Intro to Dollmaking - Hand Sew a Simple Sock Gnome | Luci Ayyat | Skillshare

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Intro to Dollmaking - Hand Sew a Simple Sock Gnome

teacher avatar Luci Ayyat, I love the whir of an embroidery machine

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project Sock Gnome


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.

      Fill the Body


    • 6.

      Close the Body


    • 7.

      Give Him a Beard


    • 8.

      Add a Nose


    • 9.

      Top with Hat


    • 10.

      Add Some Spice


    • 11.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

In this class, you'll learn the hand-sewing techniques used by cloth dollmakers while creating your very own sock gnome doll.  Tips, tricks, and techniques will be demonstrated for crafting with socks, fur, and doll filler materials.

Learn the magical and timeless art of dollmaking.  Creating a 3D figure out of cloth takes on a life of its own and many artists get hooked on this art form because we can never truly predict what characters we’re going to create.  It’s almost as if the doll gets the final say in how they look and who they are!  We’re just the hands that make them come to life.

Whether you’ve never stitched anything in your life or you’re experienced with needle & thread, this class will break down the steps for newbies and teach a few tips and tricks for the more experienced sewist as well.  You don’t even need a sewing machine.

You’ll learn how to work with socks and fur. And I’ll show you the 5 basic stitches you can do by hand that are used for almost every cloth doll project you’ll ever make.

The gnome project is super popular for gift giving and you can get creative and modify it for any occasion.  I’ll show you variations at the end of the class, so hopefully, that will spark your creativity!

You’ll need socks, fur, and some stretchy fabric plus stuffing materials to make the gnome.  You’ll also want to have some sharp scissors for cutting fabric, as well as a long needle and strong thread.  We’ll go over how to shop for each of these in the lessons, or you can refer to the materials list in the resources section for this class.

I hope you love the class and be sure to post a photo of the doll you make!  You can find more from me at my website or follow me on SkillShare, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.  If you're looking for the sewing pattern that includes those big feet in the "Add Some Spice" Lesson, you can find that pattern for sale here (for sewing or machine embroidery)

Meet Your Teacher

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Luci Ayyat

I love the whir of an embroidery machine


Nice to meet you! I'm the crazy doll lady at Ballyhoo Creations who turns embroidery machines into automated sewing beasts. I've been doing machine embroidery for many years and I've learned a lot of tips and tricks to make these machines run smoothly. Whether you're stitching on a small machine you bought from Walmart, or a 5-figure multi-needle machine, I'd like to help you master that embroidery machine and make lovely things with it!

