Gypsy Doll Face Pillow Tutorial and Free Pattern

I saw this gypsy doll idea in a magazine and fell in love with the concept. I know there are probably others similar to this but I thought this particular design was too pretty to pass up. It’s the perfect beginner project that will make a stunning gift for a little girl. It can also be personalized to look similar to your child by changing the color of the hair, the color of the face fabric and the color of the eyes. The original design was created by Katrina Marie from Please visit her site and enjoy her creations and lessons.

 I made two of these; one with pretty brown eyes for my little Mila and another with gorgeous blue eyes for her cousin. You can also use different fabric designs to fit the season or a specific theme. I personally think these would look best with contrasting colorful bright girly colors. I did bright red and pink for the top scarf and a complimentary bright color for the rosettes.

This pattern is beginner friendly and the project can be done in about 1 hour or slightly more if you have a toddler pulling at your leg the whole time:-). The entire project for one pillow cost about $15. Most of the expense came from the bright color fabrics. You can personalize the pattern by making it square instead of round, by changing the eyes, the height of the scarf, different options for the back etc. As we go through this tutorial, I will highlight the parts that you can personalize.

Here is what you need to make one pillow -12” diameter
¼ yard dark color cotton for the back
1 fat quarter bright floral cotton for the top scarf
1 fat quarter tan muslin for the face
3 pieces 3” square white cotton for eyes and lip cut out
3 pieces 3” square fusible interfacing (ultrabond)
½ yard coordinating bright cotton for the side rosettes
3 color sharpies (black for lids and eye outline, red for lips and color of choice for iris)
Two large bright color buttons to embellish rosettes
Yarn for hair
~8oz Polyfill
2 large brooch pins (optional)
Download your pattern HERE. Cut out all your main pieces.  From using the pattern, you should have 1 piece for the face, 1 piece for the scarf and two pieces for the back. For the outer rosettes, cut 2 pieces measuring 9” x22”. For the inner rosettes, cut out 2 pieces measuring 3”x 22”.

The inner rosette pieces are not shown in the above picture.
**Pattern change- you can make this pillow bigger by moving the pattern pieces a few inches away from the fold when cutting.  You can also make the rosettes smaller and less dramatic by decreasing your width. For example you can make the outer 6”x22” instead of 9”x22” and 1”x22” for the inner. **
Lets work on the eyes and lip first.
Lay one piece your white cotton fabric over the eye pattern and trace it onto your fabric using black sharpie. Color the iris with your color of choice. Apply your ultrabond interfacing on the wrong side of your drawing and iron on (read instructions on your interfacing). After its ironed on, cut it out and set aside. Repeat for the other eye. Remember to trace a mirror image so that you don’t end up with two left or right eyes.
**Pattern change- you can also use felt to make circular eyes and a one dimensional lip to have the face look less grown up. You can also add pink circles for the cheeks to make it similar to that of a rag doll. **
Repeat the process for the lips using red sharpie or whatever colors you want your lips to be. Admire how pretty is it is and set aside:-)

Now, remove the backing of the interfacing of your eyes and place neatly, following the mark on your pattern onto the muslin face piece. Do the same thing for the lip. The instructions in the magazine said to top stitch the lip and the eyes to the muslin but I didn’t think it was necessary after using the ultrabond interfacing. Remember if you changed the pattern by making the pillow bigger, you will need to relocate your eyes and lip pieces on the face accordingly.

Next, take your face piece and sew it using ½ seam allowance to the scarf piece right sides together. Iron your seam pressing it towards the scarf.

Now take your back pieces and fold it in ¼” on the straight sides. Set aside.

To make the hair, loop around your yard about 50 times in 10” increments. Sew straight through the middle of your hair bundle.

** Pattern change-if you want your hair to be thicker or thinner you can decrease or increase your number of loops. To make your hair shorter or longer, you can increase or decrease the length. You can also do it really thick and long and do braids for a hypie look.**
Take one end of one of your loops and tie a knot in the middle of your bundle of loops making sure it is nice and tight. Cut out all your bottom loops to make both ends of your bundle even.

To put it all together, take the end (closest to the middle of your hair bundle) of your loop you used to tie the knot on your hair and place it on the right side of front face piece where the scarf and face muslin intersects.

 Now, take one of your back piece and sew it on the front piece, right sides together using ½” seam allowance. You will be sewing over your hair loop when you put the front and back pieces together so make sure you do a few back stitches to secure it well.  Sew in the other back piece.

Turn your entire project inside out.

This is what the back looks like once your turn it inside out

Topstitch the back of the doll close leaving about 5” open to add your stuffing. Once you fill your face with stuffing, close your opening by hand sewing.

 I am sure there is a better way to do this but this seemed like the easiest way to me.

**To cover up your topstitch at the back of the doll face, you can cut two strips the length of your face, fold in all your edges and neatly hand stitch it over your topstitch. This may be a nice compliment to the back if you do it with a piece of your bright scarf cotton. Also if you have round pillow that will fit the face, you can add zipper at the back and fit your pillow inside the face.**
Now onto the rosettes!
Take your large strip and fold it in half lengthwise. Set your stitch length to the longest setting and sew all the way down.

Gather the strip sew both ends together.

 Do the same thing for your small strip. Once you have both rosettes, hand or machine sew them together in the center.

 Now add your big button to the middle to finish the design. You can also add a fabric covered button as well. Once you have your button on, you can glue on your brooch backing to the rosette which will allow you to clip it to the side of the face of you can simply hand sew it to the face.

This rosette has a big button in the center instead of the fabric covered button

Repeat for the other side and you are done!


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