Drawn-on eyes can make a doll look super cute, but taking the time to hand-embroider those peepers will give her (or him!) a LOT more personality, plus a more cohesive look.
And not to worry — you don’t need to be a master of embroidery or a great artist to design and sew the perfect eyes for a cuddly toy. Just peep these three simple stitches:
Stitching a basic French knot to make eyes will give your doll an innocent, awww-inspiring expression. And it couldn’t be easier! Use double threaded silk — the thicker, the better — for big, noticeable knots.
1. Pull Through
Bring your needle up through the material.
Twist the thread around the needle three or four times (the more you go around, the bigger your knot will be).
3. Go Through Again
Place the needle back into the fabric right next to where you originally brought it up. Keeping the thread lightly taut in your left hand, pull the needle and thread through the back of your fabric with your right hand.
The perfect stitch to create lines is the backstitch . First, outline the doll eyes using a water-soluble marker, pencil or transfer pen, then start stitching.
1. Make a Stitch
Bring your needle and thread up from the back of the fabric and make a stitch about 5 mm long.
2. Stitch Backwards
Bring your needle back up about 5 mm further along the line you have created, then stitch backwards by inserting the needle back through the hole that’s at the end of the first stitch.
3. Go Back Out
Bring the needle back out about 5 mm away from the end of your second stitch. And so on …
Wide-eyed and wonderful!
This stitch is great for filling in eyes to give them an alert look.
1. Start the Stitch
Bring your needle up through the fabric and pull it down across the length of the marked eye.
2. Repeat the Motion
Continue this motion keeping the stitches close together to give a nice block feel.
Peep this sweet look.
Makin' More Eyes
These stitches are just the start of what you can do to create eyes. You could add fabric and make appliqué eyes, use the stem stitch instead of the back stitch, or just use a bead or sequin for your eyes.
Practice your eye design on a piece of scrap fabric before committing to the real deal. You might even want to make an “eye chart” that contains a sampler of different eyes for future reference.