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey folks. My name is Lucy Ayet and I'm a doll maker at Barley Hood Creations. I design cloth dolls that can be made by hand or with a sewing machine, but my specialty is creating doll patterns for the embroidery machine, so the stitching is done automatically. but for this class, we're going to start at the very beginning, enhance stitch a sock gnome. These lessons will break down the simple steps for beginners, but if your skills are already more advanced, you can learn some tips while creating this quick and easy project. In this class, you'll learn five different sewing stitches done by hand that are most commonly used in doll making. I'll show you why socks are great material for learning to make dolls. We'll talk about the special fabrics often used in doll making, like skin, or fur, and how to source them on a budget. Different stuffing materials are shown and you'll learn which ones to never use. All through these class lessons, I'll show you my techniques for making a high-quality or heirloom quality doll, but I'll also share shortcuts if you want to speed up the process with glue instead of stitches. These gnomes are super popular for gift-giving and you can get creative and modify it for any occasion. They make fun projects to create together with family or friends, so make a party out of it. I'll show you variations and embellishment options at the end of the class. Hopefully, that will spark your creativity for any season, any reason. The materials for this class are pretty simple, you'll need socks, some fur, and some stretchy fabric plus stuffing materials to make the gnome. You'll also want to have some sharp scissors for cutting fabric as well as a needle and thread. I'll give you detailed information about all these supplies and tools in the class, as well as a printed supply list which you can find in the class resource section. Grab a cozy beverage and come on into the class. Let's get to stitching and make something adorable. 2. Project Sock Gnome: Our class project will be a sock gnome. I would love for you to take a photo of your finished gnome and post it to the class project gallery. Don't be shy. We all want to see each other's gnomes. It's fascinating how they'll all look different even though everyone is learning from the same class. Post your gnomes project. You can even post multiple projects if you want to. Show us all your bearded dudes. One of the trickier skills in doll making is the face, but since these gnomes only have a nose, it simplifies the process, makes it easier for beginners to make something super cute. You can do this craft alone or with friends and family. Older children will be able to make this if you feel they have the fine motor skills for the needle and thread, or you could use fabric really rather than stitching. Find yourself a comfortable work surface where you can gather all your supplies, get cozy, turn on some music, maybe some cookies, it's all good. I'll be demonstrating everything with needle and thread and teaching you the hand stitches used by cloth doll makers. This way your gnome will be heirloom quality and machine washable when finished. But I'll also explain how you can substitute glue for a less permanent doll as we go through the lessons. Even though the class project is a simple gnome, you'll be learning skills that you can later apply to more advanced cloth dolls. In the class resource section, you'll find two PDF documents. One is a detailed supply list that you can take shopping with you, and the other has diagrams for the hand stitches. Consider yourself warned, making gnomes is addicting. It's hard to make just one or two. This is the real reason why you see them everywhere like craft fairs and all over because the makers, they just couldn't stop till they had dozens of homeless gnomes. Don't ask me how I know this. 3. Materials: Let's jump right in and talk about what kinds of cloth will be using, starting with the socks. When you're selecting socks, you can use all different kinds of socks for your sock gnome and the reason that we like to use socks is, there's a lot of reasons actually. Socks are very stretchy, they come in a ton of patterns and colors. They have what's called the tubular knits. There's no seam all the way around this sock, so that makes it nice to work with, there's very little sewing. It's also a knit fabric so that when you cut it, it won't unravel and that's a great feature to have. You can mix and match or coordinate. You can use whatever you want. You don't have to use the same sock for the body and the hat. You can even use baby socks for a little bitty gnome, these are great for a baby shower or something. You could use plain old spork socks, that works too. If you're using the ankle sock, you need two socks, one for the body and then another one for the hat. If you're using a longer knee-high sock like this, then you can just use one sock per gnome. The bottom part of the foot part would be the gnome's body, and then this top part, the knee-high part would be the gnome hat. One knee-high sock or two ankle socks is what you're going to need. You could use brand new songs or older socks, I do prefer clean socks, but that's just