece of embroidery floss to crochet 6 SC into a magic ring and joined to first stitch.
Stitch the scarf
Using scarf color
- Round 1: CH 10, HDC into second CH from hook and into each remaining CH. (9 HDC)
- Rounds 2-20: CH 1, turn. HDC into the third loop of each stitch. (9 HDC)
- Break yarn. Using your tail, stitch the two sides together to make an infinity style scarf. Weave in ends.
Sew the dress
I used a sewing machine BUT I definitely think these dresses are small enough that stitching them by hand is a realistic option. My sewing skills fall into the experienced beginner category at best and full disclaimer – this may not be the best way to make a dress, but it works for me, so I’ve outlined my process.
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