This week I’m excited to share a free crochet doll pattern from Julia Chiang of Craftings of Joules named Violet the Schoolgirl Doll. Julia is sharing this free pattern with you all today as part of my Featured Maker Program which aims to introduce you to other designers and help you get to know them a bit better.The links to Julia’s social media profiles are at the end of the post so please go give her some love and a follow as a thank you for the free crochet doll pattern.
Hi! I’m Julia, a yarn obsessed college student who drinks a little too much tea and reads anything and everything! I began my amigurumi journey this past winter with a small amigurumi whale, and I haven’t stopped since. My favorite things to crochet are dolls (as you see here) and animals, as well as the odd amigurumi food! Aside from crochet, I also love making modular origami stars to create hanging galaxies in my room
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m a college student based in Massachusetts with a deep love of books and creating things with my hands. Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed any kinds of arts and crafts that are tactile in some way—be it working with clay, building Legos, or origami. Funnily enough, I’ve never had too much interest in 2D art like drawing or painting. It might be because I have less of a natural proclivity for it, but as a strong believer in practice over talent, I think it must just be because I love the feeling of creating tangible objects more.
How long have you been crocheting?
I picked up crocheting relatively recently, just over half a year ago. Interestingly, I’ve known about amigurumi for a long time and had been too intimidated to try for a long time, even though I adored the end result.
Are there any other crafts that you enjoy doing?
I’ve dabbled in many forms of art over the years, but my main creative outlet for the longest time was origami. Paper crafts are beautiful and the geometric shapes that can be created out of crisp paper and sharp folds are almost incomprehensible to the eye, the reason why I have been fascinated with them for so long. Similar to crocheting, origami is made out of one element, which can be endlessly manipulated to become a 3D creation, or a part of a larger whole.
How did you learn to crochet?
I first discovered crochet and amigurumi when I came across the most adorable stuffed bears online during a school break. At first I was convinced that I could never learn how to make anything as complicated-looking as amigurumi, but the very next day I went to Michael’s and picked out my first crochet hook and ball of yarn. After a few days of failure and restarts, I finished my first amigurumi— a little blue whale! Even though it was far from pretty, it was enough to make me fall in love with the craft.
What is your favourite thing to crochet?
If you haven’t picked it up already, my favorite things to create are amigurumi! They are the reason why I first learned to crochet, and honestly I still see garments and home decor items as the icing on top of the crochet cake. The ability to create any kind of plushie is magical to me, and the limits of yarn are almost endless. As someone who has long been a follower of patterns (whether origami or amigurumi), the ability to turn the tables and be an artist through yarn is also especially empowering. I also just think that amigurumi are really cute, and appreciate that they are relatively quick to make compared to the weeks-long projects that clothing items tend to be.
When did you start pursuing a business as a maker and why?
I started pursuing a business as a designer four short months ago in the middle of the summer. I had started sharing patterns on Instagram and wanted to create a larger platform to showcase my work, as well as be able to write more detailed descriptions about my creative process. In the past I have started multiple blogs oriented around writing and books, so starting a blog around my new favorite past time was not a huge stretch of the imagination.
What are your aspirations for your business?
My business is still in its early stages, but currently I’m mainly focused on building a larger readership so that I can reach more people with my patterns. I would love it if someday my blog were to be able to sustain at least my yarn-buying habits, if not become a serious side job.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to start out with a maker business?
I would advise them to make a serious commitment to investing time and effort into building it up from the start. I often see that on Instagram many crocheters and makers run their accounts casually and set up an Etsy shop on the side, which is totally fine, but if one really wanted to start a business I would recommend that they jump into the deep end head first. It’s difficult enough to establish yourself when you’re giving 100%, so make the commitment to learn how to use different social media platforms, take really professional photos, and go the extra mile with each blog post.
What’s your favourite yarn/fibre to work with?
I tend to use DK or sport weight yarn because I mainly create amigurumi. Using lighter weight yarn allows me to create lots of fine details while making sure that the amigurumi doesn’t accidentally turn out humongous. The way I think of it, each stitch is like a pixel on a screen: the more pixels you have, the higher definition the screen ends up being! Of course, this is only true for amigurumi. When making garments honestly I would rather use the fluffiest yarn imaginable just so that I could finish more quickly!
Who inspires you? Who are your favourite makers?
All About Ami is one of my main inspirations because I love the style of her amigurumi designs. She brings so much heart and grace to her work and makes me feel so inspired to do the same.
Apart from her, @amiguruku and @helloladyellie on Instagram are my favorite makers because of the sheer cuteness of both of their works. The amount of detail and effortless perfection in their creations always blows me away!
If time and money were not an issue, what would your dream project be?
I’d love to try making a giant amigurumi out of super bulky yarn! This is definitely something within my grasp, but I just haven’t found the perfect design yet. I think it would be so funny to have a giant and mini version of one of my patterns!
Anything else you’d like to tell us about?