me, you do you. Let's talk about the skin. I do like to use a stretchy fabric but that's not mandatory, my favorite place to get skin tone stretch fabrics, no lie, woman's tank top. Just go to the discount store and buy the largest size that you can get there and that way you get a lot of fabric. You only need a two-inch square of fabric for one nose, so you don't need much, but it's very stretchy and forgiving, makes a nice squishy nose. You could also use the tubular knit for the skin, or you could even use something that's not stretchy. The slip plane cotton muslin works for the nose as well. Then if you wanted to add color, you could use a little blush or something to give that little pink or makeup or something like that, but you don't have to. That's the skin tone. Any kind of fabric stretchy is better but it's not mandatory. Of course, you could also use a sock for the nose as well, just cut a two-inch square out of another sock to create the nose. Fur is one of the funnest parts of the gnome and there are a lot of different furs that you can choose from. From a shorter curly pile to a long, this is called the Mongolian fur that has this curly look, it's very long. You could also use a craft fur, but this is enough to do several gnome beards, and you can usually get that a lot cheaper when it's on sale, comes in different colors. If you want, you can buy fur at the fabric store and you can buy as little as a quarter yard, usually, they'll cut for you. Even though fur may cost $20 or $30 or more, per yard, you don't need very much, so ask what the smallest quantity is and they'll cut that for you. Another source for fur, if you like thrift stores, you could even find things like, this used to be a vest and I've just been slowly cutting the fur off of this vest, and for a couple of dollars, I got a lot of really good fur, haven't even gotten to the backside yet. Same thing with fur pillows, fur throws, you can find things like that instead of having to buy it like this. Just keep your mind open on sources of fur. You can even find people on online sites that sell just the fur for a gnome beard. If you only want to spend a couple of dollars, you could even search for gnome beards and you'll find people selling about that much fur. Let's talk about filling our gnome. I'm going to use some plastic pellets for the base of the gnome and there's different brands of these, but they're just little plastic pellets that go in the bottom for weight and it also helps with gnome sit flat. Then in the top part, we're going to use polyfill. You can use fabric scraps or something like that instead for the soft stuffing. What I do not think you should do is use rice or any kind of food material at the base of your gnome. I know the internet is filled with people making sock gnomes filled with rice. Here's why I cringe every time I see it. Because I used to use rice in some of my dolls when I did craft fairs a few years ago, and I know for a fact that rice attracts bugs and even rodents. It does not matter how clean you keep your home, those critters will find their way into that tasty food sooner or later. Everyone I know who used to use rice has learned the hard way why it's gross. Learn from my mistakes, rice is for eating and not for stuffing dolls. As far as weight for your gnome, you could even use something like glass, beads, or aquarium gravel, or something like that to put in the base of the gnome to keep it heavy enough so it sits straight. All different options we've talked about, there are even different kinds of fiber fillers, sometimes I just cut up scraps and use that. You've got a lot of options there, but just don't use food because humans aren't the only ones that eat it. In this lesson, we talked about choosing socks to build our gnome as well as fur for the beard, and fabric for the nose. You also got to see different filler materials and why we don't want to fill the gnomes' belly with food like rice or beans. 4. Tools: [MUSIC] We've got our materials, but we're also going to need some tools which can be used over and over again, as many gnomes as you want to make with them. What do we need? You're also going to need some good scissors to cut fur. I prefer a small pair of scissors for cutting fur so we can just cut the backing and do tiny little nips like that. But for larger things like cutting the socks, a nice, sharp pair of fabric scissors will be very handy. Whatever you do, make sure you're using sharp scissors when you're cutting fabric, even if it's socks of fur. Sharp scissors make it so much easier and less likely to cut yourself. Throughout this class, I'm going to show you how to hand stitch the gnome rather than using glue all the time. I do recommend a very strong thread for hand sewing. You could use a hand quilting, you could use something called a heavy duty, sometimes it's called a button and craft. There are different brands that make a heavy duty thread and you can see how this thread is just thicker. This is a regular sewing thread that you put in your sewing machine and you can see how this is a very thin thread compared to the heavy thread. It's so much thicker and less likely to break. So we can really pull on this when we're hand sewing and it