The Blow-Up Doll Tutorial

I remember watching some made-for-tv movie years ago, where an abused child was using anatomically correct dolls to show where he/she had been abused (“He touched me here… and here… and…here.”). And I wondered who the hell makes dolls like that?

Well, I guess people like me make dolls like that. The creatively curious, or curiously creative, as it were. Weirdos with sewing skills.

And with no further ado, here’s my tutorial on how to make an anatomically correct felt blow-up doll. The sewing pattern can be purchased here, on Etsy.

How to print and assemble a pdf sewing pattern.

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First of all, you can use other fabrics to make this doll, but I think felt works best for numerous reasons. It comes in an array of bright cartoonish colours that really capture the kitschy essence of blow-up dolls, it’s easy to work with, and it doesn’t fray. And since this project exposes all raw edges, you don’t want your fabrics to fray.

***Oh! Make sure that it’s fabric felt that you use for this project, from the fabric store; crafter’s felt (felt from craft sections like at Michael’s, Dollarama or Walmart) is way too flimsy. If you use crafter’s felt, you WILL poke a thumb through it.

The only issue with fabric felt is that you just need the tiniest amount of pink, yellow and blue, so you’ll be stuck with whatever huge leftover minimum amount your fabric store allows you to buy. Unless you make an unholy army of felt blow-up dolls…

The dolls measurements are approximately L17″ x W12″ x D2″

Materials:

1/4yd flesh coloured felt (peach/brown/caramel/etc)

5″ x 10″ hair coloured felt (I used yellow, you can use whatever hair colour you like)

Less than 5″ x 10″ of lip and pocket coloured felt (you want pink or red)

Tiny scraps of eye coloured felt (I used blue, you can use what you like)

The smallest bag of doll stuffing (I think this is like 7oz, but you won’t need that much)

Thread that coordinates with the flesh fabric

Let’s get started!

Cut out your pieces, and this is what you should have:

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Sew the boob pieces along the less-curved edges, wrong sides together, with 1/8″ seam allowance.

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Put them aside for later.

Now it’s pocket time! In case it isn’t apparent, the “pockets” are the sex holes. We’re calling them pockets though, because we enjoy euphemisms.

On the front head and body piece, cut a 1″ slit for the mouth and the lady-clam.

For the mouth, I just fold the head in half lengthwise and cut a 1/2″ slit with very sharp scissor tips.

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For the hoo-ha, I just cut a 1″ slit starting at the crotch. No pictures. You’ll find a guiding dotted line on the pattern. Use that. Call it your landing strip, if it pleases you.

Now, you are going to place the pocket pieces on the right side of the head and crotch, lining them up with the mouth and crotch slits.

Stitch along the openings, using a 1/8″ seam allowance.

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RS = Right Side

Flip the pocket pieces over to the wrong side of the fabric.

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WS = Wrong Side

And stitch around the pocket flaps, taking care to not stitch over any of the outside flesh/fabric/skin toned parts.

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This is what it’ll look like from the outside:

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Sew the face pieces onto the face. Start with the lips, then sew the hair, eyes are sewn last. I feel like I’m ghost writing for Jame Gumb.

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Sew the back-of-the-head hair onto the back of the head, only the lower part like in this picture:

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You’ll be sewing the top part when you attach front-to-back, and you don’t want two overlapping stitch lines!

Now it’s boob time!

Sew the boobs to the body, leaving a 5/8″ opening so that you can stuff them. If your finger doesn’t fit into the opening, use the eraser end of a pencil to stuff the boobs. The eraser end will offer some grip to move the stuffing around better.

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How awesome is that picture? It’s like avant garde art house erotica.

Sew the boob openings shut.

Wrong sides together, sew the front to the back, lining up the neck corners, limbs and crotch. If the hair front and back don’t line up, you can just trim away the excess hair.

***Leave a 3″ opening along one of the torso sides, from hip to ribs!

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Trim to smooth out any rough edges.

Stuff the body lightly with doll stuffing. Use a pencil or other poking device to poke the stuffing into the far reaches of the arms and legs. Stitch the opening closed.

Admire your work.

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