In the near future, I’m hoping to create a series of mythological figures out of dolls! I study classics in college, so I’m really excited to be able to reimagine 2000 year old characters in cute plushie form. In less esoteric news, I’m also looking forward to creating a collection of Asian snacks to celebrate both my heritage and love of food 🙂
You can get an ad-free PDF version of this free crochet doll pattern HERE in Julia’s Etsy shop.
Free Crochet Doll Pattern: Violet the Schoolgirl Doll
- Sc: Single Crochet
- Ch: Chain
- Sl st: Slip stitch
- Yo: Yarn over
- Hdc: Half double crochet
- Dc: Double crochet
- Inc: Increase
- Dec: Decrease
- MR: Magic Ring
- Sts: Stitches
- FO: Fasten off
- (…) x: Repeat stitches within parentheses … times
- Sk: Skip one stitch
- FSC: foundation single crochet
- BLO/FLO: back loop only/front loop only (learn the difference here)
Invisible Finish Off: FO leaving a tail that is at least 5 – 6 inches in length. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle. Place the tapestry needle through the top of the 2nd ST from front to back and pull through. Place tip of needle into top of the last ST of the round, under the back loop of the stitch, and pull through to the back of the work. Weave in the end.
Tools and Materials:
- 2.5mm B/1 Amour Crochet hook, and 3.0-3.5mm hook for hair
- Tapestry needle and scissors
- Polyester fiberfill stuffing
- 6.0 mm safety eyes
- Blocking materials (optional)
- Fabric glue for hair
- Schachenmayr Catania in Creme (00130) (<1 skein)
- Sport weight beige yarn for skin—you can swap for any other skin color
- Schachenmayr Catania in Lavender (00422) (<1 skein)
- Sport weight darker purple yarn for purse
- Schachenmayr Catania in Flieder (00226) (<1 skein)
- Sport weight light purple yarn for bottom half of dress
- Schachenmayr Catania in Sun-kissed (00437) (<1 skein)
- Sport weight light brown yarn for hair
- Lion Brand Babysoft Yarn in White
- Sport weight white yarn for top half of dress
- Lion Brand DIYarn (scrap)
- Worsted weight dark brown yarn for eyebrows—can be swapped for embroidery thread
- Stitch markers
- Sewing pins
- Crochet in continuous spiral rounds, unless specified otherwise. Use a stitch marker or piece of yarn to keep track of the last stitch in each round.
- When filling with polyester stuffing, pull apart each large chunk into many smaller chunks. This ensures an even distribution of firmness within the amigurumi.
- Stuff the head and the body firmly at the openings so that the neck is stable upon completion.
- To avoid large holes in the crochet fabric, increase tension until the holes cannot be seen, or choose a crochet hook a size down.
- Use sewing pins to secure limbs of the amigurumi before you sew them.
- Always use the invisible decrease and invisible finish off (described above).
Important: Note that this pattern calls for a 2.5 mm hook (except for hair). If you choose to use a larger sized hook, then be prepared for the doll to be oversized. According to this pattern, this doll is 6.5 inches tall (17 cm).
Legs: (in skin color yarn) x2
R1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
R2: (sc2, inc) x2 (8 sts)
R3-11 (9 rounds): sc all around (8 sts)
Invisible finish off. Make another leg identically but do not finish off or cut the yarn. Stuff both legs lightly, using the back of crochet hooks or chopsticks to push fiberfill inside.
Connect legs: ch2 off of the first leg, sc all around second leg (8 sts), sc 2 in the chains between legs, sc all around original leg (8 sts) (20 sts total)
Continue from connected legs to make body:
Body (in skin color yarn)
R1-8 (8 rounds): sc all around (20 sts)
R9: (sc8, dec) x2 (18 sts)
R10: sc all around (18 sts)
R11: (sc, dec) x6 (12 sts)
Finish stuffing. Finish stuffing using the back of crochet hook to push fiberfill in, and finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing.
Head: (in skin color yarn)
R1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
R2: inc x6 (12 sts)
R3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
R4: (sc2, inc) x6 (24 sts)
R5: (sc3, inc) x6 (30 sts)
R6: (sc4, inc) x6 (36 sts)
R7: (sc5, inc) x6 (42 sts)
R8-15 (8 rounds): Sc all around (42 sts)
If you wish to, place 6.0 mm safety eyes between round 10 and 11 (middle of head), 7 stitches apart. However, I suggest placing safety eyes at the very end if you don’t mind not being able to secure the safety eyes to be able to arrange the face more easily.
R16: (sc5, dec) x6 (36 sts)
R17: (sc4, dec) x6 (30 sts)
R18: (sc3, dec) x6 (24 sts)
R19: (sc2, dec) x6 (18 sts)
R20: (sc, dec) x6 (12 sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a short tail. Using a needle, thread the yarn through all 6 stitches in the last round, and pull it tight so the opening closes like a drawstring bag. Finish off and weave in the end.
Arms: (in skin color yarn) x2
R1: sc6 in MR (6 sts)
R2-12 (11 rounds): sc all around (6 sts)
Do not stuff. Invisible finish off and weave in ends, leaving a tail for sewing. Attach arms to the left and right of the body.
