Having never made a rag doll before, I did some searching online for a pattern and some how to tips. I came across the free pattern 'Baby bows' which can be found by clicking on the link.
This is a simple pattern but it did have a few problems to iron out before a successful doll could be made. The pattern comes as a series of images, if when printed at full size, will make an enormous baby doll. I had to resize them and paste them in a word document to get a baby doll of the size mentioned in the instructions (18 to 20 inches).
It is also important to use an appropriate fabric. The pattern calls for a firm knit fabric and says it does not matter which way you place the stretch. I made a first doll with the stretch going across. This gave me a very misshapen and fat dolly. Not ideal. The second doll was made using an old tan coloured T-shirt of my husbands. I cut this doll with the stretch long ways and it gave a much better proportioned doll.
The doll is sew up leaving the top of the head open to allow it to be stuffed. The joints are made by trying ribbons (I used string) around them... hence the name 'baby bows'. Finally the head is drawn up at the top and tied off. Instead of using wool for the hair as the pattern suggests, I used a shaped piece of felt. I simply embroidered a face onto the dolly as I thought this would be more long lasting then gluing eyes onto it as suggested in the pattern.
To clothe dolly, I cut out some little pants and a t-shirt from some other of my husbands old stretch clothing. The beanie on his head is one for a new born baby. The pattern says to use a premie baby body suit, but after trying baby clothes on dolly in k-mart this morning, I think dolly is too small.