won't break and it'll do exactly like we want it to. Another option, if you're going to be making dolls, is to get something called the doll needle. There are different sizes of these. Some of them are as long as five inches. I don't use that very often, but this little two-inch needle, I use a lot as opposed to this is a regular hand-sewing needle. They're usually an inch to one and a half inches. You can see how this needle is so much bigger, it's easier to handle. You can also get through the body of your doll or stuffed animal or gnome much better with a long needle. If you have a long doll needle like this, I highly recommend getting them for your hand sewing, as well as at least one neutral color of thread. I'm going to be using this red thread through the video class today because you can see it and it's going to show up very well on camera. But normally, you would want to choose a thread that blends in with your fabric so you don't see it. Just so that you know, I'm just using red to make it easier for you. You would want to choose a thread color that blends in with either the sock or the fur or both. For the last part of this lesson, I want to go ahead and show you just in case you're new to hand sewing, how to use the needle and thread for sewing dolls. I'm going to go ahead and thread the needle and if you have a hard time doing this, I would recommend getting a cheap pair of reading glasses that can be very helpful. You just want to pull off usually about 18 inches of thread is good for most of what we do. If you make this too long, it'll be too hard to pull the needle and thread. Just keep pulling that thread and It'll last forever and it will get knotted up. So you don't want that. We want a double-strand of thread. You can see I've got two threads there going through the needle on one end. I'm just going to tie a knot on the end, once, and I like to go ahead and do it twice. It doubles up on itself. If you wind up getting two knots, go ahead and do a third one. Then just cut that short about a half inch, That's all you need. Now we have our needle is threaded and ready to use, and this is what we're going to be using throughout as I show you all the different stitches. Now here's a tip that you don't need this, but if you have a hard time with needle and thread and your thread keeps getting all wound up, and twisty, and caught on things, you can use something called a thread conditioner. The way that this works, they're made of things like oils and bees wax and things like that. You just put the thread in there, run it through, and it coats that thread and just makes it easier. It is less likely to get unruly on you. This one's called Thread Magic, but there are a lot of different brands of thread conditioner. It works really well when you're doing a hand sewing. Just a tip. In the last lesson, we covered fabric scissors as well as special needles and strong thread for doll making. You saw how to thread a needle and also thread conditioner is optional, but it does make the hand stitching process easier. 5. Fill the Body: Now that we've got all the preliminary work out of the way, let's start making the gnome. This lesson will show you how to cut the sock and stuff the body. We're going to start off with our sock and we're going to cut right here to cut that ankle piece off just straight across it because I have a stripe that makes it even easier. See how see we have just a straight sock there. I'm going to take my pellets that I talked about earlier and I use about a cup of pellets per gnome, one measuring cup and then put them in a cup. I like to go ahead and just put the sock over the top like that and dump them in. No funnel or anything needed. It might look like, well, it's pretty skinny, but just plump it down and it just really spreads out and stretches that sock. Once we start filling with stuffing, you may think this is way too much stuffing, but it'll fit. It really packs down in there. See how I'm just pushing the stuffing in, packing it in and the sock just keeps stretching and stretching and stretching. You don't want to overstretch to make it see-through. That's when you know you've gone too far. We get a nice plump body and if you get these big lumps and bumps in here, you see how uneven that is? You can just roll it, stuffing back down in there. It's all filled up with the pellets in the bottom and the stuffing in the top, and he'll be able to stand on his own. How easy was that? Let's recap it. You saw how to cut the sock and fill it with pellets as well as fiber fill. Can you believe all that stuffing fit into that sock? Let's close it up before all the fiber burst out of there. 