Clara How-to part 2: the rest!

While her ringlets are setting you can get Clara ready…

Body and dress
You’ll make the Elsa doll pattern as in the instructions, make her head (I used flannel but I would recommend wool or linen or cotton) and her dress body (more on that in a minute), her legs and arms. Sew her head to her body and then we’ll start the hair. For the dress I used two layers of fabric – eyelet with a finished scallop edge and a white cotton. I really wanted the dress to be easy since there’s so much hair drama and this worked out great. Lay the eyelet’s scallop edge on top of the white backing and then lay the body piece (C) with the scallop about 1″ below the neckline. Do the same thing with the arm pieces (E). When they’re sewn up you’ll have a nice scalloped edge at the neckline and cuffs.

The rest of her dress is just a wraparound skirt. I cut a piece 10″ tall (with the scallop edge at the bottom) by 17″ wide piece of eyelet for the skirt and a 24″ long piece of 1″ wide blue grosgrain ribbon for the waistband. Finish the side edges of the skirt fabric and then fold over the top inch of the skirt fabric and sew a gathering stitch. Pull gathers to fit waist. Center the ribbon on the waist and line it up so the top edge of the ribbon runs along the top edge of the skirt and sew with 1/4″ seam allowance. Flip the ribbon over and place on doll and tie around her waist.

The ballet shoes are basically Elsa’s shoes. Redraw shoe front (M) to have a smooth curve instead of scallops and then sew as instructed to sew back (N). Cut two 11″ pieces of 3/8″ wide grosgrain ribbon. Put the shoes on the doll and pin one end of the ribbon inside side of one shoe. Pull it across and around the back of leg and back across to other side of shoe and pin in place. Sew ribbon to shoes at the pinned spots with a couple of tacking stitches. You can sew right to the leg at those spots if you want them to be more secure.


Okay, I hope this part doesn’t make you a cranky elf. (for the diagrams below I demonstrated on a stuffed head I had on hand but you’ll be sewing the hair to the head attached to the body which makes it much easier to manuever)

supplies: your yarn cut into really long pieces (like 50-60″) & a doll needle.

You will be embroidering your yarn hair onto the head to make the front half of the hair with the center part and the back of the head so there is a base to which to sew your curls. Thread your doll needle with one of your pieces of yarn, bring your needle in from the back of the head and come out at about where her ear would be, pull through leaving a short 3″ tail (this will be snipped off at the surface later but can be used to adjust tension in the meantime). Put your needle back in at the center part and then back out next to your first stitch at the ear. Continue in this way, with your needle coming out right next to your previous stitch (about 1/8″) make smooth even rows of hair. You can mark your hair parts with pins as guidelines. When you finish with one piece of yarn cut end at surface and start with another piece. When you’re done you’re going to have to pick stuffing fluff from your hair parts. This part does goes pretty quickly but I like to take my time and try to do it as neatly as possible.



Once your head is all covered with base hair (not like pictured here) you can start attaching the ringlet curls. Thread the yarn tails left hanging off the ringlets through a tapestry needle and then sew into the head where you want them. It can help to pin them all in place first to have an idea where you want them. If you  have a long enough tail you can use it to tack down the ringlets in a few places after you sew it to its spot. I did one or two stitches near the root of the curl but that was it. I found if I did too many it laid funny and didn’t move enough. When you’re done with you stitches knot at the base and pull the tail through and bury it in the head. You can pull the knots so they hide under your base hair.

When you’re all done attaching ringlets tie a piece of the same ribbon you used for your waistband around the head for her bow.


Clara has Elsa’s same eyes, 5/8″ circles of pink felt for cheeks and an embroidered mouth and nose. And I think that’s it!

8 thoughts on “Clara How-to part 2: the rest!

  1. Nicole says:

    Amazing! I really think Clara and her nutcracker belong in your ‘doll of fame’ (if you have one!). I was also going to ask about the stitch guide and the nutcracker, so for now all I can say is thank you so much for another inspiring project. If I get started now I might just have them finished next Xmas….

  2. Debbie says:

    Hillary, oh my goodness. I am continually amazed at your talent, and in awe of how you find the time to “whip up” all of your beautiful creations with two little ones underfoot! Simply amazing. You are such an inspiration. Just bought the Elise and Elsa Elf pattern and will give dear Clara and her handsome Nutcracker a go. Keep up the great work!

  3. Marisa says:

    These are just gorgeous. Simply amazing work. I would never have the patience to do it myself. Wouldn’t you love to make some to sell? :bats eyelashes: 🙂

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