Dress (top half):
(in white) worked in turned rows until R7. Chain 1 and turn at the end of each row until then.
R (row) 1: FSC 18, chain and turn (18 sts)
R2: (sc2, inc) x6, chain and turn (24 sts)
R3: (sc3, inc) x6, chain and turn (30 sts)
R4: (sc4, inc) x6, chain and turn (36 sts)
R5: sc6, ch6, sk6, sc12, ch6, sk6, sc6, chain and turn (36 sts)
R6: sc6, sc3 in the chains, sc12, sc3 in the chains, sc6 (30 sts)
Put what you have so far on the doll by fitting the arms in the armholes, with the opening at the back of the doll. Cut the yarn and sew the dress closed. Begin crocheting (by making a standing crochet stitch) at the seam and begin round 7, crocheting in the round (no longer in rows).
in continuous rounds R7-8 (2 rounds): sc all around (30 sts)
The yarn I used (Lion Brand Babysoft) was significantly thinner than the yarn I used for the body section, so if you use the same weight of yarn as the body you may need to stop here and move on to the next section. If the yarn you’re using is also relatively thin (see picture below), then continue.
R 9-10 (2 rounds): sc all around (30 sts)
Dress (skirt): (in light purple)
R1: (sc2, inc) x10 (40 sts)
R2-5 (4 rounds): sc all around (40 sts)
R6: (sc3, inc) x10 (50 sts)
R7-9 (3 rounds): sc all around (50 sts)
If the yarn you used for the skirt is equal weight to the body, then you may want to stop here. If not, then finish this pattern because the yarn I used for the lower part of the skirt was particularly thin.
R10-12 (6 rounds): sc all around (50 sts)
Invisible finish off. Weave in end.
Sleeves: (in white)
R1: work standing crochet stitch in left arm hole and crochet all around (9 sts)
R2-4: sc all around (9 sts)
Invisible finish off. Weave in ends, and repeat on the right side.
Use hook 0.5-1.0 mm bigger and hair color yarn The hair is going to be built from a circle 24 stitches around, with hair strands coming from that circle. If you refer to the diagram, you can see that the circle is split into 2 sections (A and B). We will begin at the beginning of section A, which comprises 6 of the 24 stitches of the circle, and move on to section B, completing the circle around.
R1: sc6 in MR (6sts)
R2: (inc) x6 (12 sts)
R3: (sc, inc) x6 (18 sts)
R4: (sc2, inc) x6 (24 sts)
Invisible finish off, and weave in end. Make standing crochet stitch/Attach the yarn anywhere in the round to begin crocheting hair.
Section A: Strands 1-6 (6 strands): ch 20, sc 19 back (beginning from second chain from hook), sl st in next stitch.
Strands 7-24 (9 strands): ch21, hdc 19 (beginning from third chain from hook), slst x2
● This section only has 9 strands but covers 18 stitches in the round because each strand covers 2 stitches in the circle (because of the two slip stitches).
Cut yarn and weave in the end. To create straight hair, block hair by pinning it down on a foam mat and using a steam iron and leaving it overnight to dry. If you don’t have a steam iron, you can just soak it in water and lay it out to dry. Different blocking methods can be found here.
After blocking, pin the circle on top of the doll’s head. Half of section A is to the left of the doll’s face, and the other half is to the right. Pin down each of the hair strands and create texture by putting the strands directly in front of the dolls face over the hair on either side. Either sew or glue the hair down to the head with craft glue.
Crossbody bag: (in dark purple) worked in turned rows
R1: FSC 3, ch, turn. (3 sts)
R2-7 (6 rows): Sc all across, ch, turn (3 sts)
Fold in half and sew down the sides to close the purse. Ch 30 from one side of the purse to create the strap and sew the strap end to the other side of the purse.
- Insert 6.0mm safety eyes between rounds 10-11, 7 sts apart
- Embroider a nose one row below the eye line, covering two stitches.
- Embroider eyebrows directly above the eyes using one ply of brown yarn (pull yarn apart into separate plies) or embroidery thread. The eyebrows are diagonals, 3 stitches across and one up. The bottom of the eyebrow is 3 rows above the eye (and the top of the eyebrow is 4 rows above).
- Embroider pink lines one row below eyes (across two stitches) for blush.
Violet the Schoolgirl Doll is all done! I hope you enjoyed crocheting her and found this free crochet doll pattern helpful. I would love to see your finished amigurumi, so share a picture on Instagram with me by using the #craftingsofjoules and tagging me @craftingsofjoules. Once again, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me with a direct message on Instagram or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy crocheting! ♥
Find Julia on Social Media!
You can find some of Julia’s other work and give her a thanks for the free crochet doll pattern on the sites below:
Feel free to sell the item created by this free crochet doll pattern but please provide pattern credit back to Julia Chiang of @craftingsofjoules when posting online. Please do not resell, distribute, duplicate, or share this pattern in any printed or digital form, or claim this pattern as your own original design. Please do not use her photos when selling your finished items.