6. Close the Body: In this lesson, we're going to close the body using a running stitch. This is the simplest of hand sewing stitches. When we pull the threads tight, that running stitch can be used to either gather fabric into a ruffle, or close up a circular opening like the top of the sock. There are several different ways you can tie off this body, top of the body here, some people use rubber bands. I don't recommend that because rubber bands will come off. You could use a rubber band and then use a piece of twine and tie that in a nice tight knot, and that's pretty secure as well. I don't have a problem with that method, but since we are wanting to do something very long-lasting, I do want to hand sew it, and you could just go back and forth and tack stitch places. But I'm going to show you the gathering stitch or it's also called a running stitch, and we're going to use it to gather this top closed, so I'm going to start with my long doll needle and my red thread that's double-stranded like I showed you in the previous lesson, How to Thread Your Needle. I'm going to just go from the inside out, and then I'm going to take about half inch stitches just all the way around. Doesn't have to be exactly half an inch. I like to do several at a time. See how that looks? This goes rather quickly. Back to where I started from, you can see my stitches there, so I'm just going to go back inside and pull. Now it's all closed up. Just to make sure I've got that nice and tight, I'm going to tie a knot first and I'm going to show you the special knot that you can do on the surface. Go into your fabric, just take a small stitch, and then hold the loop in your right hand, and then take the needle and dive into that loop. Now you've got another loop that you just made in your left hand, so I have the needle dive into that other loop, the left loop as well. Now when we pull up and you may need to use your needle to hold this little loop in place. As you pull the thread, you'll get a knot right there on the surface. That's a good way to get a surface knot. I'm just going to take a few more what I call tack stitches across, go all the way across. This is where having that long needle comes in very handy. Just about a half inch away, coming out again you might even consider going in a star pattern, and this is going to close it up nice and tight. However, if I ever need to come and undo this, just a few little snips of the thread and I will be able to undo it, if I need to refill it or whatever I want to do. Three or four stitches all the way across and then another knot; surface knot. I'm show you that again. Make a stitch and hold that loop in your right-hand, dive through. Now that loop that you have in your left hand, you can dive through again. Doesn't matter if the needle is forward or backward, that doesn't matter. Then when you pull up on it, it creates a knot down at the surface. To bury the thread, we just insert the needle back into the body and come out a few inches away. See, I'm all the way down here. Hold that tight, and then when you clip it right at the surface, the thread disappears into the body so we won't see it. That's how you bury the thread and you don't have any thread tail. Now that the body is closed up, we can go ahead and roll it, get a nice shape for us. Still got the pellets in the bottom, and the stuffing on top, and now he's not lumpy anymore. He's just perfect. Let's recap. You saw how to sew a running stitch by hand and then we pulled our thread tight to close up the top opening of the gnome. You also saw how to make a surface knot and bury the thread inside the doll. Those skills are used over and over in cloth doll-making. Even when you sew a doll with a sewing machine, you still need to hand stitch it closed after it's stuffed. I should also mention, that running stitch you just learned can also be used to sew two pieces of fabric together. If you don't pull the threads tight, leave them loose and it's a regular seam. So what's next? The beard. 7. Give Him a Beard: [MUSIC] The furry beard is the cornerstone of this style of known doll, and the full fur is often used in other styles of dolls and softies as well. It's good to know how to work with this type of material. I'll show you how to cut, position, and sow the full fur onto the stuff sock in this lesson. I'm going to show you the skill of how to figure out how much fur you need considering the size of your body, because you may have a different body size depending on how you stuffed your sock. What we want to do is when this is sitting down and the bottom is going to be flat, so he's going to be that size. We want the bottom of the fur to come down here to the bottom. If we have it too far down and when he's sitting on a shelf the fur is going to be all over the place, so I like to have it where the fur is just at the bottom and you see a little bit of the sock which is like a sweater. We want it to go all the way to the top up here where it bends. Right there is where I need to cut my fur for the top [NOISE], and with this long curly fur you really don't need as much as you might think because it's got so much length to it. When I'm cutting fur what I like to do is use the small scissors. I'm just using tiny little snips to cut the backing [NOISE] because you see the fur has a backing here and it has what's called the pile or the actual fur. We don't want to cut the fur piece of it, we just want to cut the backing. [MUSIC] Some people like to use a razor or a box cutter. I don't like that because I don't have as much control with a razor as I do with these little tiny scissors and I can make very intricate cuts if I need to. I'm just cutting the backing all the way across. Now when I pull them apart, it shouldn't have too many stray furs that got cut. There will always be