Ida Bean Doll

April 20, 2010 at 7:07 am (Uncategorized)

One of the only crafts the girls in American Girl Club have ever requested is an Ida Bean doll! In one of the early books in the Addy series Addy’s mom makes her a rag doll filled with beans.  Addy named it Ida Bean, and the girls have been wanting to make one ever since! So this is the week! 

Meet Ida Bean!

I am very excited about making these with the girls tonight!  This is the 4th type of doll we have made in American Girl Club.  For Kaya we made a cornhusk doll, for Felicity we made a clothespin doll,  and for Kirsten we made a yarn doll. But, of all the dolls we have made this one is the most huggable!  I think it is absolutely adorable too!

So here are the steps to make the doll:

  1. Cut 2 layers of black fabric into the doll shape. This doll only has a head, arms and a torso.  It was very common to make dolls without legs because they were usually made out of scraps of fabric and the legs didn’t show under the skirt anyway.  I used white chalk to trace the pattern onto the black fabric.  Then I sewed them together, cut them out and brushed off the chalk.  At this point they are ready to give to the girls.
  2. Once the girls have them they will need to turn them right side out.  I am going to have them do this BEFORE I give them beans.  It seems every time we do a project that needs to be turned someone forgets to do that step and they end up unhappy with the seams on the outside of their project.
  3. Fill with beans leaving enough space to fold over the bottom and sew it shut.  They are going to need to fold it over before sewing it.  Otherwise beans will eventually squish out between the stitches.
  4. Fold up bottom and sew closed.
  5. Now it’s time to put on the face.  I used French Knots for the eyes and a Chain Stitch for the mouth. This may be a bit challenging for the girls.  But, it’s always fun to teach them something new!
  6. For the hair I bought a bulky black yarn that looks a lot like hair.  (I learned my lesson about trying to braid yarn together to make hair on our yarn dolls!) All the girls will need to do is cut off a length of yarn and sew it to the head with black thread.
  7. Now it is time to dress your doll!  I cut 2 pieces 9" X 3" to go over the shoulders and pin below where the waist will be.  Tri-fold the long strips and place over the shoulders so the seams side are facing the doll.  Then I cut them skirt 6 inches long and 17 inches wide.  Run a basting stitch along the long edge and draw it up to gather. Wrap it around the doll and secure temporarily by tying the strings together.
  8. Cut 3 pieces of yarn long enough to tie around and hold the skirt of the doll and make a cute bow on the back.  Once the skirt is secured remove the pins you used to hold the top straps on.
  9. The fabric we used frayed nicely so I frayed the edge at the bottom to give it a nice finish.  If your fabric doesn’t fray you might want to cut it with pinking shears to give it a fancy edge.
  10. That’s it!  Your bean doll is ready to be loved!

You will find the pattern for the doll body HERE

Happy Homeschooling,


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