You know the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.” Making fairy tale dolls or nursery rhyme dolls is a fun and creative experience. How about an easy doll idea for making your very own Jack and Jill Dolls? Here is an idea where you can use small plastic dolls for the bodies and sew together basic costumes for these dear nursery rhyme characters. So, come on. Let’s go make some Jack and Jill dolls.
First Things First: Getting the Necessary Materials
For this project, you will need the following materials available at most craft stores:
1 2 1/4″ doll head #7525
1 2 1/4″ doll head #7524
2 doll bodies #3025
1 6″ x 9″ white craft felt
1 4″ x 7″ royal blue craft felt
20 inches of 2 5/8″ red mini check (or gingham) ribbon
2 candle cups (for Jack and Jill’s pails)
royal blue and white thread
*Most of these supplies can be purchased at your local craft store except for the doll heads and bodies, which may or may not be. These are plastic heads and bodies. You may or may not find the exact number for the part. You may be able to do a search on Ebay, Amazon, or other such websites. So you may want to look on these websites as well as your local craft store. As long as the doll is approximately 6 3/4″ tall (head and body), it should be the correct size for this project.
You will use pattern pieces to make the clothes for these dolls. Simply trace and cut out from the corresponding fabrics and colors. The numbers in parentheses in this post corresponds with the number on the pattern piece to clarify the article of clothing used in each step.
- White Felt: Cut one underpants (1), one blouse or top (2), one collar (4), one 1/2″ x 5″ belt, and two 1/8″ x 2 1/2″ sleeve trims.
- Royal Blue Felt: Cut one 7″ x 2 1/4″ trousers, one 1/2″ x 5″ belt, two 1/4″ x 3″ pail handles, two 1/8″ x 2 1/2″ trouser trims, and three buttons (5).
- 2 5/8″ Red Mini Check (or Gingham) Ribbon: Cut one 10″ x 2 5/8″ skirt and two 5″ x 2 5/8″ shirt pieces.
The following steps are uniquely for making Jack. He will need a shirt as well as a pair of trousers.
- His Shirt: Fold the shirt pattern pieces (2) in half, matching the front and back edges. Cut half of a shirt from each 5″ x 2 5/8″ ribbon piece. Put the shirt pieces right sides together.matching the edges. Stitch along the top shoulder edge (1/8″ from the edge) and leaving the neck open.
Stitch the side and underarm edges 1/8″ from edge. Clip the underarm at the clipline and up the clipline, but not through the stitching. Turn the material right side out. Optional: (You may choose not to stitch, but rather, apply glue to the inside front side and underarm edges and press them to the back side and underarm edges.
Place the shirt on the doll with the slit in front. Overlap and glue the slit edges 1/4″. Cuff the sleeve edges 3/8″. Apply a drop of glue to the inside front and back of the cuff to secure. Glue two buttons to the front of the shirt.
- His Trousers: Please refer to diagram. Cut a 3/4″ slit in the bottom center 7″ edge of the felt trousers piece. Cut a 1/4″ slit in the side edges 3/4″ up from the bottom, forming a tab. Fold one side toward the center slit and insert the tab into the 3/4″ slit. Fold and glue the tab onto the back of the trousers. Repeat with the other side. Allow to dry. Place the trousers on Jack with the front opening of the trousers overlapping the shirt bottom. Overlap and glue the right front edge over the left edge 1/2″. Gather the trousers waist tightly around the doll’s waist. Glue the white waistband around the waist, concealing the top edge of the trousers and overlapping the ends in back.
Hello, Jill. I know you have been waiting patiently, but don’t worry: it is now your turn. We are going to make you some underpants, a blouse (top), and a skirt.
- Her Underpants: Place the center of the underpants between the doll’s legs. Bring the front and back edges up to the doll’s waist. Overlap and glue the front side edges onto the back side edges to secure.
- Her Blouse (Top): Fold the shirt pattern pieces (2) in half, matching the front and back edges. Cut half of a shirt from each 5″ x 2 5/8″ ribbon piece. Put the shirt pieces right sides together matching the edges. Stitch along the top shoulder edge (1/8″ from the edge) and leaving the neck open.
Using the appropriate color thread, gather the collar around the doll’s neck. Gather each sleeve around the doll’s arm. Glue the sleeve trim tightly around the bottom edge of each sleeve overlapping edges at the back of the arm. Glue the neck edge of the collar around the front of the blouse neck opening. Glue a button onto the blouse front.
- Her Skirt: Overlap and glue the short edges of the skirt felt piece 1/4″ to form a tube. Place the skirt on the doll, overlapping the bottom of the blouse with the seam in the back. Gather the waist, fitting the skirt snugly around the doll waist. Glue the blue waistband around the doll’s waist, overlapping the ends in the back and covering the top skirt edge.
This accessory item for each doll is a must. It is the defining article that associates the nursery rhyme character in the beloved story with these dolls. This is when you will use the candle cups. They often have a pail shape. (See photo.)
Apply glue to 1/2″ section at each end of the handle. Glue the handles to the inside of each pail at opposite sides. (See illustration at the beginning of this article. Notice the pails and attached handles.)
Climb That Hill
Well, there you have it: some simple instructions for making Jack and Jill dolls. Now it is time to hop to it. Get creative and make some precious dolls to share with others. Makes a great project to do with children. Teachers as well as parents will love it. Reinforce the nursery rhyme today! And Jack and Jill…be careful climbing that hill with heavy pails of water.
Doll idea inspired by
Fibre Craft Materials Corp.
Niles, Illinois: Fibre-Craft, 1982.