some. Just go ahead and wipe those out and get rid of that. This stuff will be flying all over the place, so try to get it in the trash and make sure it doesn't come flying out. Here's the piece of the beard I want to keep, that's the piece that I don't need. When I put it up here at the top where I want it, this is a nice length now. Cut a little bit towards the bottom that's going to be on the table, but that's okay. Then I want the width to be from here to here, so halfway. Just like that. That's the beard. If you want to and I actually do want to, I want to cut a little triangle for this. Another thing to mention is you want to make sure that the fur is going downwards most of the time. There may be occasions where you want the beard to be going upwards, but that's funky. Typically you want the fur to be pointing down and make sure you cut your beard that way. I need to have this way as down. It's more of a nibble, nibble, nibble instead of a nom, nom, nom. [MUSIC] That's the way I think of it. Hold on to your scraps because you can do other tiny gnomes with these little pieces or turn them into beards, eyebrows, all kinds of things. This is the beard, line it up where I want it. You could glue the beer. You could use either a hot glue or a fabric glue. Typically, we'd use something like fabric fixed or Fabri-Tac; are good glues to use on fabric, but in this class I'm going to hand saw everything because we want this to be heirloom quality. I've got my double-strand kneaded again on my big needle and I'm going to do a whip stitch this time. Just finding the place to start is going to be a hassle because the fur going to be in the way, but that's okay. For the whip stitch, I'm going to start underneath the beard. Take a little knot and go through my double strand and that will really secure it. I do use three conditioners, it's hard to get in there. The way the whip stitch works is we just go at it diagonal and come up through the beard, and each stitch goes at a diagonal. It's a good idea to have a little pin. Here we go [NOISE]. Remember, you would want to use a thread that matches your fabric colors. I'm using this dark red so that you can see it. When I pull that thread it's just going to attach the beard, but don't expect this to show when I'm all finished because that hair from the beard; from the fur, is going to cover up my thread. You will find that fur will get into your needle and thread. Yes, it is a pain. Just be patient, keep pulling it out of the way. You see I'm going about 1/2-inch away, going into the sock and then coming up about 1/2-inch away into the fur. Now my beard is on there nice and tight, I'm going to tie it off the way I did before. Just stitch through the fabric into the right side, into the left side and fold that loop and pull. Taraa, surface knot and bury your thread. It doesn't matter where you come out when you bury the thread, anywhere is fine. Preferably in a place that you won't see it. There is his beard. The beard is now attached and we used a whip stitch for that. You could use other types of stitches like the running stitch you learned in the previous lesson. By hand stitching the beard rather than gluing, we're ensuring it stays on through washing, playing, even being stored in a hot attic over the summer. But as with all the steps in this class, you could substitute hot glue or a fabric glue for the stitches. 8. Add a Nose: In this next lesson, I'll show you how to make a soft, squishy fabric nose. I prefer this style, but you could also substitute some other kind of ball or sphere-shaped object, a wooden ball, a pom-pom, and even Christmas ornaments are sometimes used. But I feel like the soft skin-colored fabric nose has the most charm, so that's the kind I'll demonstrate. I'm going to use my stretchy skin tone fabric and I need just about a two-inch square or circle, doesn't really matter. I'll cut an extra one there for later, you don't need it to be very circular, cut the corners off and that's enough. Now we're going to do a running stitch which is going to gather this piece of fabric and turn it into a nose. For the gathering stitch, we're going to be about 1/4 inch away from the edge, so we're going to go into the fabric and just do about, again 1/2 inch stitches all the way around the edge. You can do several stitches before you pull the thread through, that's fine. Just keep doing those 1/2 inch stitches all the way around until you get to back where you started from, and then go ahead and end on the inside again like we started. Don't pull it and close it up yet because we have to put some stuffing in there and then pull my thread tight, and we have a nose. It was that easy, super simple. I'm just going to do a few tack stitches, so I'm just going to go through one side and out of the other just to hold that closed. While I've still got my needle and thread attached to the nose, I'm going to go ahead and sew it on the gnome. Here are the two edges of my beard. I want it right here in the middle, and I want the top edge of the nose to be at the top edge of the beard. I'm just going to take a few tack stitches, and what that means is I'm just going to make long stitches that go into the nose and also into the body of the