Sunday, February 7, 2010


Here are the instructions for the little hina doll I made last year. As I don't read Japanese, I will include my interpretation of the instructions.
I used chirimen crepe for my doll which can be purchased online at

(1) HEAD

Cut a circle of fabric and add stuffing to the centre. Hand sew a running thread and pull to create a sphere. You will just need to experiment with sizes and amounts of stuffing. Your end result needs to a sphere with a diameter of 13cm. I used the top of the sphere as the face, and therefore the base then becomes the back of the head. The hair will cover the base. Insert a skewer into the side of the sphere (ie: the new base) and secure with a dab of craft glue.

(2) BODY

Using white fabric, cut the body shape, as per the diagram, but remember to ADD a seam allowance. Generally Japanese craft books do not include a seam allowance - the lines are the actual sewing lines. Sew sides together to create a cone, but stop stitching about 1cm fron the apex of the cone to allow a small hole to insert the skewer. Snip the apex off, as per the diagram. Turn body right side out and insert the skewer and head, cutting any excess skewer from the base. To cover the base, I cut a cardboard circle the same diameter as the cone base and covered it with fabric, then handsewed it to the base of the cone. Before sewing the base on ,insert stuffing and at the base of the body insert some rice or wax pellets to weigh the base down.


Make a paper pattern as per the diagram. Before cutting the fabric, check that the pattern will reach around the body as show in the picture. From memory, I had to make the dress a little larger than instructed. Cut out the fabric, remember to add a seam allowance and sew 2 pieces together, right sides together as shown. I used 2 different styles of fabric in each layer. Turn right side out and slip stitch opening. Do no iron the seams flat, as this will flatten the fabric too much. By the way, NEVER get chirimen wet, as it will permanently shrivel up. Make a total of 3 layers in this way. Place the 3 finished layers together and hand sew around the body as per the picture. You can add some bells on the corners.

(4) HAIR

I used fine crochet cotton for the hair. Wrap it around a rectangle of cardboard. The width of the cardboard should be the length of the hair from the centre part of the hair, but add a couple of extra cms so you have enough to trim and neaten the hair do. Wrap to desired thickness, then tie a tread through the hair to secure the strands (like making a pom pom) and cut the hair off the cardboard at the opposite end. Iron the hair piece flat fanning into a circular shape. Glue hair to the head with craft glue, and cut the hair into desired style. Sew eyes on with black seed beads. Add a little blush to the cheeks with a cotton bud. Finished!

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