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Bernadette - free doll pattern

A little hand-sewn rag doll
Bernadette with embroidered face and appliqued fabric pieces as well as wool hair

If you've been following Dansereau for a while you probably know that my first passion is dolls, and not stuffed animals. The first pattern I released was a rag doll pattern and I even created a second one not too long later. There is something in the representation of a human made of fabric that speaks to me, to my child's heart.

So here's a little gift from me to you: a quick-to-sew doll pattern to give to everyone you love.

Bernadette is a super simple pattern, similar in size and complexity to baby animals . It's really more of a doll base since you will have to use your imagination and creativity to make her face, hair and clothing. You can search the blog or get inspiration for ideas on Pinterest for this creation. Don't miss my doll technique board and doll inspiration board.

The next blog post also includes some clothing patterns for Bernadette or one of her friends like Maddy, George, Béatrice, Jojo or Réal.

Bernadette is so simple to make, I invite you to create a doll that is unique to you. Whether you're a fan of embroidery, hand or machine sewing, even knitting or crochet, this base is here to help you make a cute doll. If you know how to sew you can make this doll, no matter your level.

a small rag doll with wool hair and a painted face
Bernadette with hand painted face and wool hair

It's also a pretty easy base for kids who want to learn how to sew. There are certainly some curves that can be a bit more challenging than a pouch, but following a drawn line I believe it is absolutely possible. This doll can also be made from felt without seam allowance and without having to turn it over, just sew all the way around very close to the edge, leave a small opening to stuff it before closing it. And then it's time to decorate it.

Another activity idea with Bernadette's pattern would be to sew the body in advance, cut it out, turn it over and then let the children finish the doll. Everyone loves stuffing their own toy, it's like seeing it born before our eyes. Then either with needle and thread or simply white glue and brushes you can create your character. It's time to take ribbon, sequins and buttons out of their boxes and let creativity flow. A few permanent fabric pencils (or sharpie) or paint can also be useful for this activity.

The pattern

Here is the free pattern for the famous doll. Follow the instructions for printing (but know that you can also print on a larger or smaller scale if you want a different size doll).

bernadette - 2024
Download PDF • 110KB

The choice of fabric

The only rule to respect with this model is the thickness. Choose a fabric that's not too thin and not too thick. If you can see through it it's not a good idea (we don't want to see inside Bernadette). A fabric that's too thick will be too difficult to turn over, the opening is small. Basically, I would say don't take a voile or upholstery fabric and you should succeed 😉.

Knit or woven, everything goes. It's of course worth noting that if Bernadette is sewn in ultra stretch jersey she may have slightly different proportions (like being wider or taller).

The instructions

The instructions are minimal, the idea is to let you create a version that suits your knowledge and skills. Here's how to make the body.

  1. Place 2 pieces of fabric right sides together and trace the doll.

  2. Sew along the line from one notch to the next.

  3. Cut all around your doll 5 mm from the seam.

  4. Clip the fabric at all corners.

  5. Turn it inside out and stuff your doll.

  6. Closes the opening with a ladder stitch.

  7. Decorate Bernadette.

For sewing tips and ideas, visit my YouTube channel . I'm trying to put up a tutorial video for Bernadette soon.

Have fun and share your creations by tagging @dodansereau on insta ;)


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