gnome. It's coming out through the body. I'm going to go back through the nose again. Now, usually, the beard is fluffy enough that it'll cover up that little bottom stem down there, and you don't need to worry about it. If your fur gets caught in your thread, be wary of that and make sure that you get it all out. There we go, get out of there. Just keep pulling your thread really tight. That's why we're using this really strong thread. I'm going to go all the way across the nose again and out the other side and again, make sure that my thread doesn't catch every single piece of fur because it will, and then back into the body and I think that's all he needs. I'm going to come up through the top and put my knot up here, and I'll speed through this, knot because I've showed you this knot several times. It's just the surface knot and then bury the thread. Our nose is on there nice and tight, but it's sticking away from the body just the way we want it. Now you see why I love the squishy noses. It's starting to come together. We use the running stitch to gather our nose fabric and then stitched it onto the beard and body using a tack stitch. I like to think of tack stitches as tacky stitches because they're chaotic and random, but they get the job done and that nose is not going anywhere now that it's firmly attached to the body. Next up is the hat. 9. Top with Hat: [MUSIC] We're ready to make the hat now. I'm going to use a sock for this hat, but you should know that you could use other materials as well. Think about the triangular shape of a Santa Claus hat. You could easily create a hat with a simple running stitch or whip stitch and make a triangle hat out of any fabric, but let's keep it simple and stay with this sock theme for this class. For his hat, I'm going to use a longer sock this time. If you wanted, you could just use the foot of a regular sock, but since I have this ankle sock, I'm going to go ahead and take advantage. I'm going to cut it off right at the ankle right here where the bend stops. Now, that I've cut it off, there are several different options. I'm going to use this as the brim of the hat. You could even turn it up if you wanted to. Up here, rather than leaving this open, turn the sock inside out. [MUSIC] We use our gathering stitch to close this. Just a really quick one, same as what we did before. Every half-inch, just take a stitch, so we'll speed through this. [MUSIC] Now, when we turn that sock right side out, this little gathered puckered top of his hat right there, and for the hat, we just want to stretch it over, pull that down pretty far in the back and we will be stitching that in place so that it just covers the top of the nose and then go ahead and gather this sock down. We need to make sure we have more thread this time because we have to go all the way around with our thread. Rather than have a two-foot-long length of thread, it may be better to just do it twice. Get halfway around and then stop. Go ahead and make a knot and then finish with the second piece of thread. Now, let's do something called the ladder stitch. I'm going to start underneath where it's hidden. Again, I'm going to go ahead and go through my thread to make sure that we get a nice knot that won't come out. That's because this sock fabric you can see it's got big holes in the weave of the knit. We just want to make sure that that knot doesn't slip through. Now, that we've got our needle and thread through the body, I'm going to start stitching. Let's see, make sure that's tucked up in there. I'm going to pull this just a little under and go right there on the fold about a quarter-inch. Again we go straight down, pull that thread straight down. Let's zoom in on this pull the thread straight down and go into the body another about quarter to half-inch. It depends on how big you want your stitches. Again, straight up and through the fold of the hat. This is the ladder stitch and this is an invisible stitch when you pull it tight. You can't even see my red thread in here because it really gets invisible. Again, you're just coming out of the hat, going straight down and into the body at that spot right there, I'm going to make my stitches bigger. Then to get to the hat you go straight up. It'll look like a ladder or railroad tracks when you're done. Once you pull that tight, it really disappears. You can see a little bit of my knot here because I'm using this dark red contrasting thread, but this is a nice stitch to hide when you have two openings like you have an opening that you need to close up, this is the perfect stitch for that. You want to make sure that your thread doesn't go at an angle. You don't want it to enter here or here. You want to make sure it's straight down next to where it's coming off the hat and that's what gives you that nice clean look when it goes right across where it's coming out. Once we've got this hat stitched on, it's not coming off unless you actually cut the thread and want to remove it. Now, here I can see a little bit of thread and this is a good mistake to point out because my thread got a little twisted there and formed a little loop. I just pull that out a little bit, straighten out my thread, and then when I pull it tight and it disappears