Add unique dimension to the face of a handmade doll with a few careful stitches and the tried-and-true crafting technique known as needle sculpting. Creating such basic nose or mouth as a nose or a mouth is easy — using the nose as a starting point, the steps below can instruct you in the art of sculpting fabric features by needle and thread.
Thread your needle, tie a knot in the end and trim the thread close to the knotted end. Enter one side of the doll’s head, along the seam line and across from the desired site for the doll’s nose.”Pop” your knot inside, so it’s no longer visible on the doll’s head. Exit the thread along one side of the “site” for the future doll nose.
Once inside, determine how big you want your doll’s nose to be before beginning the nose stitches. To create a big nose, your parallel stitches should be further apart than for a small nose. The tighter you pull your stitches as you make them, the narrower (and more defined) your bridge will be.
Make a small vertical stitch along the site of the nose’s future bridge. The needle should exit the stitch on the other side, the space in between determining the size of your finished nose. Make a vertical stitch travelling upwards, parallel to the first — exiting on the opposite side, parallel to the first stitch. Continue this pattern, switching between each side of the future nose, traveling up or down, closer or wider apart, depending upon the desired length and shape of the nose.
Pull the thread tightly with each stitch in order to give the nose its shape and definition, creating the dimension on the doll’s face. Continue with this process until you reach the desired length of your nose bridge.
Once the nose is the size you prefer, tie a knot in your thread close to its last point of exit, then “pop” the thread inside the doll’s face once again. Pull the thread taught and cut it as close as possible to the fabric, so the end disappears inside once the tension is relaxed.
Remember to be creative, experimenting with different sizes, shapes, and lengths for your doll’s features with different stitches and thread tensions to sculpt the fabric. The same process can be used to create the dolls eyes and lips, simply adjusting the space and distance between the parallel stitches made on the face.