My Anna Doll Soft Sculpture Pattern

editIMG_3388It’s finally here!  This is the pattern everyone has been waiting for.  I’ve searched high and low for a pattern to make dolls close to Cabbage Patch Kids.  I’ve found similar, but not exact, so I drafted my own.  I drafted My Anna Doll from an original 16-inch mass-market Cabbage Patch Kid.  It has taken me a long time to finish this.  I first started drafting it when I made an 8” doll.  I then got so busy with other things, that it lay dormant for a long time.  Well, now I’ve brought it back to life.  With many hours of drafting, sewing, and writing to make it the best it can be, I’ve finally finished it.

wrinklesWhat makes a Cabbage Patch Kid stand out from other dolls, is the perfect round, seamless head.  It is also the most difficult aspect of the CPK.  In vintage patterns of Little People Pals and similar dolls, the head is created using a circle that is gathered at the bottom.  This creates many unsightly wrinkles that are pretty much impossible to get out. 
When purchasing a ‘Kid from Babyland, however, there are very few wrinkles.  This is because they use a very high quality stuffing, such as Airtex (available in my etsy store), and they use a larger piece of fabric so that it is easier to pull tight around the stuffing.

One way of avoiding the wrinkles,  is to have several football shapes pieced together to make a round ball, which then creates seams.  Seams don’t look good in the middle of the face.  So I drafted a pattern that has a smooth, seamless face, but has seams on the side and back.
fig3Soft sculpture dolls are unique, as each one will be different from the other. The face is the most difficult and will take lots of practice. The more you make, the better your results will be. Soft Sculpture is an art. You are molding and creating something. You will be going deep into the fiberfill with your stitches and with a stitch here and there, and depending on where you place the needle, which sequence you go through, and how tight you pull your stitches, you will change an expression and be creating your own artwork. Experiment with it and find what you like best.
You can also change the size of the pattern. For a larger or smaller doll, simply enlarge or shrink the pattern, using a copy machine. For longer legs, simply draw the leg pattern longer. The sky is the limit.
The most important thing is, you must practice, practice, practice! Don’t expect the first doll to come out looking exactly as you pictured it. You should see the first five heads I did! They are pretty freaky!
The body is pretty easy. One of the best things about having a pattern to match the mass-market IMG_3401Cabbage Patch Kids, is that if you have a ‘Kid that needs a new body, it is easy enough to make one with this pattern. Another great thing is that you can use Cabbage Patch Kids clothing to fit your own doll, which means that you can use the vintage Cabbage Patch Kids patterns to create outfits for your doll.  I have also drafted some outfits to be purchased separately, but are very unique as they include directions and patterns for Socks and Shoes!

southern comfortNow let’s talk about fabric.  You cannot use just ordinary knit fabric.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  You will not get the same look as a Cabbage Patch Kid.  Jersey knit stretches a lot, therefore, your doll will be a lot bigger than the pattern.  You have to use an interlocking 100% polyester fabric.  Joann’s Fabrics and Walmart sell something similar, but it is more stretchy than the original CPK fabric and snags easily.  The original Cabbage Patch Kids were made with a fabric called Windsor Comfort.  It was originally called Southern Comfort but had to be changed due to copyright laws and the Southern Comfort brand of alcoholic beverages.  The factory was called Atlanta Fabrics, based in Atlanta, Georgia.  In the 80’s when the craze began, billions of yards of fabric went out from this factory.  Unfortunately, the factory is now closing down, as I write this.  I happened to get the very last of the Windsor Comfort in the skintones.  Check out my eBay auctions for the fabric.
What’s in a name? I decided to name my pattern My Anna Doll, partly after my daughter’s name, and partly after my name. I thought it had a nice ring to it. Other names that I threw out there were already taken.
The pattern will come complete with step-by-step color photos, as well as tips and tricks to get the best out of my pattern.  I also include how to make 7 hairstyles.
So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to get started!  You can purchase my hard-copy pattern and fabric on eBay, or a digital copy of the pattern on Etsy.
Be sure to follow me on facebook (cpkdiana) and my blog ( to stay up-to-date. If more fabric becomes available, I will post it on my page.

Materials Needed:

For making the hairstyles:
  • Piece of cardboard or similar, approximately 11”x14” (I used a flexible chopping mat that I bought as a set of 2 at Dollar Tree)
  • masking tape
  • 2 knitting needles, size 10-13 (6-9mm). You can also use pencils, but needles are easier to work with
  • Foam block 3”x4”
  • 1/4” ribbon
For the Outfits:
  • 1/4 yard main fabric
  • 1/4 yard contrasting fabric
  • 1/3 yard bias tape (you can also make your own)
  • 1 1/8 yard of 1/4” elastic
  • Velcro or snaps for closures
  • Lace, braids, trim, appliqués as desired
  • 3/8 yard fabric for overalls
  • 1/4 yard fabric for shirt
  • 1/3 yard bias tape
  • 1/2 yard of 1/4” elastic
  • Velcro or snaps for closures
  • Two 1/2” buttons
  • Lace, braids, trim, appliqués as desired
SHOES AND SOCKS (per pair):
*You can also purchase pre-made shoe strings from me on ebay.  The hightop size is the same as what you need for my shoes.