again. [MUSIC] See that? You can imagine if I was using a gray thread, you really wouldn't see anything here at all. Now, I'm up to the front and I'm going to go ahead and go through the nose as well and stitch the hat onto the nose. That way it'll always stay placed over the nose where we want it. Then I'm going to go ahead and do my surface knot and bury the thread again because we're done with this part of the hat. The hat is on there and you learn the most important stitch for a doll maker, the ladder stitch. That ladder stitch is great for joining two pieces of fabric where you don't want the thread to show. Then you saw the surface knot and bury the thread again because doll makers use that a lot. At this point, we have finished now and you could stop here, but I'll give you one more lesson about how to embellish it if you want to. 10. Add Some Spice: If you want to kick it up a notch, you can spice up your gnome or any doll by using your favorite trims and embellishments. The possibilities here are infinite, but I'll give you some ideas to get your imagination flowing. We can pretty much call this gnome done. He is quite finished, he's got the body all stuffed with the weighted filler, he's got the beard, his little squishy nose, and his slouching hat. He's complete but if you want to add a personal touch to your gnome, there are so many options to embellish with, I've got several on my table here. You can use different kind of trims around the brim of the hat. One of my favorites to use, this is a fur yarn, made for knitting but you could go ahead and stitch or glue that around the brim of the hat. If you're not happy with your stitching, a trim around the hat is a nice way to hide that if you wanted to. That's one option. Then fur yarn it comes in so many different colors, you could do lots of things there. Another thing you could do, you can do with different trims. Let's say you're making a gnome for a wedding and you could use bridle trims around the hat as well. You could use it around the bottom however you want. All kinds of ribbons. Add a bow somewhere. I like to add things at the tip of the hat like that. Maybe a flower. Maybe here a different flower. You see, you get the idea there. You can even add a ruffle, this is big for his head, but it looks cool around the base because it looks like he's sitting in a flower. You could also do a female gnome, instead of having a beard, you could have hair coming out the side. Some people like two braids on the side for a female gnome. Let's see, you could have a snowflake here, put that on the hat. You could also create two little arms, get your socks and just make a little tube and use the same technique you made the nose, make little hands. Put the hands in those little tubes and have those come down in front and they can be holding an object like this, all kinds of things like that. What I'm going to do on this guy, I just like a little bell. You could also add a pom pom, really huge pom pom there but I like to add a little bell with some black and white stripe twine. It's one of my favorite things. Add this through the sock. Then once I've got that through there, I'll go ahead and just thread the twine through the bell. You can just develop your own signature style of what you like to embellish your gnomes with, the choice of sock, the beard that you choose, the fabric that you use for the nose, the embellishments, that's what makes it yours. One of my signatures is using a little black and white striped things. I like bells, I like the fur yarn, those are things that I often use. But use what you like, use buttons, use bells, use bows, use ribbons, whatever it is that you really like to craft with, put it on your gnome. He's so cute. I hope that last lesson sparked some ideas for you to personalize your gnome and make it uniquely yours. You can change colors and accessories to make a gnome for any reason, any season, play around with bells, bows, ribbons, charms, trinkets, flowers, arms, legs, feet, maybe give the gnome something to hold. There are no limits to what you can come up with. I have faith in your creativity so don't forget to post a picture of your gnome in the project gallery. Your ideas might inspire the next maker. 11. Wrap Up: [MUSIC] That's it, we made a gnome. It's easier than it looks. Remember that you can download a printable supply list and stitch diagram from the class resource section. You can also rewatch certain lessons as you work through your creation at your own pace. If you have questions, you can post in the class discussion tab and I can help you through that forum. If you want to step up gnome, making with custom fabric and big puffy feet like this guy, I have a sewing pattern available at, I'd also like to welcome you to follow me on YouTube, on Pinterest, on Instagram for our doll making and machine embroidery inspiration. If you could take a minute to leave a class review, I would really appreciate that too. I am striving to be the best teacher I can possibly be so any class feedback, whether it's positive feedback or even constructive criticism, whatever, any review is truly appreciated. Have fun exploring the magical world of doll making. I hope I see you in future classes. Bye, folks.